It recently became obvious that Delphine doesn't need to go to bed at six-thirty any more. We put her to bed, bright-eyed and fresh, and she sat up and read books, or popped out at regular intervals to make contrived requests: "Mummy! I need sumpin'." "What do you need?" "I need another buddy (stuffed toy)." Uh-huh.
Since we had been feeding her supper at five and then making and eating our supper after she was in bed, we couldn't really move her bedtime any later unless we included her in our supper, which we have done. She sits on the counter and watches while we cook, or joins in and helps; yesterday she swished the lettuce around in the cold water to rinse off all the delightful organic lettuce goo. And then she eats with us; we all sit at the big table and make conversation like a real family. I'm fairly excited about this — I think eating together is one of the nicest things you can do as a family, and I have been looking forward to this for a long time.
It kind of hoses our evenings, though. When Delphine went to bed early we could tuck her in and then eat supper in front of the television like slobs. It's an appalling habit, and I suppose it's good that we don't do it any more, but it was very efficient and allowed for plenty of TV-watching. With Delphine in bed at seven-thirty or eight that only leaves us a couple of hours to tidy the kitchen and watch TV before it's time for bed, since I am trying to get into bed before ten so I can get enough sleep before the Cordelia wake-up call at five-thirty in the morning. If you take away half an hour for a run and another twenty minutes for an epsom salts bath, that barely leaves enough time for last night's Daily Show. I am turning into one of those people who are too busy, even if it's only too busy to watch television.
It also means I have to put together a good repertoire of quick and easy meals, which I suppose is par for the course for people with children.
Here's our evening routine, a snapshot of life with a baby and a three-year-old:
4:30 pick Delphine up from daycare (when applicable)
5:00 snack for Delphine and I, supper for Cordelia
6:00 Cordelia's bedtime — sometime between 6:00 and 7:00 Blake gets home from work
6:30 make dinner
7:00 eat dinner
7:30 Delphine's bedtime: pyjamas, pee, brush teeth, read two books, watch two movies on Daddy's computer, bed
8:00 I go for run (three days a week) while Blake cleans up after dinner (yeah!)
8:30 home for dessert and TV
9:30 bath and read a book