Is it just me, or are the hours between 5pm and bedtime just CRAZY?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-04-2003, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
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My 13 mo DS and I have been having just the BEST days lately. He is growing into this wonderfully curious, snuggly toddler. But the hours between 5pm and bedtime (usually around 8:00) are just the WORST!

I respond to his needs all day long and very rarely make him wait to even be picked up. Well, every once in a while I like to actually CLEAN up after I feed him (HA!). Today he just would not let me do it. He kept sitting in the pile of food and dirt I was trying to sweep up.

He also starts getting into everything around this time, *whining* (don't know any other way to put it), getting quickly agitated, etc. He just turns into this big, 'ol hunk of NEED at this time.

How about yours? Are they the same way at the end of the day? Someone on line here once referred to this time as the 'crack smoking monkey hour'. I would love to hear how your end of the day goes.:
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#2 of 9 Old 03-04-2003, 10:54 PM
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Does your ds still nap in the day?

My ds is 33 months and has been skipping out on naps lately, so yes, for us the hours from 5-bedtime are somedays grueling, as we both are fighting to stay a wake and be responsive to each other (this is with being awake since 7am and not going to bed until 7:30 or 8 pm). I try to use mindful parenting to get me through, but like today I was sooo tired I just couldn't "be there" at all so I let my ds sit and watch Sesame Street for a whole hour and just sat there with him and vegged.
(this is not normal for us as SS is a treat only here and there-and never watching the whole entire hour.)

I hate when I am tired and can't be the mother I want to be so I try to recognize that and plan my days accordingly if no naps are in sight.

I find outside play really makes a difference..... to just get out there and get some fresh air during this time if weather permitting...really helps....

Free To Be~
"Living is learning and when kids are living fully and energetically and happily they are learning a lot, even if we don't always know what it is."
~John Holt 

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#3 of 9 Old 03-05-2003, 01:10 AM
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Since I work outside the home 5 days a week, the hours between 5 and bedtime are grueling--and wonderful--for a different set of reasons. Grueling because we come home, need to prepare and eat dinner, and spend our main chunk of quality time together. Wonderful, well, beacuse of the latter. My son is 2.5 years old, does nap at c his child care, and that is the problem. He now stays up way to late because hereally could do w/o the nap. But I guess the cmpany of other children really does tire him out, and he needs to crash for a late afternoon nap. So, now he usually doesn't go to bed until I do! Yeah, so grueling, because by the time the day ends, I've had a total of 0 hours, 0 minutes, and 0 seconds to myself! Literally!
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#4 of 9 Old 03-05-2003, 01:01 PM
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Um, my 18 mo old dd actually goes to bed somewhere between 4:45 and 6 o'clock. She feeds once or twice in the night and sleeps until 6 or 7. And she usually naps for an hour and a half in the day. As soon as she starts getting snaky, she's off to bed. I realize this wouldn't work for everyone, since a lot of tots on this routine would probably start getting up at 3 am! Right now it works for us, although in September I will start working full-time outside the home, and I'm worried that I'll only ever see my babelet on weekends.
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#5 of 9 Old 03-05-2003, 02:28 PM
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For my 13 month old dd, it really depends on her naps. I think she is trying to transition to 1 nap a day, but sometimes she still doesn't get enough night sleep to take only 1 nap. On those days, yep, the 5-8 time frame is miserable. If she gets a good nap and slept well the night before, life is grand in the evenings. I've given up making dinner from scratch, though. I try to throw together healthy, but almost "ready-to-eat" meals and that helps. My dh is a university professor and teaches late, so it's usually just dd and I in the evenings. She's happier on weekends when daddy's home.
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#6 of 9 Old 03-05-2003, 02:48 PM
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For us, meltdown time usually occurs as we're starving and I'm trying to make dinner - about 5:45-6:45. Dh tries to take dd (also 13 months) upstairs to play, basically away from the kitchen, but it seems that during that time she wants ME and only me! It's hard, because I enjoy cooking, and I want all of us to have a good healthy meal. Sigh...lots of times what we'll do is I get the meal started, and dh has to finish up. Often she'll be okay as long as I'm playing with her.

Sometimes she can be distracted by small bits of rice cakes...

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#7 of 9 Old 03-05-2003, 11:59 PM
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Dd's bedtime is at 8p.m., and we refer to the 7-8p.m. time period as "frantic hour." Each night without fail, Tsuneo has an outburst of frenetic activity- running, climbing, and jumping everywhere. This is also the time of day when her emotions are the most volatile. She is very happy and giggly for the most part, but becomes easily frustrated and has meltdowns over things which normally would not bother her. We have tried making bedtime one hour earlier, but all it resulted in was dd waking up earlier and having frantic hour from 6-7p.m., so we went back to the 8 o'clock bedtime. We figure this burst of activity and intense emotion must be something she needs to wind down for the evening.

Amy, mom to Tsuneo, 09/12/01
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#8 of 9 Old 03-06-2003, 04:18 PM
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5:00pm is witching hour here. DH is in the kitchen trying to organize/rearrange/sometimes wash last nights dinner dishes (so we have room to prepare that night's dinner), I am in the kitchen trying to figure to what to serve DS so that he can toss it onto the floor, the cat is screaming (literally) for his dinner and the dog is running around underfoot, ready for hers too.

I work 3 days a week and those days are the worst because after getting DS from school, we have about 10 minutes before witching hour kicks in and that is usually spent nursing. (Thank god for at least being able to sit.)

But for awhile there, DS was waking up from his nap (around 3ish) on my days off in the worst mood! He was an absolute bear from 3-5. I was going nuts. I finally realized we had to get out of the house for those 2 hours if he was in one of those moods, or else we'd both be miserable.

But after witching hour, DS gets his bath and is usually pretty happy to run around and play till bedtime at 7:30ish.

Crazy stuff!
Jenn & Ben 2 years old!

Jenn, perpetually tired mom to DS(9): DD(4.5): DD(2) :
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#9 of 9 Old 03-06-2003, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, everyone, for your responses. I knew this must be a bad time for a lot of moms, but it really helps to hear the gorey details! Knowing what the inside of your houses look like during witching hours really makes me know I'm FAR from being alone!

apmamma&velochic-Yes, DS has always been 'sleep challenged' but he's always been a napper. Lately he hasn't been taking his afternoon nap and is a bear and wants to sleep at 6pm! I think he is starting the transition to one nap a day-but I think we have a ways to go until it looks anything like a regular schedule. I do find that two good naps (the afternoon one not being too late in the afternoon) helps him sleep better at night. And I've read that this is the case with a lot of children.

mammastar-I'm amazed at how well is seems your babe sleeps at night with going to bed so early. That's amazing! And I'm sure it helps avoid most of that nightime craziness.

Mere-DS usually only wants me too. And especially if I am in the middle of taking something hot outta the oven, having the basement door open, or carrying something particularly dangerous and heavy! I swear that my DS knows when I physically CAN'T pick him up-and wants me more than usual then.

Bensmom-totally crazy stuff. Ditto over here.
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