Last night we were waiting on Eric who was a little late returning home from work as he'd been out of town. It was just after sunset and we had a little extra time on our hands. Usually this means that both girls have simultaneous meltdowns because they are so hungry that they cannot possibly wait 20 minutes for dinner even though they had a snack an hour earlier.
I know this because I am a mother; this means that I have been dipped the the flaming cauldron known to us mothers as the witching hour. This hour(s) is the perfect storm as kids are tired, hungry, overstimulated, and bored all at the same time. I don't know how it is possible, but it is possible and any parent who tells you otherwise is selling something.
Over the years I have come up with a variety of attempted solutions, some more effective than others. I can tell you that whining back at kids only occasionally makes them laugh and that the true key is variety. This can be tough for parents at the end of a long day when all we want is to sit on the couch, watch Jeopardy and eat chips (chocolate chips, wink). When my friend Sarah mentioned that they (they being the Wolfpack) have been having dark parties a little light went off in my head. I thought of all those glow sticks that accumulate over the course of the summer. Why are glow sticks considered a summer toy? Seriously, my kids are in bed long before the sun sets at 9pm here. Those glow sticks may get one or two uses in the summer. Winter on the other hand is perfect, it's dark at like 1pm...I kid, 4:30.
While we waited last night I broke out the glow sticks and some flashlights and I turned out the lights. Instant success. I should also mention that I cleared off the floor before hand so nobody would face-plant in the dark. While it is better than face-planting in the glaring light of day I'd much prefer no face-plants at all. Anyway, the girls loved the dark party. We giggled, we played, and before I knew it the witching hour had passed.
I took photos with my phone. So as you can guess phone photos in the dark with kids bouncing around = high quality photos. Psych. Here they are...
I have been told that my smile can light up a room (cue drums and laugh track).
Cordelia's smile can light up a room as well, but not Elise's as she was very very angry when we flashed the light in her face. She preferred glow stick waving.
Glow-sticks in action
Anyway, it was a big success. Fun was had by all and we managed to bypass the witching hour once again. Peace reigned in our kingdom.