Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our Fussy Time

Ever since our twins were about two months old, my afternoons have been filled with crying, screams, fights, giggles, meltdowns, and playing. Early on Joshua and Abby Kate's fussy time was from about 4:30 to dinner time. To this day, their fussy/loud/fighting time is still from about 4:30 to dinner time.

Joshua and Abby Kate were very fussy babies in the afternoons. I always felt so bad when Jason would come home to a house filled with two babies screaming and crying. It never, ever failed! As soon as he would come home, he would take care of the babies and I would go and get dinner together.

When Joshua and Abby Kate got a little bigger, I thought that we would finally be moving out of the fussy afternoon time (no more colic or acid reflux). I was wrong! Around 4:30 or 5:00, there was always some kind of a meltdown. However, when the babies were a little bigger, they could express their excitement when Jason came home for the evening. He would keep the kids entertained for me while I fixed our dinner. (I think that this is why I absolutely LOVE cooking. It's kind of like my getaway for the day.)

Fast forward to present day and I find that Joshua and Abby Kate have just about had it come 4:30! I don't know what the cause is, but there is not a day that goes by that my house is calm at 4:30. There is always someone crying, fighting, running, yelling, or screaming. Sure there are times when the kids are playing nicely together, but they are SO UNBELIEVABLY LOUD!!! I really don't know what it is about that time of day, but I am open for suggestions. Do your kids have a time where it seems like it is just pure chaos? What do you do during those "fussy times"?


Joy said...

I think most all kids have a "fussy time". Let's face it, if allowed there is a certain time of every day that I get tired & would gladly have a "fussy time" if someone would indulge me :) Ours seems to be about the same time as yours. The boys are hungry & they've been home just long enough to start annoying one another. I try really hard to focus on them during that time. A lot of times, we play a board game or play something outside. I try to give them my undivided attention & we tend to survive. I have noticed that Meg is becoming a little agitated at that time of day too. But it's amazing how her mood instantly changes when she watches us play a game or play outside. I realize all this may be giving into their desire for attention, but it's totally worth it to me to keep the peace (& my sanity!) and in the end I really enjoy that time that we spend together before dinner, homework & ball practice begins!


Mine have always been the same way around the same time. I think by that point...they're just tired of being in the house (if we've been home a lot that day), they're hungry and they're ready for daddy to be home (WE ALL ARE!). I know my patience is wearing thin, too, by that point each day. Mine have gotten better in the afternoons than they used to be, but they still can have their "moments" during that time. If they are, I'll try to pull out a new toy, blocks, or something they haven't played with in awhile. I don't have a bunch of toys in the house b/c I rotate them in and out so they don't have so many inside that it's overwhelming. If worse comes to worse, we'll watch a few minutes of a video to calm down just so I can start on dinner and not lose my mind. :)

Jamey said...

Our experience is the same time. My mom said that is the hardest part of the day for most moms.

Jess said...

We go through the same thing....EVERY DAY! It's that hour or two before dinner. I need to be busy making dinner and my 3 kids are busy being loud, wild, and demanding their mommy's attention. When my husband gets home I'm sure I always look desperate because he's become smart and immediately says, "What can I do to help." Thank God for that moment! My fix in extreme cases is using the t.v. as a sedative. I hate to admit it but I do it on occassion if the kids won't stay out from under my feet while I'm trying to cook. Aidan had a severe burn on his hand because I tried to let him play in the kitchen while I cooked when he was 8 months old. It just doesn't mix. The other day I got out the playdough in the play room (putting it on cookie sheets to help keep the mess somewhat contained) during my time to make dinner. That was great. Other times, I get coloring books, work books, puzzles, etc. and put them up at the island so the kids can be with me without being in the kitchen.

Sunny said...

Thank you all so much for letting me know that I am not alone in this! Somehow it makes me feel a little better! I can't wait for it to get warmer outside! That is really our saving grace. I think that I am going to move the van out of the garage today, so that the kids can ride their bikes around with the door shut (since it is so frigid outside). Hopefully that will help burn off some of their energy.

Jess, Jackson actually just got a burn a couple of weeks ago on the stove. I was trying to get dinner ready (so that we could eat at a reasonable time) and Jason was working later than usual. I feel so bad about it and I have vowed to not even start dinner until Jason is home now. It means that we have a much later dinner time, but I'm not taking any other chances with Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sunny. Andrew gets really grumpy when he is hungry (usually around 4). I don't want to "spoil his dinner" as my mom used to say, but I do let him have a small snack if I can tell he really needs it. I usually make him eat a yogurt or fruit. This lets him make it til dinner. (Phillip seems like he gets shaky, maybe has low blood sugar when he goes more than 3 hrs without eating, so I think Andrew is going to take after him)!! A little Noggin helps, too!

chesley said...

I agree right before dinner is the hardest. Usually, I'm just getting home & I need to start dinner even though I'd rather sit & play. Grant has gotten better about occupying himself, but Claire will just stand between my legs & cry. I often put her in her highchair & give her some puffs or some cheese just to occupy her until dinner time. I've done the playdoh thing too, but Grant always wants me to help him so it's not our best fix.

I dread thinking that it will only get more difficult as they get older & we have ball games & practices to get to shortly after dinner and homework to do before making us even more rushed!