Forget Halloween; the toddler ‘witching hour’ is scarier!

If there was any particular time wine was invented for it’s the ‘witching hour’- that period between 5pm and 7pm (give or take an hour or so either side!) When your toddler turns into the spawn of the devil or, at the very least, the Incredible Hulk’s little sibling.

It’s almost like someone flicks a switch. One minute they’re playing somewhat boisterously but in good humour, (mostly) cute as a button, and the next they’ve had a burst of evil energy. They’re a Tazmanian Devil with the sole purpose of pushing your buttons at the time of day you need it least; you’re knackered- mentally and physically exhausted.

I get it. They’re tired, overstimulated and they want attention, particularly if you’ve not been there during the day, but that doesn’t stop you inwardly screaming.

Their legs do the exact opposite of what you want them to do. Trying to steer them away from the wall they’re about to draw on? They will willfully collapse their legs so you’re left dangling a flailing dead weight. Trying to get them in the bath? They’ll become straight as a board with superhuman strength and will not surrender.

Being naked makes them run away from you… in all the places you’d not set aside for potty training- a ticking wee wee/poo poo timebomb on that new carpet.

That incessant teary, torturous snot-filled whining. It hurts my head just imagining it.

‘Want to draw*’ Mummy dutifully gets out crayons and paper. Toddler replies ‘no draw’ then lies on floor in tears. <*Substitute with any requested activity within the witching hour period.>

At the moment we’ve got the witching hour twofold, and in stereo, with eight week old Sam also using 5-7pm (and beyond!) to test his lungs. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted.

Strangely we’ll probably look back fondly at the chaos or at least laugh about it. Until then I’ll put on my metaphorical hard hat, take a deep breath and crack on as there’s nothing else I can do…

What tricks do your toddlers pull? I would love to hear.

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