The Witching Hour
My children have a very precise way of knowing exactly when it's time to have a meltdown. I call it The Witching Hour.
No, no, this is not a pre-Halloween post or even a review of the forthcoming American Horror Story: Coven series (which I’m simultaneously excited by and totally scared of watching). No, this is just a post—OK, maybe a rant—of an occurrence that happens at my house every day. Let me break it down for you.
With precise timing, when the clock strikes exactly 5:30 PM, my precious little girls turn into, um, complete nightmares. I may say something like this in my head: WHO ARE THESE CREATURES AND DO WE HAVE WINE IN THE APARTMENT?! (I often think in all caps).
Now, I’m pretty sure I understand the reasons. They’re tired. Hungry for dinner. Ready for daddy to get home
and save me. But, that sure doesn’t make it any easier. Often, it happens in the MIDDLE of dinner preparation, which is lots of fun, let me tell you. Nothing like having a toddler hanging on your leg crying while you’re hurriedly trying to put a meal on the table. True story: last week as Vivian hung on me and pulled my skirt almost down to my ankles, I’m pretty sure I showed my bum to most of my neighbors across the street. Lovely.
So, what’s a perfectly frazzled mother to do in this situation? Are you deep in the trenches of toddlerhood and have experienced this, too? If so and you have suggestions, I’m all ears. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
1. Separate: If you have more than one child, separate them and try to get each involved in their own projects (coloring here, puzzles there). I’ve found my children have a lovely way of beating up on each other at the end of the day.
2. Routine: Stick to the routine, and try to get the evening events (dinner/bath/books/etc) going as soon as possible. Children crave routine and like to know what to expect next.
3. The Mickey Mouse Club: I don’t like to think of TV as a babysitter, but sometimes just putting a show on will give you the 20 minutes of peace you need to put dinner together.
4. Wine: Self-explanatory.
5. Remind: Just keep telling yourself, “This to shall pass.” And it will.
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