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What are your top tips for getting through the 'Death Hour'?

(48 Posts)
MaMight Sun 18-Oct-09 11:26:27

However organised I get, I still always seem to spend the last hour of the day tripping over my children in the kitchen as ds clings to my thighs wailing, me snarling through gritted teeth that "daddy will be home soon", and eventually yelling at dd that "No she can't have a bloody yogurt now".

As far as possible I cook supper while they're napping.

They get enough sleep and have busy days.

I try and involve them in setting the table.

I try and set them up playing a fun game or watching a dvd just so I can have 20 minutes to do last minute things.

It's hell. They are just at their most whingy and demanding when my patience is at its lowest ebb.

I hate ending every lovely day on such a horrid note. I guess they are tired and hungry, but they are supposed to be, it's time for supper and bed.

How do you do it?

stepaway Sun 18-Oct-09 11:29:46

to avoid meal time chaos: feed them a bit earlier so that they are not quite so tired?

also, i found trying not to do anything house-related at the bewitching hour was good. instead, i either sat on the sofa and read to them and/or took them upstairs for a VERY LONG bath!

and, finally, tell yourself that it won't be like that for ever! it will get better as they get older.

BabyValentine Sun 18-Oct-09 13:20:31

I agree with stepaway - baths can be a sanity-saver. If they'll amuse themselves, take a cuppa upstairs with you and read a magazine smile

facebookaddict Sun 18-Oct-09 13:30:49

Wine. Wine. Glass of wine.

alison56 Sun 18-Oct-09 20:43:33

ginny gin gin

southeastastra Sun 18-Oct-09 20:45:36

you could try caling it something other than 'the death hour' might be more cheery wink

ruddynorah Sun 18-Oct-09 20:47:32

is supper late because you wait until dh is home? could the kids eat earlier?

BonjourIvresse Sun 18-Oct-09 20:48:06

so pleased you call it the death hour too. I get funny looks when i call it thaat in front of my rl friends ;-) the witching hour is the other name I use!
cbeebies/ cbbc is your friend ;-)

MimieD Sun 18-Oct-09 22:00:02

let the kids eat earlier and let them watch some telly while you eat with DH sharing a bottle of wine...

CarGirl Sun 18-Oct-09 22:02:06

what time are you feeding them supper, perhaps it is too late - either feed them earlier or let them have a light snack at some point.....

doubleexpresso Mon 19-Oct-09 09:57:47

Set your mobile phone to ring as reminder every 10 minutes. Challenge yourself: If I can get through the next 10 minutes without shouting, snapping, swearing or slapping I have earned myself a treat (insert treat of choice - swig of wine, mnetting for 10 minutes, chocolate etc). I find it easier to break it down. Good luck wink

morningpaper Mon 19-Oct-09 09:59:59

We only watch TV during the witching hour. It goes on at 5 p.m. and off at 6 p.m. They get bowls of raw veg in their laps and a choice of shitty children's TV. Because this is the only TV time, they are glued to the screen and don't move. Mummy gets a gin and tonic at 5p.m. Children get TV. Supper goes on. Daddy pings in at 6p.m. to calm and tidy household all ready for supper.

hattyyellow Mon 19-Oct-09 10:01:02

I have music on. I find it distracts my brain from getting so irritated as I can switch off the whinging. Youtube is good as I can relive my youth whilst they scream/cry/whinge etc.

Also I let them choose childrens songs on youtube which keeps them happy and entertains the baby watching them do the actions. I think they need distracting from their bad moods just as much as i do!

MaMight Mon 19-Oct-09 18:43:14

We do all eat together when dh gets home. It's not tooooo late though (6pm) and they have a mid afternoon snack. Apart from the fact that we love eating together and I think it is important, I am also reluctant to do two evening mealtimes. That seems like more work.

Television works wonders for my 3 yr old, but has no effect on my 18 mnth old. He prefers to cling to my legs, occasionally sinking his sharp little teeth into my thighs.

What they really want is my undivided attention, but it's just not possible when I'm clearing away the afternoon's bedlam to get supper on the table / boiling water in the kitchen / trying to find my running kit etc etc.

Today I zipped them into the trampoline and it worked reasonably well. They prefer it when I'm watching though so I had to keep shouting "oooh!" and "that was a good jump!" out of the kitchen window hmm.

YouLukaAmazing Mon 19-Oct-09 18:46:36

Message withdrawn

Romanarama Mon 19-Oct-09 19:07:52

Can you make supper in the morning so all you have to do is turn the oven on to heat it up, or get a slow cooker or something? But in the end I think you just have to grit your teeth for a year or so. toddlers want physical contact and that makes doing anything else very hard.

Mine will now sit and draw or do homework while I cook, or they'll watch Tom and Jerry on youtube, eat, spend ages in the bath, wrestle for a bit (my least favourite part) and then go to sleep. youngest, dc3, is 3.7.

CarGirl Mon 19-Oct-09 19:26:46

I have to 6pm is quite late for them at that age I found 5-5.30pm was okay.

Bigger snack mid afternoon or perhaps a starter of rice cakes or fruit about 5.30pm?

Kbear Mon 19-Oct-09 19:31:41

Buy a slow cooker, bung it all in when they're napping in the morning, and voila, 6pm, dinner is served.

Tonight we had casserole with root veg, lentils and black-eye beans, bunged in the pot at around 11am today, put the spuds on at 4.30, mashed them at 5pm, dinner at 5.15 (cub night so bit earlier than usual).

It will save your sanity, trust the bear!

whomovedmychocolate Mon 19-Oct-09 19:41:39

We read books in the bath when we are in a rush.

I put both of them in the bath together and shut and lock the door so one can't run away while waiting for the other.

We have competitive teeth brushing 'who can get the most bugalugs out of their teeth/who has the shiniest smile'.

And never let them eat after 5:30 - remember small children are like gremlins grin

haventsleptforayear Mon 19-Oct-09 19:50:38

We call it witching hour here too.

We don't eat til 7pm (big snack after school at childminder's) but the worst is 5-6pm after we have picked them up.

They whine for telly but have been watching it at childminder's so for the moment we are resisting while our strength holds out.

I agree about baths - ours only have a bath twice a week, but often I take up a beer and a magazine and it lasts an hour to an hour and a half!

Otherwise stories work well until they start wrestling! Will be interested in other tips.

Kbear Mon 19-Oct-09 19:52:35

Put the telly and peace will reign once more. It's only a hour.

<<Simples>> [Meerkat emoticon]

haventsleptforayear Mon 19-Oct-09 20:01:13

Yes but once the telly's on we literally can't drag them away for dinner and it all ends in tears.

Round here it's worth resisting the TV for peace at meal-times.

NorkyButNice Mon 19-Oct-09 20:04:00

God, the witching hour.

CBeebies between 5 and 6 is the only thing that saves me. DS has the same skill of clinging onto my legs whining "Mummy up" while I try to cook otherwise.

A glass of wine also helps the time pass more painlessly!

LittleSilver Mon 19-Oct-09 20:05:06

Another vote for "the witching hour"! (and there l was thinking I as soo original!)

What do I do?

- Remind myself that in an hour I ill be crashed out on the sofa
- Get them to clean teeth in the bath (fabulour time saver)
- This next one sounds a bit weird. We live in a very old house. It has this fabulous vibe about it - very family orientated. I used to remind myself at 530 that I as not the first mother to be trying to cook supper whilst stop children killing each other. It almost felt like i had these other, long ago mums in the kitchen with me, patting my back and saying don't worry, you are doing fine. Then my landlady told me a couple of weeks ago that just before WW1 a family lived in our 4 bed cottage with 14 children. Isn't that funny? Apparently there is a pic in the village of the all and I really to get a copy so I can put it up in the living room. I think she'd like it somehow.

LittleSilver Mon 19-Oct-09 20:07:49

Oh yeah, anyone else want to kill friends without children who ring for long extended chat at 6pm. I want to scream down the hone "WHAT PLANET ARE YOU ON THAT MAKES OU THINK THIS IS AN ACCEPTABLE TIME TO RING ME?"

Ahem. As you were ladies.

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