Sunday, September 6, 2009

Arsenic hour

Arsenic Hour: (carrie fox)

'Arsenic hour', so called because poison control centres have identified it as the time when most parents apparently abandon their normal standards of supervision and allow children to chug detergent like cordial, is quite simply the undoing of what little sanity a parent has left. Some know it as the'witching hour' for its obvious links with Satanism; others call it 'rush hour' for its similarities with peak traffic chaos. Whatever your term of choice, arsenic hour is the maddest, baddest, saddest time, falling anywhere from 4pm to 10pm, though acutely felt around the lead-up to whatever passes for dinner these days.

In our house, we dont seem to have the classic arsenic hour. We dont have whinging or tears, we dont have fights or tantrums. We have something waaay worse.... its called "SPASTIC O'CLOCK". Afternoon starts ok, trampolining, general outside loudness, finishing the last of the days energy..or so I believe. Until it comes time to bath, pack up and me trying to start dinner.

Its always the same: the lovely helpful children I once thought I had become a very bad cross between an excited puppy and a three ringed circus. Its starts with bathtime which is relatively calm as I am in the room with them. I get them all out. I get Amahli dressed. I hunt down the other two naked bodies which should be sitting somewhere quietly and patiently waiting for me. They are not. Both are outside in the sandpit. Of course. Once washed again and dressed, I ask them to find something to do. Its quiet for a minute or two.. then the giggles start. Now I love kids giggles, but at spastic o'clock, giggles are bad. Giggles very quickly esculate into full blown delirium. And most days I ignore the squeals of delight as my two eldest massacre the bedroom, giggles turning to high pitch madness and hyperventaliness, and remember that at least they are having fun. On days that dont go so well, they both go to time out. Then jared will snort, trying not to laugh. Jumeirah ends up with the hiccups so bad she can barely breathe, and with each sound, the giggles start all over again. Some days, REALLy bad spastic days, they both get smacks on the hands. trouble is, even thats hilarious. Jared simply cannot contain himself. Which sets Jumeirah off even worse. Meanwhile Amahli whos strapped in the kitchen to her chair has finished and is yelling " HEY!" trying to get their attention. Which they copy. Which takes hilarity to a WHOLE new level. And it gets louder and louder and louder...

So just for today, I was prepared with an activity for my eldest ringleader. Figuring that once I had one in control the others would be settled too.

And so I got the "special craft" out... its normally something that contains either something sharp, dangerous, or really needs supervision. Today it was this....

Its a styrofoam ball and sequins attached with pins. Its hard to do, takes AGES and with a few rules I let her do it on her own. And she loved it. And for once, Spastic O'clock was a bit better. Giggles seems to still escape, like nervous bubbles of energy, but it was a happy time and much calmer.

Until daddy got home :)

(ball isnt finished yet, I am hoping it will last a few for days.. will post pics soon)

This is a great craft for easter, this shape is an egg left over from Easter as we did one for Jumeirahs preschool teacher. It also works for christmas decorations, wet weather craft... its a good all rounder! but best suited for older children as the pins are sharp and its a bit tricky.

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