Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Mother-in-Law Hour

This post is veering away from food and into the "other ramblings" portion of the blog.  I thought it'd be fun to digress a bit and use the blog as a way to share my recent parenting experiences while I have the wonderful opportunity to stay home for a few months with my two boys. 

Since becoming a temporary stay-at-home mama, I've realized that my children become possessed at 6:00 p.m.  My Mom-in-Law calls it the Mother-in-Law Hour, since ideally you could have Grandma swoop in and play with the little ones when they're tired, hungry, and don't have your full attention, leaving you free to finish dinner and tidy the house before your husband comes home.  Unfortunately, most of us don't live in an ideal world where Grandma lives around the corner.  And this scenario also assumes all moms have the luxury to stay at home to cook said dinner and tidy the house. 

In any case, at my house the demons could come a little earlier or a little later than 6:00 p.m., but one thing is for certain: they arrive exactly five minutes before my husband walks through the front door. 

Ten minutes before he walks through the door, I have typically managed to keep the chaos at bay.  I haven't succumbed to the seductive gazes the television is throwing in my direction, and I'm either actively playing with my sons or, at the least, my older son is playing quietly by himself while my younger son looks on from his exersaucer.  Let's say I'm just finishing dinner (I'm probably just starting dinner, but let's not quibble over details).

Five minutes before hubby walks through the door, demons possess the two sweet boys.  Older Son (a) tackles Younger Son; (b) finds something to do that could possibly kill him; (c) whines uncontrollably about how hungry he is; or (d) starts screaming (likely because I've asked him not to do a, b, or c).  Meanwhile, Younger Son begins crying uncontrollably.  He's only six months old, so I'm assuming the demons are limited in the ways in which they can use him to cause me anguish.

I begin bargaining with Older Son, pick up Younger Son, and attempt to finish cooking dinner with one hand while trying to prevent the small sobbing child from sticking his fingers into whatever I'm cooking.  I practice what Daniel Tiger from the Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood knock-off cartoon suggests: "When you're feeling mad, and you wanna roar...take a deep breath and count to four."

And in walks Hubby.  I try to look cheerful, like those 1950s wives from magazines of yesteryear.  I try to convince him that we've had a fun day, and that the children only just began acting like small hellions.  I'm not sure he buys it. 

Does anyone have any good advice for dealing with the Mother-in-Law Hour?  Please share!

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