Sunday, November 04, 2007

Daylight Savings Time.

I'm convinced our forefathers were evil. This Daylight Savings thing is proof of it. Why would you change the clocks twice a year and wreak havoc on parents everywhere? Oh, I know it was done for the farmers, but honestly, wouldn't the farmer do the same work regardless of what time the clock said? The rooster crows, you respond to it, right?

As a younger person, I embraced the fact that this hateful change occurred on Sunday. Most people had a day to adapt, me, I had the later Sunday schedule of my store that ensured I wasn't late for work on either side of the time change. Over the years, there have been instances of that one clock whose face was unaltered, resulting in me arriving at work an hour early. Fortunately, it never happened when we sprang forward.

When you don't have kids, the dreaded change can be tolerable. I am one of those people who has been awake for many clock changes. Perhaps it is my way of dealing with my dislike of it. Lately, as much as I'd like to be sleeping when the clock strikes one for the second time, I am awake.

When you have kids, though, you're forced to awaken earlier than you'd like. This is even more painful when the clock falls back in autumn. (the quote "Time waits for no man"? I am 100% assured it was the parent of a small child who said it). Gameboy (a/k/a 'the child who will not sleep') was thankfully born after the spring forward of 1996.

We were in for a surprise when the time came to push the clock back with an infant. I hadn't given the fall shift a moment's thought beyond the "goody, another hour's sleep" when his daycare provider (an angel among us, if ever there was one) asked me what I was going to do to adjust Gameboy's sleep schedule.

It wasn't an interrogation, more like she was looking for ideas. Christina's son was the veteran of one time change, being three months older than Gameboy. She was asking everyone she knew how she could combat the change and get her baby on the rest of the world's schedule.

Mind you, in 1996, the majority of people didn't have internet access (and the mighty mighty Dogpile to search Alta Vista et al). If you didn't get to the library, you were SOL on ideas. Her question made me chuckle. Why should I adjust his schedule? I didn't even bother searching the web for ideas (and yes, we were veterans to the 'net back then). Somehow, I figured we'd get through it.

The following year, we went about our business the whole day without switching the clock. I'd been recently promoted, with the new assignment taking place November 1st. Ed and I bundled up Gameboy (ha, bundled up) and drove across Briggs Cheney and Bel Pre to find a way to work that did not involve the Beltway.

On the perimeter of the shopping center, there was an excellent restaurant and we had a late (very late) lunch, then visited my new store. It wasn't until we noticed all the stores closing down that we realized "Oops, we never changed a single clock."

Back then, it took about a week to get the child into a better sleeping pattern. Each year, when April came, we discovered that the clock sprang forward but that meant that an 8am weekend wakeup now became a 7am wakeup call. Yuck. Twice a year, it took about a week to get him adjusted to the new reading on that clock.

Eleven years on, the changes should be easier. We can roll with them, keep the kids up way past their normal bedtime and feed them later on Saturday night, so they don't awaken too early. Sunday morning, they can get up, get dressed and possibly entertain themselves.

One thing has not changed, despite everything we do to shift their internal clocks. We have 'the boy who does not sleep'. He does not for one moment consider the fact that maybe, just maybe, his parents prefer to sleep in.

He decided before 7am EST, that he HAD TO play games. First Ed, then me, then Ed again were awakened, because he wanted his Gameboy. Twenty minutes later, that wasn't enough, he wanted to play the Gamecube and did his best to roust Ed out of bed, because the Gamecube is in our bedroom. Why? We'd found him playing the thing at 2am when it was located elsewhere in the house, so we put it where he couldn't do that. The Gameboy is well hidden when not in use for the same reason.

Time waits for no man? More like time waits for no game addict, especially when there is an extra hour available to play the darn games.

Thank God we bought coffee yesterday.

2 People talked back:

Gypsydoodlebug said...

BooBerry was up at 7 as well. Ugh. Kids suck.

Anonymous said...

I set the clocks back early so that I would stay up late so that I could sleep late. Didn't work! YUCK and I'm not a kid!! I got up at 7 too and I was up until after 12:45 (before the time change) Which is really late for me!

I hate this time of the year I have taken two naps this weekend! Not productive!