In case you hadn’t heard the two hours between 5pm and 7pm are the worst hours of the day. Fact.
During this time, I often find myself hiding from my children. YES. I know, that probably caused an audible gasp, but surely it’s better than rocking back and forth in the corner of the lounge, surrounded by carnage, noise, crying (there’s and potentially mine), while my children climb on me. That would cause a negative atmosphere.
I used to hide in the en-suite, however The Beast learnt how to open the lock with a 10p piece, and therefore my peace was shattered (the fan also drowned the noise). These days, I either pretend to be tidying up downstairs, or I lie flat on the bed hoping they won’t see me.
So why is it so bad?
All of us are tired, bored and grouchy. We also all know that the end is nigh, and whilst I’m willing the time to move quickly, they probably are not, after all bedtime is boring. Both children react different to being tired, resulting in a loud noisy explosion of toys for the first half of this two hour slot. The baby is rather dramatic and clingy, so follows me around the house, climbing up my ankles and sobbing like I’ve just kicked him
rather then shaken him off, so I end up pulling together PJs and milk, and tidying away pots with a fat child on my hip. The other one. The Beast. He gets hyper. I know what you’re thinking “get’s hyper?” I’m aware he’s usually hyper 24/7 but this is something else.
To put it into perspective let me break it down.
16:45ish– It’s tea time, I tidy up, and then we move upstairs from the kitchen to the middle floor. On this floor we have 3.5 rooms. We have the lounge, Fatso’s room, our bedroom and the en-suite (upstairs we have The Beasts bedroom, the bathroom and the
study room of doom – soon to be changed to Fatso’s bedroom). I set the kids up with tv and toys and begin to gather a few bits. I often end up lying on the bed on the phone to my mum with the fat one sitting on my stomach watching Waybuloo. While this is happening, the beast has got bored of the TV in the lounge and is running between the lounge and the bedroom making the following noise:
“AHHH AHHH AHHHH AHHH AHHH AHHHH AHHHH”.
He flings himself hard against the arm chair near the door of the lounge, winding himself a little (he also knows this PISSES me off as “WE DON’T CLIMB ON THE FURNITURE!) and then he comes back and flings himself against the side of the bed.
Just the noise makes my eyes roll back in my head.
Children FEED off a parents mood. If you’re happy – they’re good. If you’re tired/ill/grumpy – they act out. And by act out make you want to jump out of the window. Therefore, I should learn not to give off my vibe of “I need a bloody drink” every time he does this.
We get to 18:00 hours, and the Fat one is right on the edge, we go up to the top floor, run the bath and bribe them in. By this time Matthew has usually received the phone call “WHERE ARE You? WELL IF I WERE YOU I’D LEAVE THE OFFICE NOW IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO MAKE IT TO BED TIME”. He senses the tone, and often stops for alcohol or chocolate on the way home.
18.15 – both kids in the bath. If it’s solo bath time they are in hair washed (using the shower), and a couple of minutes of play (with Fatso out first), if however Matt has made the sensible decision to come home and take over, he bathes them, and lets them play for a bit longer. By 6.30 Fatso is out and has had a mini meltdown while you put his PJs on, but crawls off to catch the tail end of In the Night Garden. Next the horrid one comes out, by now we are usually drowned in his splashing – along with fed up of telling him to stop drinking the bath water as he’s weed in it.
18.45 – We all read a quick story together while the kids brush their teeth, then we say “NAH NIGHT LARRY” chuck him in bed with a bottle, and go through the days reward chart magnets with The Beast. By now we’re on the clock – all these times are a target, are the routine, however some things throw us off course – a stray pooh, a cruising incident, or a naughty toddler sent into the hall for 3 minutes (or 3 x 3 minutes if he refuses to apologise). Without watch glancing (we don’t want to give the game away), we manage to manoeuvre The Beast to bed – often we have to “WATCH” him drink some milk, negotiate certain toys which will be joining him in bed, and then finally we say good night and head downstairs.
If we make it to our room by 19:00 we are lucky. We then pull on comfies, and check the fat one, and clear up the carnage.
Sometimes we get another setback – if it’s just “MUMMMAYYY I NEED…..SOMETHING” this is ignored (lazy tactics) and he goes to sleep. If however it’s something more (a slight OCD on ensuring all his finger and toe nails are trimmed), we have to sort this, and inevitably sit and watch him drink more milk. Kiss goodnight, shut the door and go.
So really. It’s the worst 2.5 hours of the day. And after that, yes the bar is open with a house double. I blame the children totally.