THE WITCHING HOUR [as defined by yours truly] — The hour(s) anywhere from 4-7pm in which children turn into the worst version of themselves and attack their nearest prey/mama with tears, whining, and insatiable desires.
Pretty much. The witching hour brings about massive mama tears. And now, the play by play …
Nap time is over, lunch is complete, and we’re settling in for an afternoon of playing, or projects, or household chores. Jemma pitter-patters after me where ever I go. Helping unload the dishwasher … collecting dry diapers and putting them in their proper place … sitting at her desk to color or read while I’m on the computer.
I start thinking about dinner and begin pulling things from the fridge or pantry. Jemma is there, ready to assist :) Then the oven or stove goes on and I set her up in the living room with a fun toy, puzzle, or book. I head back into the kitchen and before I know it, my legs are getting a big hug and I hear “uuup, uup, uuuuuuuuup”. Her arms stretch out and I crouch down and say, “Mama is cooking a hot dinner, I need you to play in the living room.” She stares at me confused and repeats, “uuup, uup, uuuuuuuuuuuup!”
And then it begins … the witching hour. Or, some days, the witching HOURS.
We move her activity into the kitchen, a safe spot away from where I’m bustling. That doesn’t suit her fancy though. So, I juggle monitoring a toddler as I open the oven and we have a conversation about heat and why we stay away from the oven. She looks at me, puckers her lips, and blows … as if her little breathe will cool the oven and make it a safe place :) At least the concept of “hot” is making its’ mark.
Then the tears begin. Jemma wants up. Jemma wants to snuggle. Jemma does not care in the least about having dinner. She wants mama.
And, the truth is, I want to pick her up. I want to snuggle, and frankly, take-out sounds lovely. Do mamas have a witching hour too?
I speed finish dinner … guessing on measurements, tossing dirty things into the sink, and trying my best to at least get refrigerated ingredients back into the fridge. At the final moment, the moment when all hell is ready to break loose, I finish. I rescue my girl into my arms and we collapse on the couch together.
Tears subside, and whining stops as we share a dinner-spoiling snack of cereal, crackers, or fruit bits. We breath a sigh of relief, snuggle a little closer, and I glance at the clock – 10 whole minutes have passed since the kitchen meltdown of 2012 began.
Tonight, our witching hour, was a mere witching moment. As long as little miss and I are physically connected we are fine. I pull out a few story books or turn on a TV show and we sit. Holding each other, calming our hearts.
Daddy walks in the door and a wave of energy appears. We share a haphazard meal and begin our bedtime routine. Another day has passed where I was victorious over the witching hour. It didn’t beat me. I didn’t turn into a screaming banshee. Thank heaven!
Then again, there’s always tomorrow …
I pray over my sweet girl as she closes her eyes and drifts off to sleep. May tomorrow’s witching hour feel the peace I feel now.