WHY ARE YOU CRYING? A 5pm lament

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but I think the government are in cahoots with the NHS (and parenting books) in order to keep the human race going.

Because they don't tell you what it's actually going to be like. They use words phrases like 'moderate stomach cramps' to describe labour. If you only ever read the information in Bounty packs or whatever, you'd be forgiven for thinking that having children is, at the most, mildly strenuous.

But what they say is not as telling as what they don't say. So, as much as I am also not one for scaring the life out of expectant parents (or people thinking about having a baby), I have to give you this bit of information:

The time period between 4.30pm and 6.30pm are going to be absolute hell for you, every single day, for the foreseeable future.

You're welcome!

Seriously. All my friends with kids say the same, and yet I managed not to hear about it until after we had them: the Witching Hour is a thing.

Something triggers inside small children - a complex biological/psychological reaction of some kind - and then they become completely and utterly miserable and just terrible to be around, from somewhere after 4pm, usually until bedtime.

Why? I cannot tell you. It is a mystery as old as time. Doesn't matter how well-rested they are, or what they have or haven't eaten. It begins in babyhood and lasts for, well, I hear right into primary school.

I find myself joggling Baby Boy around the living room, helplessly patting his bottom, while he cries, again, just at the point where I need to be serving up dinner and my toddler is going to explode from hunger-induced rage.

'Why is he crying?' I find myself asking, even though I know it is fruitless: there is no answer to this question.

'Mmmd?' Chris suggests.

'WHAT?' I can't hear him over the crying. He is standing about a foot away from me.

'WIND?' he yells.

Occasionally it is wind but mostly it's not. It's just what happens. Besides, my daughter is still like it at three - I can hardly blame wind for her grumpiness at this stage.

This is what life is like with small children. That is what they should prepare you for in antenatal classes: The Witching Hour. After the lecture on how to deal with a poo-covered baby and before the slideshow named Birth: It Really Is Disgusting.

Are you glad I don't run parenting classes? Maybe you should be. I'd end every session with a short speech though, the main message of which would be 'despite all the horrific physical pain they put you through and the heart-wrenching worry you feel about them and the bone-aching tiredness they will bring upon you, they will be so flipping cute that you will forgive them and they will remain the best thing that ever happened to you.'

You know. Just to soften the blow a little.


But don't worry too much! They're adorable (most of the time)

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9 comments:

  1. ha ha ha. Yes, this is so true! When you don't have kids people say stuff about it and then follow it with "oh but they're fabulous and I wouldn't change it for the world" and that's the bit you take away. You weren't really listening the bit before. Leaving that bot as a 'nice' surprise when it happens! :-) #BigPinkLink

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    1. Haha yes, I think we wilfully ignore the bad bits ;) x

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  2. You can't know what it's like until you experience it for yourself. Yep, one of those things :)

    Gorgeous photo Meg. x

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  3. Hehe, yep!! Mine are 3 and 4, and showing no sign of JUST STOPPING this awful stage of the day! We are now survivors of this phenomenon for actual years of our lives! I'm all for telling it like it is-they really need to up their game in these parenting classes, we should start some of our own!
    #bigpinklink

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    1. I'd definitely be up for some more realistic parenting classes! Glad I'm not the only one ... the witching hour is hard core x

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  4. Yes! This! Witching hour is the worst! And it's not even just an hour. It can be a nightmare and I am always clock watching at that time of day! Yesterday I was on the phone to the other half checking what time he'd be home!! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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    1. Ha yes. I think about once every few days I send my husband a text along the lines of 'PLEASE SAY YOU'RE COMING HOME EARLY.' Lol! x

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  5. Even if people try to tell you, nothing prepares you for the reality! Nothing!

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