M. Giant's
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Saturday, November 07, 2009  

Fall Back

I remember how psyched I used to get about daylight savings time, especially that one Sunday morning in the fall when you get to sleep in an extra hour for no reason. That whole day is great, actually. You keep getting that hour every time you look at a clock you haven't changed back yet, or the first time you get in your car. If I could figure out how to make my cell phone clock not switch automatically, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

But there is one thing that everybody knows is thoroughly incompatible with DST, and that is a small child. Before they can read a clock, they have two ways of knowing what time it is. One way is to be told by a parent. The other way is their biological clock, which overrides the parent every time.

I know, the cliché is that while the parents look forward to an extra hour of sleep, the kid wakes up Sunday morning at what is now six o'clock, before the sun is even up. We are lucky enough that M. Edium is developing the invaluable skill of sleeping in on weekends, so that's not what happened. It's the evenings that are doing us in.

Ever since we got back from vacation, the weekday routine is that he comes home, has dinner, it gets dark, we hang out for an hour or two, he goes to bed. This week, that's changed. He comes home, has dinner while it gets dark, we hang out for an hour or two, he goes to bed. We knew enough to get him started on his bedtime routine "early" the first night, but I think we rushed him a bit. I think that's the only explanation for the fact that one night this week around bedtime, his tiredness hit him in such a way as to transform him into a miniature Rage zombie, screaming and crying so hard that he made himself throw up. And then also another night this week.

Sometimes I used wonder what it would be like if we just skipped bedtime and let him crash when he's ready. Just forget all the battles to get him in his pajamas and brush his teeth, and wait for him to say, "I'd like to go to bed now, please." After this week, I know what it's like: 45 minutes after his normal bedtime, he starts saying things to us that if Trash or I said them to the other (adjusted for age inflation, of course) it would be the end of our 18-year marriage.

Saturday morning, after Friday night's meltdown (when we had people over, as an added bonus), I apologized to him for not getting him to bed early enough and letting him get so tired he couldn't even deal with himself. I also promised to get him to bed earlier that night. But then the neighbors invited us over for s'mores, an hour before his usual bedtime and a half hour before when we'd planned to actually put him to bed.

He was an angel the entire time. Kind of amazing what an entire litany of dark threats will do.

But although he didn't throw a wobbler, I could tell he was tired by how quickly he fell asleep after I left his bedroom. I'd go on here, with some more philosophical speculation and maybe a punchline, but the truth is it's 9:30 on a Saturday night and I am whacked. I don't know what I'm going to do when I have to give this hour back in the spring, because I could really use another one now.

posted by M. Giant 7:39 PM 1 comments


To tell you the truth, my nephew doesn't have much of a bedroom routine, at least not on our part. His bedtime is 8:30 PM on school nights, he's in kindergarten, and 9 on weekends. But, just because we put him to bed, doesn't mean he goes to sleep. He usually stays up another half hour to an hour coloring and reading, before he falls to sleep. You'd think he'd sleep late because of this, but he's almost always up way before any of us and on the computer or watching one of his videos. Getting him to eat is another matter. He won't eat anything, but Mac-n- cheese, unless you feed him, and right now he goes into jealous fits because my sister is pregnant with his baby brother, and any time we talk about him too much, he acts out to get attention. This is the little gem he gives us, -sad face- "I'm sad because I think when the baby is born you won't love me anymore." Now when he first said this maybe he meant it, but now he says it to get attention. So, you should be comforted that you have such a well behaved little one, no matter the time of the year. :D:D

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 8, 2009 at 10:22 AM  

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