Something that I've learned since we had our girls is that they need a routine. When we deviate from said routine, disaster strikes.
Our girls need to have a routine in place. Eating has to happen at certain times. Napping in the late morning and early afternoon is a must, and there must be a bottle or some food prior to nap time. We must bathe, put on pajamas, eat, hear a story and pray before going to bed. And it must happen in that order. This helps them get through the day, and it helps mom and dad from losing it. So it's mutually beneficial.
But it doesn't take much to throw everything else off.
All it takes is one nap time not going exactly as planned. That is how delicately we hang in the balance. A nap starting 10 minutes later than it should means a day of fussy babies. Or worse a night of fussy babies.
Case in point, Grace has become anti-nap. She would rather lay in her crib and say "Da-da-da-da" to her stuffed animals. Seems reasonable enough. It's hard to find someone that can keep a stimulating conversation especially when it comes to a topic like the awesomeness of ones dad, so you want to hold on to that. But this little activity gets her over-tired and mucks up her routine. She doesn't want to sleep through her morning nap, this gets her tired during bottle time, which makes her even more fussy for her afternoon nap and causes a vicious cycle. Ana is in the same boat. She likes to stand up in her crib and look around instead of sleeping. With so much to see in the world, how can I blame her for it? But that means less sleep and more fuss.
The real problem is that breaking from that routine hurts the most at night. Routine keeps their clock running a certain way, and breaking from it throws that internal clock off. Changing it makes late night scream sessions happen which frustrates mom and turns dad into a zombie the next day. So we have a lot invested in keeping things consistent. It's always easier when Erin and I can work together. That keeps it going smoothly without any lag time in getting either of the girls down. None of the timing gets thrown off, and it keeps everyone happy.
Breaking from this routine is bound to happen because life doesn't always allow for being that regimented. We go to my sister's house for my grandma's birthday. We visit Erin's parents for swimming. We go to a friend's house that we haven't seen in a while. These things happen. You deal with it. You don't let a schedule or routine keep you from living your life. You'll just have to live it a little more tired.