Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Daylight Savings Time Sucks

We don't like daylight savings time very much around here.

You see, we have two little boys, and it's important to keep a schedule, for them and for us. Part of that routine is getting them to bed around the same time each night, roughly 7:30. The ritual starts earlier about an hour earlier, with a final bout of playing, shooing them upstairs, getting them in their pajamas (no easy task with flailing limbs), brushing teeth, final pees in the potty, filling the humidifiers, fetching them last swigs of water, locating lost woobies (blankets), reading them books and singing.

Whew! No wonder Michelle and I are so wiped out by the time little heads finally meet the pillow.

Anyway, a major ploy, or proxy, in the it's-time-to-go-to-bed rite is to announce that it's dark outside. After all, darkness is a universal icon for nighttime, and nighttime in this household has been drilled like a sergeant's order as bedtime. It's easy to show, easy to understand, and easy to enforce.

And, in winter, it makes for a (relatively) easy way to begin the bedtime dance.

In Iowa, the sun is well below the horizon by the time 6:30 rolls around, even in November. So, beginning then, our lives are made that little bit simpler by the change of seasons.

But then daylight savings time comes and wrecks our best laid plans. "Spring forward!" the supporters exuberantly cry, anxious for that precious extra hour of daylight to get started on spring planting, play outside or drive home in waning daylight. Us? That extra hour of daylight means that it's no longer dark at 6:30 – not even close, in fact. Now, our base argument of darkness = bedtime no longer reads true. We can see it, and the boys can, too. It's harder to convince them it's time to get ready for bed.

And, it's only going to get worse. By late June, when it will stay light here in Iowa until past 9, it will be all but impossible to coax the children to bed at their normal times, with the sun practically blazing through the blinds in the house. Good luck coaxing Natty and Isaiah to sleep when neighbors' children are happily shrieking outside. (How do they do it in Iceland? Inquiring minds want to know.)

I remember this was a trial last summer. But at least Isaiah was not even 2, and he got sleepy in the early evening no matter what was going on around him. But he's not even napping regularly nowadays, and Nathaniel? ... well, that one resists sleep as if it were a disease (and just like his daddy did). So, while others bask in the elongated days, here we brace for the backlash.

"Clocks fall back" never sounded so good.

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