Everything had been just fine. I swear it. The baby was happily playing at my feet and little man was in the basement with a small horde of his extremely loud friends playing ninja Spider-Man. I finally unpacked the suitcases I’d shoved in the back of our closet. I felt accomplished, we were having a good day.
The 5 o’clock hour was upon us. It was time to transition, to work on homework and color while I prepared dinner. The friends headed home and we gathered at the table. I pulled out the colors and stencils, gave the baby scrap paper to make her art. It all seemed good, peaceful.
Suddenly, the dogs came rip-roaring through the house. They made off with a colored pencil that had been dropped, it was quickly decimated to slivers all over the living room floor. The baby starts weeping. Little man puts his head on the table, resisting his homework. “It’s tooooooooo hard,” he whines. I’ve only asked him to write his name.
At this very moment, my husband walks through the front door. He starts talking ministry, plans, upcoming events. I begin to think my system processors might be shutting down. I had a plan for dinner, but what was it? My eye starts twitching. I try to keep my cool, as cool as a reformed temper tantrum thrower can. Now I can’t remember what I was planning on preparing for dinner. The noise is overwhelming.
What happened to my happy peaceful home?!?
He has to leave for a meeting, because there is always a meeting, and I’m thinking we’ll skip dinner altogether and eat otter pops in lieu. And is it just me but is it super hot in here? Why am I sweating, and how did the dog get another colored pencil? That’s it dog, you’re going down. I begin chasing the dog around the house, but she’s little and scrappy and suddenly much faster than I remember. Little man is still whining in the background and the baby is now whaling.
My husband has gone thankfully silent. He stands very still near the kitchen counter, wide-eyed. “Was it like this all day?” He asks. I just nod, because frankly I can’t remember the day. I think we had a good day, but now I’m not so sure. I can’t really think past this moment.
Knowing that he has to leave again in mere minutes he suggests I go take some “me time” before he departs. It feels like a time-out, maybe it is, I have a feeling I’ve starting yelling. There may have been some commands in there, “drop that pencil!” I yell to the child. “Do your homework!” I shout at the dog.
I stomp up the stairs and plop on the bed. Welcome to the witching hour; the hour that my sweet little home and sweet little family go absolutely nuts. The drama is monumental, laughable. I hide out, knowing that these alone minutes will be over shortly. The clock counts down, I take a deep breath and brace myself. Here we go.