Every evening at about 5 o'clock, my family goes completely berserk.
The mornings go fairly smoothly, like the happy whirring gears of a wall clock. Kids up, diapers off, new clothes on, breakfast made with the assistance of my 3yo while baby Eva plays in the tupperware cabinet and Essie picks up her toys and/or listens to Librivox or watches Bill Nye, and then art time after the dishes are cleared.
Afternoons are full of either errands, visits or cleaning, with dancing/outside/pretend mixed in.
But the EVENINGS. Oy. Any mom understands how that particular time of day is like tears in a blender, with high-pitched wails and whines tossed in for effect. My poor spouse, bless him, comes home ready to unwind, and is met by a very happy dog and at least one wailing child, and starts in with inquiries about dinner. My baby is determined to yank my pants down in effort to scale me like a palm tree, my middle is generally crying for some sugary something she mayn't have, and my eldest literally dances and hollers to catch some attention in the frenzy. My last nerve is shredded, dipped in batter, fried, pounded with a hammer, and exploded for good measure. Can anyone relate?
Dinner usually works out best if daddy holds whichever small child is unhappiest while Essie is employed washing dishes or helping mommy chop vegetables in the kitchen. If we get lucky, someone, usually Naomi, takes a short nap on the couch while dinner fills the house with a relaxing aroma.
Tonight, I'm trying an experiment. While preparing dinner earlier without assistance with the kids tends to undercut the productivity of my day, I think a snack for everyone would be manageable. If I have any luck at all, it will keep "Grabby Graberton" (aka, Esther) from stealing all my ingredients because she's "starving half to DEATH here, for goodness' sake!"
Also, having something to DO will give everyone a bit of direction. This will hopefully how the effect of turning everyone into a jovial group of gamers, as opposed to a hungry bag of badgers. I admit, I'm skeptical of my own plan, but I do have a tiny, tentative scrap of hope warming my heart.