Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tea Time

The witching hour hits our house hard nearly every day. From about an hour before my husband gets home from work until dinner is set on the table, the kids tend to be cranky, clingy, and bored. I've tried giving them snacks and setting up crafts with limited success, but it's still an unpleasant time of day. It always seems such a shame that, no matter how nice a day we've had, it has to end in tears.

Late one afternoon I was speaking with a friend from England who said she'd have to be going soon because it was almost time for her tea, and it got me thinking. The kids were playing blocks downstairs, so I sneaked up to the kitchen, prepared a couple cups of herbal tea, set out some bread I'd made with Meg earlier that day and a small pot of honey butter, put some instrumental music on the record player, turned off the lights, lit a candle, and invited the kids upstairs.

Excuse the chalk dust gracing our chalkboard tablecloth.

And it worked! Meg was thrilled to have her own china cup of real tea, and they both gobbled up the buttered bread with relish. We've made tea time a daily ritual for weeks now, and it's still met with pleasure by both kids every time. We sit in companionable quiet and are able to meet Dad with smiles when he walks in the door from work.

Sometimes I switch up the type of tea I offer or the snacks. Sometimes I do a stove simmer instead of the candle. Sometimes I read aloud from our nursery rhyme book instead of turning on the music. I always try to keep the mood quiet, pleasant, and calm.

Baking quick bread earlier that day.

Tea time has become a lovely ritual for us.


No comments: