1. Start early – there’s no way you will get 8 hours of work in if you start at 9 and end at 5. 6 am ought to do.
2. Create sound proof barriers – a door alone will not work. Kids love to move couch cushions and pillows around, so take advantage, and ask them to pile them up along the base of the door frame. Don’t forget to lock the door.
3. Warn each and every caller at the beginning of the call that there is a risk of excessive background noise, and not to be concerned, everyone will be fine – regardless of what they hear.
4. Start lunchtime at 11 am. It’s pretty typical for 4 chicken nuggets and a spoonful of mac n cheese to take an hour and a half to consume.
5. Provide a wide variety of snacks throughout the day – approximately 1 snack per 20 minutes, per child – a total of 3 lbs of gold fish, animal crackers, fruit snacks, and cliff bars daily.
6. Teach them how to use the remote. Period. End of sentence.
7. Keep an arsenal of surprises, treats and games that can be pulled out at a moment’s notice to dispel the screaming, biting, kicking, throwing and crying that ensues approximately once every 15 minutes when toddlers are left to their own devices. (Note: the “Let’s See Who Can Be Quiet the Longest” game is a myth and does not exist, so do not waste your time)
8. Speaking of devices… Toddler proofing is different from baby proofing. You must inspect every crevice of your house using a Toddler’s eye – that is, an eye of mischief, deviance, and creativity.
9. Put eyes in the back of your head. No really. Do it.
10. Take a 5 minute break every 15 minutes in between serving snacks, lunch, new DVDs, administering naps and dispelling the screaming, biting, kicking, throwing and crying to give some TLC to your kids – that’s why they are misbehaving. Then refer to #1 and start earlier the next day since you’ve only accomplished approximately 1.67 hours of work by 5 pm.