Well, the Evil Virus seems to have departed, or nearly departed, the premises, after infecting each one of us in slow, agonizing succession.
Surprisingly, about midway through the attack, but of course after I personally had recovered, all the housekeeping and child-wrangling things seemed to fall into place for me: we found a working schedule, I got on top of the toy mess and stayed there, and life, in short, resolved itself into a serene pattern (interspersed with handing around the bucket).
If my past life is any guide, this means everything is about to go crazy again. Of course, a closer analysis of my past life indicates that it is just the point where everything settles down that I deliberately undertake something crazy. Apparently I find functionality boring. But, with DOB's bar results only a week away, chances are good that things will change soon, one way or another.
A big part of the leap in schedule functionality has been putting the twins in their room to play for twenty minutes or so each morning. We have a singing time all together first, and then D1 and D2 get some "real school" time at the table. They are quivering with excitement over the arrival of *handwriting* books. This is my one concession to structure, because I think as much as they are writing on their own they should probably not be writing things backwards any more.
Then we go outside to play. So far we have not permanently lost D4, as he still likes to check in on me occasionally, but his obsession with going "Up the hill!" "Down the hill!" "Up the hill!" keeps us well-exercised. D3 tends to stick closer, in case she needs something, a newly discovered sentence structure: "I need up!" "I need changed!" "I need chocolate!"