Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Arsenic Hour

If you've children, you know what I'm talking about. For those of you who are not blessed with little darlings of your own, I'll explain:

Peak calls to poison control centers occur between 4 and 10 p.m. In fact, dinnertime is such a busy time of day for most families, that many times parents do not supervise their children as closely as usual. This is a common time of day for childhood poisonings to occur and has led poison center staff to call this time of day "the arsenic hour." link

In this house, it occurs between 3:30 and 5:00 or so. The boys come home within minutes of each other, both hungry and wanting a snack. They each immediately remove their clothes and leave them where they land. They both have ideas about what they want to do, or in Drew's case, not do. (homework!) Despite his protests, we do the homework. Then he dashes off to watch a video. Blake dumps out a couple tubs of toys onto the toyroom floor. The very toyroom that I cleaned up when he left for school. The house is trashed, I am trying to make supper, and if you know me, you know that I like to cook, but I am not, in fact, a tidy cook. The boys have held it together all day at school, and they need to decompress. This usually results in some misbehavior (and subsequent timeout) I look at the clock and realize it is almost five o'clock. I try to have the house looking decent when Eric comes home. So I begin the daily ritual of the mad-dash speed clean. There is something invigorating about making your house go from looking like a tornado hit it, to presentable in approximately 30 minutes. At this point,the boys generally are settled and igore my buzzing about. Unless Blake is in a particularly onery mood. If so, he will follow me around yanking on the vaccuum cord, or unplugging it while I sweep. This is such a joy to me. lol.

By this time, Eric comes home, and the boys run to the door and yell, "Daddy!" and we live in a world of order once again.

Our cleaners and such are locked up, so we shouldn't have to call poison control, but mayhem does abound in this house during the so-called "Arsenic Hour". I do remember those commercials in the eighties that said, "Calgon, take me away!" and at the time it didn't make much sense. But now I get it. :)