Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Witching Hours

If you were to stop by our house for a visit these days, I would recommend that you NOT come between the hours of 5:00 – 7:00 pm.  The witching hours, as my sister, Martha, calls them, are when my normally kind, imaginative, helpful child becomes a brat of monstrous temperament.  Daily, he is almost always very unpleasant to be around then.  I’ve tried different approaches – I’ve tried ignoring him unless he is annoying a pet (this is my go-to witching hour attitude, as it gets the best results); I’ve tried distracting him with a better activity--peppy suggestions such as, Let’s go play upstairs! (sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t); I’ve tried getting angry (this doesn’t work well; Owen seems to get angrier himself in proportion to my anger); and I’ve tried time outs (which do not work at all with Owen.  How is it that the time out is so popular with parents?  How do they get their child to sit still and reflect?  Owen becomes a dervish in a time out and gets so ragey, that by the end of it, he is about 200 times angrier and apt to misbehave than he was when he earned the time out in the first place.  So ixnay on the time outs from here on in.)

I’m hoping it is just a last ditch vestige of the threenager, and that once he turns four the witching hours will change to a time during which we can dine peacefully and talk of things like books and future plans.  Ha.  I’d settle for two hours in which he isn’t flinging toys recklessly at my head, or whining, or hitting, or pinching.

Owen:  When I grow up I’m going to put lipstick on and go to work!
Me:  Well you might!  Or you could put on chapstick!
Owen:  And I’ll put shaving cream on my beard!
Me:  --

Owen:  Daddy shares all his food with me.  And mommy shares her water.
Me:  That sounds about right.

Owen, upon seeing Sean wear shorts for the first time this spring:  Dad, [wringing hands] why are your legs sticking out of your pants?!

Owen:  Mom, what are you doing?
Me:  I’m thinking.
Owen:  Oh.  Are you thinking about Lady Gaga?
Me:  --

I mentioned in a previous entry how Owen likes for me to tell certain stories about our pets over and over.  There is one I tell about the time I was living in my Philadelphia apartment and had a blue cupcake on a plate.  I turned around to get some milk, and Posy faceplanted into my cupcake, so that when I turned around, her face, whiskers, etc., were covered in blue.  Now when I tell this story to Owen, he adds, “And then Owen came in with many cupcakes!  A blue one all her own for Posy!  And chocolate cupcakes for Owen and Mommy!”  One time Sean was sitting with us, and added:  “And then Dad came in with even more cupcakes!”  But this made Owen angry!  (We have a lot of oedipal feelings in our household these days).  Owen said indignantly, “You weren’t there, Dad.  You were away…eating an onion.”  Ouch!

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