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Saturday, January 05, 2008  

Day Break

I've written before about the measures we've taken to insulate our home over the winter months. In most cases, we've simply put some of that plastic shrink-wrap over the windows.

I say "simply," but it's not actually all that simple. We have Venetian blinds, so I have to either resign myself to leaving the blinds in the same position all winter or spend time cutting fiddly little holes in the plastic for the rod and the cord. Then I have to find the hair dryer, because that's the only time it ever gets used. It might be the only reason we own one. Trash always asks me why it takes to long to cover a window. I tell her it's like wrapping a Christmas present that you're going to have to look at twenty times a day for the next five months.

Plus you have to keep the postal packing tape handy to patch up all the holes M. Small keeps putting in them. He's a child driven by scientific curiosity, so he's always testing the amount of force you need to apply in order to puncture the plastic with various items. After a while, that window starts looking like a Christmas present you wrapped up to mail to someone but still have to look at twenty times a day.

For this reason, we decided against shrink-wrapping his (very large) bedroom window. But we still wanted to reduce that giant heat sink, so one evening a few weeks ago, we just hung up a few blankets and quilts from the window frame. It warmed the room up almost immediately, and when we went in to check on him late at night, it was nice and toasty and we didn't even worry about the fact that the only blanket he hadn't kicked off his bed was the one under him.

We did start to worry a little bit the next morning, when it was 9:00 a.m. and we hadn't heard him stir. He's normally a morning person, up before we are (or at least before I am), especially on weekend mornings like this one. So eventually Trash went in there just to make sure he wasn't dead.

He wasn't, and she solved the mystery. M. Small's bedroom window faces east (like ours does), so it's not unheard of for him to be awakened by the first rays of the morning sun as they filter through his closed blinds (like we're not). But at 9:00 a.m. on this bright December morning, those quilts on his window worked like blackout curtains, effectively turning his room into a small Vegas suite, albeit one without as many strippers.

Oh, and did I mention that we made this discovery at the beginning of a three-week break from his day care?

What this means is that when he sleeps in, I sleep in. So for me, it was like an early Christmas present (and birthday present, and anniversary present, for the next three years). The first few nights, I would make sure that the curtains were sealed against the next morning's light, as though I were the Renfield to his Dracula.

Trash disapproved. Apparently she's willing to wait until he's thirteen before she lets him start sleeping until noon. But then she's always been more patient than I am.

So we found a compromise. One of the blankets is pulled aside, and between that and his natural circadian rhythms, he's now usually awake by about 7:45 or 8:00.

Monday, he goes back to day care. How are we going to get him back on his regular schedule with its 7:00 a.m. wake up time? Well, tonight, as we were finishing up dinner, I threatened that if he left the table without being excused for a fiftieth time, I was going to put him to bed immediately. Unfortunately, he didn't seem to see that as a "threat" so much as an "offer," so when he did it again I had to follow through. And thus he was asleep two hours before his regular bedtime.

Something tells me that "up before 7:30 a.m." isn't going to be as difficult as "down until 6:00 a.m." for the next few days or so. Just in case, I'm debating secretly putting that curtain back in place. Trash might protest, but we can talk about it tomorrow, after I've had a good morning's sleep.

posted by M. Giant 8:43 PM 1 comments

1 Comments:

Thanks for the great idea! I'm going to set this up tonight when I get home!!

By Anonymous echaos, at January 7, 2008 at 4:14 AM  

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