Welcome to the first Multi-Coloured Blog Swap, the brain child of Trouble Doubled.
This is my first ever guest post, written by Jennifer at Jennifer's Little World, Jennifer has two gorgeous children in Harry and Mia, who are round about the same age as my little ones, but! As well as writing some fab posts about parenting, Jennifer also manages to inspire with gorgeous craft posts and activities for little people.
Jennifer has kindly written a post about 'the witching hour', I think pertinent for the majority of parents. So, without further ado!
So here are a few ways that I have found to make those long hours bearable, and sometimes even enjoyable.
If I can, I get outside. Even a quick trip to the shops or the post box can fill a large chunk of the afternoon by the time I’ve got everyone to the toilet, nappies changed, handbag and keys located, coats and shoes on, babies into pushchairs and so on. Everyone feels better for some fresh air, toddlers can burn off some energy if you can persuade them to walk, and I’ve found that at this time of day babies are quite chilled out in the pushchair.
If I can’t get outside, I raid the toy cupboards and wardrobes for toys that haven’t been out for a while. I keep some toys rotated away, so when I get them out they receive a lot more attention than those which surround us every day. I try to find something that they can both play with, or that at least won’t harm the baby when she chews on it. Sometimes the living room ends up a sea of coloured plastic, but at least everyone is contented.
I've also discovered that, strange as it sounds, even just moving to a different room in the house can really perk babies up. I forget sometimes that they get bored of the same four walls, and taking their toys to a different location can work wonders.
Snacks are another helpful diversion. We try and eat our dinner together at about 6pm, which is quite late for little ones, so at about 4.30pm we have snack time. My preferred snacks are those which are made up of lots of small pieces that take a while to eat, especially for babies that are just developing their pincer grip. Think raisins, cereal, halved grapes or other small pieces of cut fruit. I sometimes also use this opportunity to make a start on the dinner preparations while everyone is strapped into a highchair out of the way.
Finally, sometimes there comes a point where it just has to be the television. Yes, I was one of those smug mothers-to-be who was never going to let her children watch television. That lasted about as long as using cotton wool and water instead of baby wipes - I have found the television invaluable at this time of day. I can’t get my little ones to sit down and watch it, but somehow it just seems to calm them down a bit and they will play happily with it on in the background.
So there you have it, my ways of getting through those long afternoons!