I can’t remember the first time I heard the phrase “witching hour.” Was it when one of my kids was screaming, the other one was spitting up on me, one kid was throwing his dinner on the floor, their father was “working” and a friend was trying to convince me that my angelic boys all turning into monsters at the same time was perfectly normal and there even was an expression for it?
Perhaps. Over the years, however, that phrase, its time of day and the behaviors that ensued, were always different, ebbing and flowing with the ages of my kids. Whether it was when one was toilet training (requiring patience of a saint), while the other one was taking off his diaper to try to be like his big brother (also requiring said patience) and the third was a having a fit because no one was paying attention to him. Or the “Mommy, I need help with my homework phase.” In the summer, my least favorite phase was the “everyone needs a bath after coming home from the pool because there is sand stuck EVERYWHERE and everyone is ove- tired and hopped up on ice cream.” Ahh, the memories.
More recently, as my boys have gotten older, I have discovered, much to my chagrin, that it is no longer the witching hour, but the witching afternoon-evening. Come Friday afternoon, full moon or not, my sweet boys transform into lean mean fighting machines. And I stand there, screaming my head off telling them to stop before someone gets hurt (no one hears me). I explain there is no time to take anyone to the emergency room (no one hears me). I plead with them to get along and that I had them close in age so they would be each other’s best friends (umm, still nothing). And as I am carrying on like a raving lunatic, with my hair getting grayer, the veins in my neck bulging, I realize why it is called the “witching hour” and not the “beauty queen hour “or the “ your-father-better-be-home-from-work-soon hour.” Because as I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I realize that hour is what it turns us moms into scary, crazy witches. SoI think it’s time for a new name! Anyone have ideas? Send them along!
Banji Latkin Ganchrow is a Teaneck resident and writer who enjoys traveling across the country by car with her husband and three sons. She is also the author of the blog holycrapimgonnabe40 and hopes to, one day, write a best-selling novel and appear on the Ellen Show.
By Banji Latkin Ganchrow