Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Witching Hour

I think it's kind of awesome that as I sit down to write this post, my belly is serving as a shelf, of sorts, for my little bowl of chocolate morsels. That's a perk of pregnancy that I might actually miss. Eh, who am I kidding? As much as I complain, I'll miss most of it, to be honest, once the bad memories fade.

What has not been awesome has been pretty much the rest of my day.

I skipped this week's play date for what I thought were all of the right reasons: conserving energy, taking it easy, keeping my stress levels down... Though recent tests and exams have both confirmed that my frequent contractions are acting as no more than a nuisance at this point, they certainly can get pretty painful pretty fast if I don't take certain precautions (like avoiding over-exertion, sudden movement, or pretty much any significant amount of movement at all). But no matter about all those goals I listed above- my strategy completely backfired. I used up whatever energy I may have conserved picking up the playroom, because it was driving me batty continuing to look at the chaos around me hour after hour. Ditto to "taking it easy," both then and later in the day.

As for keeping my stress levels down? That doesn't work so well when my daughter decides to take all of the pent-up energy from over the past week, that she might actually have blown off at the play date, and use it all up in the desperate hour before dinner. There's something about that time of day, when my sanity and strength are nearly sapped, my hunger is building, and some secret signal begins to be transmitted to the little 'uns that the Witching Hour has begun.

Suddenly, no matter how smoothly the earlier part of the day may or may not have been going, toys begin to be snatched away, hitting and shoving become the featured behavior, and the screaming and shouting begins (and that's all just on Abby's part). Michael? He gets fussy. Super, super fussy, clingy, needy, whiny, and generally inconsolable. Magnify that on a day, like today, in which he has outright refused his second nap.

I actually had a short moment of peace and amusement when he collapsed to the floor at one point, lazily sucking on a binky as his eyes slowly glazed over. Oh, how I would have loved to snap an "I told you so" picture in that moment, to show him someday in the future when it would earn me nothing, but would serve as a playful bit of teasing, and say, "This is what happened when you wouldn't take your nap." Alas, I had no camera on hand. And before I knew it, he was up again, having needed only a short recharge before continuing on in his tenuous but determined state.

Dinner, at least, was comparably quiet. Bedtime, not so much. This lovely tradition we've started in "the big bed" has begun to backfire ever since Abby witnessed a short scene in Parenthood featuring a little girl swimming in a pool. Now, she thinks that our bed is her own personal pool, and attempts to "swim" in it, rather than sitting still for story time. I'm impressed with her imagination, but for two nights in a row, now, we've had to either skip or cut story time way short, because there wasn't much point to reading as she thrashed about at the foot of our bed.

So, here I sit, injured once again (having thrown out my back as I administered one last time-out before dinner), and once again writing about pretty much nothing as I stare at a now empty bowl and a shirt covered in dry baby boogers.

Maybe tomorrow there will be that much less snot to deal with. Maybe.