By The Wiz
Why is it that when my son spills cereal at 8:00 in the morning, I laugh, and just think “It doesn’t matter, I have the best vacuum ever!” But when he does it at 5:30, it’s a TIME OUT! and I know in my heart that all cereal maufacturers are secretly trying to destroy families, and I will never buy cereal again! Or at least until we run out….
Mommy “why” questions don’t bother me from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00, but ask me why (or pretty much anything) after 4:00, and you will get a lecture on whining. Especially if your question is “Why do I have to find my own tights? Can’t you do it for me?” NO.
Breakfast dishes, lunch dishes, I can handle. But do not ask me to touch those dinner dishes. Gross. They can wait until the morning, when they’ll be even more gross, and my kids will say “Why do I have to eat cereal on a dirty counter?” (Because Mommy is lazy, that’s why.) Actually, I like to counter that one with “You are capable of cleaning it up. If you want it clean, here’s a sponge.” They manage to eat after that. Then I give them some cereal, but they had better be careful not to step on any that the boy threw on the ground.
Running around yelling “Choo choo! CHooo choOo! CHOOOO CHOOOO!” at 10:00 a.m. is cute and should be documented by videotape. The exact same behavior at 6:00 is grounds for Mom to leave the house and only return after bedtime.
I swear, sometime around 4:00, a switch flips. The patience level is significantly lower, the fuse is significantly shorter, and the capacity to handle mess is greatly reduced. I used to not worry about this, but since my oldest doesn’t get out of school until 3:45 p.m., that basically means she gets Grumpy Mom for most of her life. I am not so OK with that. At least the other two still get to see the easy going, laughs at jokes, me, instead of the me that cringes if she hears one more “Laffy Taffy” wrapper joke, or if the words knock knock are mentioned.
know hope I’m not the only one that deals with this. I’ve heard that 5:00 hour often referred to as “The Witching Hour.” I have some compensatory strategies. I do find that an after school snack, hopefully with protein - cheese, peanuts, etc, greatly reduces whining right before dinner on the kids part. (and thus, the lecturing on my part). I have found that knowing where the tights are before ballet days is helpful. But I have yet to find that mood stabilizer for me.
Why am I so wrung out by then? Fatigue, certainly. But I’m not exhausted, my kids are really good kids and don’t require constant entertainment from mom. Diet? Maybe. I’m not what you would call the “best eater” in the world. Heather is, though.
What do you do to counteract this phenomenon? Anything that works well for you would really help me out. Hey, thanks, man.
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