I Dread 4 O’Clock


witching hourThere’s a time of day that I dread. I’ve heard it called “the witching hour” and no, it’s not midnight. I can feel it approaching, silently lurking in the background. It’s the time of day when my precious little lovelies seem to blow a gasket and go crazy. Everything turns sour in the blink of an eye, and my house is quickly filled with pint sized maniacal tyrants.

It doesn’t matter how smoothly our day has been running, I know it is all about to hit the fan when the clock strikes 4 pm. Why, oh why, does this hour haunt me?

The rest of the day flies by, but this hour drags on. My husband comes home from work and sees the chaos resulting from the 4 o’clock beast and asks, “Wow. Did you have a rough day?”

“More like a rough hour,” I reply.

There is something about that time of the day that brings out the absolute worst in everyone involved.

We experience arguing, tears, and unstable behavior (and that’s just on my side). Crying, sassing, fit throwing, and snack demanding are a few of the other “joys” this hour brings with it. We’ve already watched all of our movies for the day, played outside until it was “boring”, and it seems like all of the fun for the day is now behind us. We have hit a brick wall in the fun making department, and we are now suffering the consequences.

When the clock strikes 4:00 sometimes I introduce, what I like to call, the zones. For example, if we happen to be in the car during this dark hour, my kids will likely be fighting and harassing each other in the backseat. They will bicker, tattle, complain, and ask a million unanswerable questions. That’s when I tell them that we have entered a zone, and this is how the convo goes down: “You know this car we are in right now? It’s a zone. And right now at this very second in time it’s a ‘no talking zone’. No more talking, tattling, or fighting. Not until we are out of the zone. ”

Does the method work? No. Not at 4 pm it doesn’t, but I give it a try anyway. You see, at 4 pm my kids have their own zone. It’s called the “I don’t care what you are telling me” zone.

I know my children are not the only children who become Jekyll and Hyde during the “witching hour”. So, as exasperating as this time of day is, don’t be disheartened my fellow mothers. We stand united and, luckily, there is a cure for the 4 pm monster. Unfortunately, the only cure is time. Dinner time to be exact.

After dinner everything seems to takes a turn for the better. My kids are enjoyable. They are kind. I am showered with hugs, and they occasionally even pick me flowers. They play nicely and seem to enjoy life again. We survive and move on from the “he-who-must-not-be-named” time of day.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no way to tame the 4 o’clock beast.  Like with any wild, untamable animal, it’s best to respect it and leave it be.

So when you’re in the trenches of the 4 o’clock beast, hang in there sister.  It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.



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