Ah, Monday. Must mean that this post can also be found on my family blog.
Around our house, we have a few hours in the day I like to call “the crazies.” I used to call this time of day “the witching hour,” but then the one hour became two, then three, and now it’s sometimes even four, thanks in large part to Nana’s stellar bedtime routine, in which she reads approximately 500 pages of princess/cowboy/fairy tales to Rachel then Rachel feels the need to poke Nana in the eye repeatedly until Nana finally snaps and calls it a night. But I digress.
I’m sure we are not the only ones who have the crazies. For us it hits full force around 4pm, but the mental breakdown starts somewhere around 3:30, when I realize it’s almost 4:00 and begin sweating profusely. It goes something like this:
My 16-year-old, Collin, texts me: “what’s for dinner? If you’re not cooking I’ll pick something up, so I need to know ASAP if you’re cooking or not. I may or may not be home. It may or may not be around 5:30 if I do come home. But I need to know.”
About 5 seconds before or after that text, give or take, my mom starts feeling really good because she’s had at least 10 cups of coffee and watched a couple of old movies. For her, 4pm is work time and she starts “finishing” all the unfinished projects we have around the house. I start reminding her, in dripping-faucet fashion, that 4:30 is Rachel’s dinner time (yes, really), and that I would love it if she could help with the baby while I wind Rachel down. This does not sit well with my mom, who has just dragged out all her various tools and is really hitting her groove.
I’m still ignoring Collin’s text, because frankly, I don’t know what we’re going to do for dinner despite the meat thawing in the sink. This is a “how the kids behave” thing, not a “I forgot to think about dinner” thing.
4:30pm hits, and I feed Rachel something, anything, as long as she doesn’t paint with it, yell at it, or feed it to the dog. I begin reminding her bedtime is in an hour. She screams, “I don’t want to go to bed!” and I point out that she has a whole additional hour in which to play. Have I mentioned she can’t tell time yet?
She eats, or not, and now it’s time to start dinner for everyone else. Aaron decides he wants a nap, and Nana realizes she’s the go-to mom unless she wants to cook, and trust me, she doesn’t.
So she rocks Aaron, Aaron falls asleep, and 10 minutes later Collin gets home, at which point both the dog and Rachel go insane with joy and begin squealing, barking, and turning in circles. They all three play and I’m helpless to stop them, because really, could YOU stop a 16-year-old from playing with his brother-worshipping 3-year-old sister? It warms the heart. Aaron waking up, however, is not as wonderful.
Now it’s 6pm. In case you’ve lost track, that’s 30 minutes past Rachel’s bedtime and she is a MESS. We swipe a toothbrush across her mouth and call it a win.
She’s carted off to bed by an encyclopedia-wielding Nana, and Aaron and I hit the rocking chair with high hopes that he’ll stay down for the night. Right as the bottle comes to an end and Aaron’s eyes close, Collin tiptoes into the nursery to ask if he can go to his girlfriend’s house. Aaron smiles and we head to the living room for another round of “Don’t Eat the Dog.”
But at least I’ve made it to 7pm and there are only 3 more hours before Andy gets home, at which point I can collapse into a blubbering mess and hand the reins to him.
Please tell me this is what it’s like at your house. And if not, can I move in?