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I too have a shower when my 3 DS are in bed. It is my 'me' time! Poor ds1 and 2 do their homework whilst ds3 is either being put to bed if dh is around or when he is asleep. I dropped his nap quickly so he would go to bed early but I find it is the only way. Ds3 is getting better but can be unpredictable and suddenly the table is cleared of pens, paper etc. He also loves playing with big boy toys and now he is 2½ I let him play with the Lego or marble run whilst I read with ds2 sometimes. This does not last long though!
Bring him in the shower with you. And give him a snack in his high chair at other times.
I don't have other children, but 'spirited' does not even get close to describing my 2.2 yo DS. Luckily he's now getting to the stage where he'll play with his plastic dinosaurs for short periods (5 mins). TV has never worked with him, he's just not interested in it. Food, however, works a treat! Raisins are good... and rice cakes, because they take an eternity to eat them but don't get too filled up.
Also, at that age if you've got certain chores to do like emptying the dishwasher, they can be great little helpers - use it to your advantage!
Dd2 is 16 m. I have nothing on the floor on the bathroom except for bath toys so she plays with those while I am showering however today's development of doom was that she can climb onto the toilet now.
What I struggle with is that dd2 always wants to b on top of me & dd1. Turning Cbeebies on will only work if at least one of me or dd1 is watching it with her. I've had success recently with strapping her into hr chair & giving hr playdough.
Homework time for eldest = CBeebies for youngest. Especially if he's not usually allowed it. Yes I realise he's only 15 months, but you have to let standards slip for the sake of the older ones. My DS used to try anything to disturb homework, even wobbling the table legs...
Showering = I used to put my DS in the shower with me, sitting on a bath mat and playing with bath toys.
I should start by saying I have three kids. I thought I'd know what I was doing a bit more than I seem to... When my girls were small I could put them in the room (kitchen, bathroom, wherever I needed to be) with a tea set or other toys and they would play while I had a quick shower, got the dinner ready etc etc. DS (15 months) just wants to rip the bathroom apart, climb up onto the sink, put everything within arms reach in the loo etc etc. I realise this is normal - but does anyone have any tips as to what to do with a really active DC so you can get something (anything!) done? The two trickiest times are trying to get the older two ready for school in the mornings without DS upturning every game etc in their room, and homework time. He's too big and active for any kind of playpen cot. Do I just have to suck it up and know it will improve, or is there some trick I've forgotten? Any ideas gratefully received!