I don't post very often anymore because I am too busy being an awesome parent, as this photo documents. The boys were particularly at each other this particular evening and Art said he did NOT want Lewis in the bath with him, he wanted Lewis to have to wait for his bath, but Lewis was already getting undressed. I said I would out a "barrier" between them and envisioned policing them to stay on their own sides. The barrier was an instant hit. As soon as I started stringing it up Art said, "We can put our animals on it!"
Notice the use of the word "we".
And they continued to have a long bath together with their animals and without incident. I was so proud of myself I took a picture of the barrier, which actually took several minutes of tinkering to make strong enough for animals.
It seems that with the addition of each child and each new challenge I have come to greater clarity in times of "crisis", if squabbling siblings during dinner preparation amidst hungry babies qualifies as a crisis. And I've developed a much broader range of and more proactive strategies for avoiding conflict or turbulence. I'll deliver the boys a building job right before I start cooking like "make a bridge with these that your cars can drive on!" or I'll tell them right before I go upstairs to put the girls to bed, "I'm going up to sing the girls to sleep so I won't be able to answer if you yell up the stairs, but if you need me just come up and use a quiet voice by the door." I have been able to get both boys into their cloths and out to the alley with bins of recycling in less than five minutes. I can get all four children dressed, fed and out the door in under an hour. I'm amazing,