Is there any parent out there who makes it through the hours between 7 and 9am (or indeed 5 and 7pm) without having at least one hissy fit? If there is, I say a hearty well done, and give you a huge, virtual pat on the back. For me, it is purely a test of endurance. The ‘witching hour’ Mr M and I like to call it. I often think, what did I do with these four hours before I had children?
Slept and showered probably.
Now, my children are adorable- the loves of my life. Funny, and sweet and my proudest achievement. But my goodness, they’d test the patience of a saint at times.
Eva is our big girl-eight years old, a beautiful, witty little bookworm who does everything with gusto and rarely complains. Everyone should have an Eva.
Noah is six, and the most thoughtful, intelligent little boy. He is the one, in our house, who will share his sweeties and his time in equal measure. He is charismatic and hilarious, without even trying to be.
And Annie, the littlest, is four. She is sparky, and fun, and still gets lunch and dinner mixed up. She can both wither and melt you with just a look. And her cuddles never fail to make me smile.
They are perfect… to me anyway. And yet I think I briefly forget that sometimes when Eva is bossing, or Noah is taking FOREVER to get dressed in the morning. Or Annie is having a tantrum (she actually stamps her foot-I thought that just happened in the movies)
All the little quirks; the personality clashes, the tears, the sibling arguments and rivalry. The slaved-over dinners refused, the little person beside the bed in the middle of the night, the wiping bottoms, and noses. And the litres of Calpol.
It’s not just you, I promise.
Children are wonderful, frustrating, special, demanding, loveable, anger-inducing little beings. And parenthood is no garden of roses- my wrinkles and grey hairs will testify to that. But I can’t imagine life without them, it’s unbearable really. In those four hours each day they may drive me crazy, but there are so many more hours and minutes and seconds when I wonder at how we managed to create those little someones. At how lucky we are to have them.
Maybe the key to conquering the witching hour is just keeping that all in perspective- breathing deeply, counting to ten, painting on a grin through the clenched teeth and elevated blood pressure. Finding the special in the mundane.
For I have a feeling that, some day when my littles are big and grown, I just might long for those four crazy hours each day, and give anything to be enduring them again.