This hour has 222 minutes

If you’re a stay-at-home parent, or if you mind children during the day, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

It’s the hour that becomes excruciatingly, mind-numbingly long and understimulating as you wait in anticipation for the other adult to come home for the evening. Seconds tick, tick, tick by. You could swear that the minute hand just ticked in reverse. You start to notice individual dust motes floating through the air…and..your..brain…starts…toooo…meeeeelt…awaaaaayyyyy…….

In the photography/motion picture world, this time of day is generally referred to as the ‘magic hour’. For me, this waiting period is like Chinese water torture. It errodes my energy no matter how productive I’ve been all day. Never mind the piles of laundry I’ve managed to fold, the meal I’ve already made and the child I’ve kept alive, clothed and fed. This hour is my achilles heel. If I could drink some coffee to wake myself up…great! However, if I have a coffee now, I know I will have no hope of getting to bed at a healthy time at night.

What to do? Cue ’80’s dance party.

Throw on some MJ, grab the kid, and cha-cha-cha around the family room to “Billie Jean.” This is effective for two reasons. First, DS has NO idea what’s going on, BUT he thinks it’s hilarious and he starts giggling. A baby giggle can single-handedly drive the doldrum demons away. Second, the movement gets my circulation going which triggers my brain to wake up the rest of me, and I start to shake off the stupor.

Now, this whole exercise probably only uses up about 5 minutes of the hour in question before my arms get tired from hefting a 23 lb kiddo, and I start to feel like the baby is laughing at me not with me….but the effect is amazing, perhaps a touch magical. I literally feel lighter, happier and ready for the rush hour that is dinner, bath and bedtime.

So, what do you do with your in-between hour in the afternoon? Or, do you think I’m full of it, and there is no such thing? Tell me! I like reading opinions other than my own 🙂

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