It goes by difference names but they all mean the same.
That crazy, crying, whining time of the evening when children from about 4 months to 3 years can’t seem to hold it together.
It’s commonly referred to as The Witching Hour but it tends to be a whingefest that last two hours, usually from 5 until 7.
There are many ways to try ease it, lots of ways to try cope but there doesn’t seem to be any way to actually prevent it.
The main problem with the timing of this is the fact that in most households this is smack bang in the middle of dinner prep and dinner consumption.
When you have just one child there is an easy way around it, eat dinner at lunch time and make sure you have nothing to do other than sit under baba for those hideous two hours.
However when there are other children around this isn’t really an option so you need to adopt coping mechanisms.
The phrase ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ springs to mind.
I approached this time with military style preparation.
Dinner was often cooked at 11 in the morning.
The table was often set straight after lunch.
Pyjamas were laid out in early afternoon.
Anything that could be done in advance was done.
You can’t plan for all eventualities though-like someone ‘popping’ in for a chat at 5.30…NOT a good idea in a house with very small children.
The worst part of the witching hour that this was usually the time my husband arrived home from work.
More often than not the children and I would have had a great day, but he would be greeted by a fraught, somewhat harassed wife who unceremoniously dumps the aforementioned whining children in his arms muttering phrases like ‘never again’ , ‘your side of the family’ and ‘possesed by the devil’ !!
Nowadays I find it hard to shake that panicky feeling as 5 o’clock approaches.
I still feel the need for uber organisation just in case the wheels come off the wagon.
But slowly I’m recovering from ‘witching houritis’. I am still surprised when we go off schedule and it works out ok.
When things run late but the world doesn’t fall apart.
We are slowly becoming a family that can do things spontaneously and know that it will be fine, we will be grand, no one will lose the plot!
It’s been a long time coming but it feels great.