Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The witching hour

Without fail, four o'clock in the afternoon comes around and my children transform.  Whatever kind of day we had been having up until this point, whether is was a magical day full of glorious motherhood moments, a lazy stay at home and play nicely day, or a day spent out around town in the party van, four o'clock turns a switch in the girls' programming and they unleash their inner animals.  Their behavior during this time is not necessarily bad, it is just wild and uncontrollable, and of course, it coincides perfectly with the unavoidable slump in my energy that follows a day of good old fashioned child rearing.  Usually, this is the time of day that any attempt at living media free falls apart.  Sure, I begin the morning telling myself that we will spend the whole day without watching television, because there are so many marvelous ways to be creative and make our own fun, and sometimes I manage to stick with it...until four.  The natives over take me and I submit to their chanting and clawing, and those little friends with the awesome dance moves regain their rightful place in our family home.  Even with the sweet drone of irritatingly catchy fresh tunes, the shenanigans are not entirely avoided.  Mere moments ago, the blonde and the brunette were working affectionately together to build a pillow house to share, but the clock chimed four and suddenly the blonde's work must not have been up to code, because the brunette smashed and destroyed the whole thing (see last post for more detail on her destructive nature).  Unsurprisingly, a fight broke out, much to the amusement of the baby, who both cheered and reprimanded from the safety of the top of the kitchen table, shouting out "one meenut, one meenut!".  They scratched, they kicked, they shouted, and what did I do?  Well I already turned on cartoons, what else do you want from me?  A joke, people - obviously I hollered for them to stop.  They ignored me, I got the baby off the table, she got in a few swings, and it fizzled out on it's own.  After this, DVD shelf wreckage is likely to ensue, follow by couch jumping, crying, yelling, throwing, and the like.  But I have a theory on the purpose of what is known around here as the witching hour - while it does no favors for me, it does wonders for my husband.  As soon as he walks in the door, the chaos halts and the girls run happily into his arms, relieved to have a parent home who is not at their wits' end - he is fresh meat for their play schemes and tea party rotation.  I, of course, push the kids out of the way to run into his arms (not really push, just side step and nudge), relieved to have an adult home to talk to me about something outside of the realm of princess fantasy land.  I begin to wonder, is this his own elaborate scheme to stay at the top of our favorites list?  Does he have some sort of mind control powers that set us girls in a state of frenzy at the stroke of four, stirring up a mad house for him to sweep in and turn around upon his awaited arrival home?  As suspicious as it seems, I have little evidence to go on that would suggest trickery on my husbands part.  Whatever it is that sets the witching hour in motion, it is in full swing.  He should be home in twenty six minutes...

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