Falling Back

Before I begin dog cussing the time change, I’d like to make an announcement: when we fall back, it is, in fact, the END of daylight savings time. Meaning: we are no longer in daylight savings time. Daylight savings time will begin in 126 days (but who’s counting?) Daylight savings time is not the act of changing your clocks, people. Just so we’re clear.

Joining the ranks of things I despise is falling back. I literally have been dreading it for weeks. I mourn the loss of daylight savings time and all that it means: summer, bright evenings, sunshine and warm, dry weather. But aside from the fact that I am not a fan of fall or winter, the time change makes me irate. Why, you may ask? Who doesn’t like an extra hour of sleep, you say? PEOPLE WHO DON’T GET AN EXTRA HOUR OF SLEEP AND WHOSE DAY STARTS AN HOUR EARLIER, THAT’S WHO!! Or more specifically, people with small children. I cannot for the life of me figure out why people with kids under school age welcome this time change. Children do not give a rat’s ass if we set the clocks back an hour. Those little nuggets are operating on their OWN personal clocks. Our clocks be damned. And besides that fact, the sun shines earlier in the morning which is a major tip off to little people who can’t even READ clocks that it’s time to rise and shine. It’s lose, lose if you ask me. And then mix in the pitch darkness at 5:30 pm and I’m a super grouch. If I had it my way, it would be summer all year long and wouldn’t get dark until 9:00 at night. I’d forgo the holidays altogether if perpetual summer was available as an option. Don’t get me started on the holidays either…November 1st and Target has Fa La La La La posters hanging from the ceiling. I don’t need a reminder that I am a total slacker and haven’t given one ounce of thought to Christmas shopping. My pumpkin is still on the front porch for crying out loud. But I digress…

I must admit that this year, I tried to outsmart the time change. I bathed and pajama’d my girls at their regular bedtime and then let them stay up an hour and a half late to watch a movie (side note: Stuart Little’s teeth give me the freaks). I put them in bed at 9:45 and 10:00 and crossed my fingers. I was really nervous because sometimes this strategy can backfire and late bedtime can equate to an extra early wake time. That’s why I generally don’t mess with the bedtime. Babywise still haunts me to this day. I explained to my big girl that if the clock said 6, she did not have permission to come out of her room (the little one still sleeps in a cage, I mean crib, so she is trapped until I let her out). That did not stop her, however, from coming down right at 7:00 and yelling, “BOO!” to wake me up and then casually asking me to repeat what I told her last night because she couldn’t remember what I said about the clock. Oh well…we made it to 7:00 (and 7:30 for the little one) which was an enormous victory. If the clock has a 6 on it, I can’t operate. It’s like a huge mental obstacle. 6:00, while normal for many people, is an ungodly hour in this house.

But here’s the catch to outsmarting the time change…you have to be willing to sacrifice those extra 90 minutes on a Saturday night and this year was the first time I found it bearable. Is that where I’ve been going wrong all these years? See, when the clock falls back, I am a solo parent. Every time. I have no backup. My husband isn’t home on Saturday nights in the fall. Even making it to regular bedtime without incident is a feat in itself. So y’all know the implications of an extra 90 minutes. But this year, the “baby” is almost 3 and can be entertained by the tv, so I decided to give it a go. But moms of babies…you’ve got no chance. Those suckers are not manipulate-able. You’re just shit out of luck. My genuine sympathies to you. Hang on for a few more years.

Time for me to go…I’ve been alerted that there has been a “spa-moovie” (smoothie) spill in the family room. And I’ve got to get ready to go watch the Raiders (hopefully) beat up on the Bucs today (sorry Tampa peeps). As my big girl said, it’s the “pirates fighting against the pirates”. Hilarious to a 6 year old, apparently.

**Addendum: I am usually unashamed to put my idiocy on display, but I want you all to know that I am entirely aware that we do, indeed, gain an hour. I know that is a matter of fact. I do realize that it all comes out in the wash and that although the day begins earlier, it also ends earlier. I’m just saying that as the mother of small children, I don’t exactly feel that extra hour. Because when I want it is first thing in the morning. By the evening I’m too frazzled to notice.