Now I know that the question of routine is routinely (geddit) debated amongst mothers - some are for, some against, and some like me are halfway in between. I think that sticking to some kind of timetable helps to retain motherly sanity, but holding to it to rigidly has the opposite effect. I have had friends who wouldn't leave the house unless Gina (Ford for the uninitiated) says they can, but then other friends have been so incapable of enforcing bedtime that their three-year-olds are still inflicting the same sleep torture as a newborn.
But dealing with two is a whole new ball game, and the reasoned approach that saw me coerce my two previous sons into sleeping and eating at relatively regular intervals is falling down in the face of the twins combined forces. It's as if they are working in tandem to wear me down by preventing me from sleeping or sitting down for more than a few snatched moments at a time.
Never in the history of humanity have two babies taken so long to eat so little, thereby simultaneously preventing mummy from leaving the house, doing anything useful or spending too much time, or indeed any time, in her bed. Nice work boys.
And now they've got their big brother, son number two, in on the act of wearing mummy down persuading him to swap his happy routine of spending days at nursery playing with his friends and copious amounts of playdough, for crying and wailing 'I want my mummy' all morning long. So much so that his teachers have taken me aside to tell me to pay him more attention.
I'm sure its conspiracy designed to make mummy feel increasingly inadequate and exhausted and I am beginning to suspect that son number one lies behind this evil plot. Inspired by the collective plots of Cartoon Network he is using his powers to control his baby brothers with the express aim of wearing me down to the point that I will give in to his demands and agree that an education is a poor substitute for spending your days shooting things on the Wii.