Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Piranha Hour

When I first started working where I am now, my co-worker would always talk about piranha hour. At that time, all I had was a six month old darling little baby that I couldn’t wait to get home to. I had no idea what she was talking about.

Basically, piranha hour is that first hour when you get home from work. The kids are trying to tell you all the fun things they did at school that day, the hub is trying to talk to you about his day and all you want to do is get your butt in the door and upstairs to your dear friend Calgon. Think about a piranha feeding frenzy. It’s the same idea, only not so bloody. So see? With a six month old, I had no idea what she meant.

Then CJ started school. I would have to pick Diva up from daycare, then drive back to town to grab CJ from my dad and get home so I could hurry up and make some dinner. Even then it wasn’t so bad. I had ten minutes with Diva in which she would tell me who spit on whom, who had an accident and who had THREE timeouts that day. Then we would get CJ and he would tell both of us who spit on whom, who had an accident and who got THREE warnings and had to go sit in the principal’s office. By the time we got home, the kids were done telling me everything that they needed to tell me, so I could come in the house and make dinner without much fiasco.

That has all changed now that they are both in school. And I truly understand why Co-worker calls it piranha hour. It’s not uncommon for me to have three conversations being directed at me at any one point in time. I spend the first fifteen minutes home clenching my hands to my sides just so I don’t start screaming and ripping my hair out.

However, it’s not as bad as it could be. See, I only work part time now. Monday through Thursday I get two blissful hours all to myself before the kids get home. After that, I get two hours with just the kids who will stop the feeding frenzy with a simple reminder that Mommy can only listen to one conversation at a time. But on the rare day (yesterday) that I have to work all day, it’s like it shifts into overdrive.

Most days, I find it all kind of comical. Especially when CB gets it when he gets home from work. I like being the outsider on the conversation. By the time he rolls in from work, the kids are tired of talking my ear off and are ready for a new audience. When they hear the doorknob turn, they are off and running. All I can hear is a chorus of “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”. And I know just how he feels.

So yesterday was just a very blatant reminder of how much I love my new schedule of getting time to myself before anyone else is home. Because I think that that down time is insanely important to my well-being. I had all these insane plans for what I was going to do with my extra time off (Exercise! Make gourmet meals! Bake cookies every day!), but in the six months or so that I’ve been doing it, all I’ve gotten accomplished is reading some really good books and taking a couple of naps. Maybe I’ll get to the point where I want to spend the whole afternoon cooking. But maybe I won’t. And maybe just the fact that I’m a little bit more relaxed when dealing with the famdamly is worth missing out on a couple of Chez Carrie creations.

6 comments:

Friglet said...

We used to call that "witching hour", when the kids are all going crazy, the baby's fussy and your trying to make dinner.

Yeah, I don't miss those days. ;)

Jen said...

Oh great. It has a name!!! I only work to fill in for a secretary when she goes on vacation. The worst part for me is the expectation that everything I do when I'm home will be done when I'm working.
What?
Actually, it was nice this week. My whole family was home sick. Being at the office was INFINITELY better.

baseballmom said...

Oh my gosh, I can SO relate. That is the perfect name for it! It's to the point now that I ask each kid how their day was, then while they eat their snack, I get 10 minutes to sit and read the paper, or whatever, and they are not allowed to ask me for anything in those 10 minutes. It makes a big difference, because even though I only work part time, I need to unwind for a few minutes.

Elleoz said...

I too can relate and my kids aren't even in school yet. But at this point I think I would talk talking to me about 3 different things at once, to the incessant whining and crying for 30 minutes before I can getthe hamburger helper on the table.

You mean it gets worse? Maybe I will run away now.

Pendullum said...

Love it the Piranha hour...
Still happens even though I am a SAHM...
They all want a piece of you... at the same time....

Toni Marie said...

I'm sure at the end of the day they prefer a sane relaxed mother to cookies and an insane crazy britney type mother