They call it the witching hour, I call it temporary insanity. Maybe you’ve heard of it… it’s this amazingly magical time of day where the sweetest, calmest, smiley-est baby becomes…how do I put this lightly?… a screaming ball of crazy screaming fussy crying anxiety-provoking banshee screams.

Sounds fun, no?

Obviously not all babies have a witching hour, though mine does. It’s a form of colic and can last a few months all the way up to a year. In our house, the witching hour starts every single night somewhere between 6-7pm and lasts anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. Most nights  it’s just no-reason-fussy-crying that can be eventually calmed by holding her close and dancing in the kitchen until she falls asleep. Other days, it’s no-reason-fussy-crying for a good hour or 3 while we anxiously run down the list of what could be wrong…

  • too hot?
  • too cold?
  • diaper change?
  • hungry?
  • tired?
  • too much sleep?
  • bored?
  • gassy?
  • burpy?
  • uncomfortable?
  • pacifier?
  • smelly feet?
  • bad hair day?
  • ugly pajamas?
  • momma looked at you funny?
  • what? what? WHAT!?!

…and usually by the time we’ve tried everything twice, she’s completely worn herself out.

But then, oh man, this past Sunday happened. I tense up just thinking about it…my eardrums are still trying to repair themselves and my tick has finally slowed to a less noticable pace. It was the mother of all mother fucking witching hours, landing smack dab in the middle of Sunday night family dinnertime. It was just me and Summer, Scott was smart and chose to stay home for a little quiet time. And as soon as we left our house, it began. She screamed all the way TO my parents’ house. She screamed the whole time we were AT my parents’ house. She screamed the whole way home FROM my parents’ house. Oh, was it fun. I think I remember once upon a time telling someone that, no, she doesn’t like the car, she usually cries, but I’ve learned to tune it out, you know?

Ha. Ha. Hardy. Ha.

Oh you silly overly-confident momma, there was no tuning this one out.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so I just ended up singing at the top of my lungs the whole way home, “I’M SINGIIIIIIIIIIIIIING! I’M IN A STORE AND I’M SIIIIIIINGING!” like a looney mad woman over and over again because for some reason my frantic mind decided at that moment to channel my inner Buddy the Elf to try to distract her and stop her crying. I sounded like an idiot and it totally didn’t work. And of course the second I pulled back in my driveway, she passed out cold.

I can only imagine what Scott was thinking when I walked in the house. I was frazzled, spastic, twitching, nerves shot, jaw clenched, eyes bulging out of my face, knuckles white from vice-gripping the steering wheel for so long, hair all a mess, torn shirt, dirt swiped across my cheek, (ok, that may be a slight exaggeration but I swear that’s how I remember it) carrying this:

He must have thought I was losing my mind. Little did he know I had already lost it somewhere between Northbrook and Skokie.



Filed under ridiculousness

16 responses to “bewitched

  1. Oh man, I remember that. Claire’s “witching hour” lasted from 7pm-2am EVERY night for almost three months (yes, it was colic). I have no advice for you as I am the mommy who would cry WITH her baby because I couldn’t think of anything else I could do. I am wishing and praying that BebeDeux doesn’t go through this.

    Hang in there — I know it can be frustrating to hear this over and over again, but it *does* get better.

  2. and here I am thinking bewitching hour was only for me. Who knew babies had it too 😉

    Your doing a great job momma!

  3. Cari

    oh Bre has that….ours is between 5-7…so I feel your pain!!

  4. Wow. -sanity hugs- I hope I didn’t do that to my mom.

  5. Okay I laughed when I read this, but I hope this ends soon.Baby boy only seems to have meltdowns at home, while acting like a perfect angel in public, so he makes me look like a total liar if I ever mention he’s being difficult.

  6. Aww that sounds horrible! I hope it ends soon – that must be so frustrating!

  7. Kelly

    Oh sweet lord I feel you. Liv has the same thing and it’s AWVUL. only thing that’s worked for us? Happiest baby on the Block. I shit you not, it almost always works within 10-15 minutes. Except instead of the shushing, I stand next to a running faucet or use the strong rainstorm noise on WhiteNoise Lite for iPhone. Try the 5 S’s. I didn’t buy the book or DVD. Just googled what it was and went with it. Swaddle, suck, side/stomach (hold them on,) sway (pr bounce,) and shush (noise.) Liv hates all these things separately, but combine them and she is OUT

  8. Is it bad I’m laughing while I read this because we are dealing with out own little witching hour as I write this…and he’s only 2 weeks old! Oh yeah, 8pm rolls around and it’s a 2 hour “you must pay attention to me NOW” until 10 and then like magic it’s over. My lovely husband takes him during this time since there would be now way in hell I could keep my marbles after a whole day of being Mommy.

    Can I suggest some alcohol? Calms frazzled nerves.

  9. Oh my, we can totally relate. Our 6 week old little girl has the same tendency from about 4:30-8:30pm. Any little thing sets her off! We do the dancing through the kitchen as well, usually to our Disney tunes turned way up loud! There are some nights the only thing that helps is nursing and although I end up terribly sore from being a pacifier, at least we have some quiet time and our sanity!

  10. oh man that sounds rough (although like the others, you do write about it so amusingly)–i hope it gets better!

  11. That sounds so stressful! I hope it ends soon, for everyone’s sake! It must give her a sore throat to cry for so long, and you just might need to invest in some ear plugs soon.

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  13. m@7.7.11

    long time reader, first time commenter and i love you for posting this. it’s 1:10 am right now and my 11 week old daughter has been awake aince 2:30 pm. she is so overtired, she came around the bend to wide awake, and now she can’t stay settled long enough to do the one thing we all want and need: some damn sleep.
    she also lost her mind in the car tonight. she likes to scream bloody murder until her little face turns into a beet and she has to gasp for het next breath. this is especially fun when you live 15 minutes north of civilization and get to travel a country highway while this is happening, and there ain’t NOOO effin’ way i’m pulling ovet and hoppin’ into the backseat when the peeps from deliverance could be ready to kidnap me/shoot me/steal my car.

  14. Jaime, I just wanted to share that my pediatrician recommended trying to put Baby Boy to sleep a little before the craziness begins- ours is around 6-9pm. So around 5 I start trying to get him to sleep and usually I can manage to get him napping around 5:30-7 (even if that means I’m walking around to keep him asleep) and it has really really helped stop the madness! I found the key is really to start ahead of time because once the fussiness begins it’s pretty much a lost case….good luck!

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