The Witch Within

Have you heard the term “witching hour” before?  I’d heard it used to describe that dreaded evening time when kids melt down, often around bedtime.  Folklore actually describes it as a time of night associated with supernatural events.

Almost correct.

As a mom of young kids I now know that witching hour actually describes what I become as I make dinner for my kids, coerce them to eat it, clean up after such dinner (that they may or may not have eaten), break up fights, get kids in baths and pajamas, read books, say prayers … and finally, finally into bed.

Wait, the witching hour is not yet finished, at least not for me.  Not until the wee ones have finally ceased their nightly ritual of sneaking downstairs or asking for water or ‘one more kiss’ (four times each).

In our house there is a joke that ‘mom turns into a witch after 8:00′ (our kids’ bedtime).  My three year-old recently asked me, ever so seriously, if I really did become a witch each night?  I lied.  I told her I didn’t.

The truth is, my dear, mommy turns into a witch at about 5:00 every evening.

The truth is, my dear, mommy turns into a witch at about 5:00 every evening.

Maybe it’s low blood sugar; maybe it’s low intolerance to chaos; maybe it’s too much clock-watching and waiting for my other half to return home to provide back-up and respite.

Whatever the reason for the transformation, those double-stuffed Oreos I sneak in the pantry while preparing dinner temporarily hide the emerging green skin and wart on my nose.  All the while, my handy broom winks at me, quietly beckoning an evening ride to escape.

The sugar rush from the cookies helps me regain some composure, but it does not completely dismiss the stereotypical inclination to scarf down annoying children that excessively whine, cry or fight.

We always knew there was truth to those creepy Grimm’s Fairytales, with their gruesome stories of child-eating witches and such.

Fortunately, my husband usually returns from work at about the time my figurative black, pointed witch’s hat graces my head like a tiara while uncontrollable cackling erupts from my throat.

Not quite as outnumbered now, the witch within stays alert and close to the surface yet dormant enough so as to not permanently traumatize the little ones.

Not quite as outnumbered now, the witch within stays alert and close to the surface yet dormant enough so as to not permanently traumatize the little ones.  Her vehemence slices through at times though, hurrying along the drawn out bedtime routine, but feigning Glenda the Good Witch as I kiss their little noses (yet again that night).

I’ve noticed this transformation reverses — coincidentally — after the kids have fallen asleep.  I tuck away the dowdy black dress and boots as my frazzled nerves gratefully calm down.  Once again I am the kind, loving mom who coos over her sleeping munchkins.  (As long as none of them wake up!)

Now I can enjoy a book or podcast while indulging in a steamy hot bath.  The moment to breathe and focus on myself has arrived. 

The witching hour is alive in me!

The witch within can rest quietly for the rest of the night.  My broom and flying monkeys await nearby, knowing they soon will be needed again … probably around dinner time tomorrow.

Oh yes indeed, the witching hour is alive and well in our house — in me.

I wonder, what is hiding within you? 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Anne Sigmund says:

    Love this, Stephanie!

    1. stephanieherb says:

      Thank you for letting me know, Anne! Writing is a good outlet for me so that I can better refrain from scarfing down my crazy kids, especially in the evenings! ha ha

  2. Maureen says:

    Oh my gosh Steph ! This is awesome and even without little ones in the house I can totally relate to the “ witching hour” 😱
    Thank you for sharing !!! Hugs sweet mama

    1. stephanieherb says:

      Thank you! So glad you appreciated it. Good head’s up that the witching hour may be life-long! I hope you my thoughts continue to be relatable (or at least amusing) for you. 🙂

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