This time seemed like a huge bear attacking my sanity and me, and though it is a short period of time it felt like it took over the morale of the entire day. It was like he would eat me up and spit out sometime after the kids went to bed.
So... I got a brave hair, and decided that I was going to go to battle with this “bear-of-a-time” and work pro-actively to conquer it before it got a chance to pin me down! So as with any attack, I planned, prepared, and gathered up some resources to take into battle with me.
First offensive move - Ambiance!!!!
The sensory setting of this time of day seems very key…so now, I work to make it a “calm” setting… I decided to play some music, sometimes Nora Jones, other times Dave Barnes, some extreem times call for extreem meausres...classical...
Second offensive move – Feed the Natives!
Usually the kids are hungry and the first thing Jeff wants to do when he gets home is snack ...so I quit trying to make this a battle... remembering the bear would love to pin me down with whining children and a husband who is “sampling” dinner before it is ready…I just set out some cheese and crackers for all parties involved… I set out just enough to tide everyone over ...
Third offensive move – Kids –Self-Occupation –
This means they “try” to occupy themselves without my aid or involvement…so maybe they watch TV (big deal!) I let them watch while I do what I need to do so that we can hang out together at the table!… I set the TV to record shows that Fisher loves, and that is when he watches them…or else he plays outside with the kids from the street … in the meantime, my 3 year old is in the other room watching Elmo…
Forth-defensive move – Relax – and don’t be ashamed to call for Back up!
I decided that no matter what I would not let the bear win!!! If I am totally late in getting to dinner...I just “call for back up,” by making sandwiches or we all hop in the car for MacDonald’s! I let the kids skip their baths when it is going to be too crazy make it home early enough to get them bathed. I committed to try my best to choose to relax at this crazy time of day…I just think...what is the worst that will happen if we all just have PB&J’s for dinner...nothing! So, even when the bear is beginning to have me pinned…I smile and kiss him on the cheek…I don’t fight him anymore, or he is sure to win!!! After all…if the dinner is burned, (or not even started), if we are late for basketball practice, the crater in the back yard has swallowed up one of the neighbor kids, and the dog has found yesterdays chicken from the trash… the best thing I can do is throw in the dishtowel (literally) and sit down with my 3 year old and watch Elmo! I figure, if I do that…I have still won!