Touch of Spice |

Touch of Spice

Daylight savings saves nothing

Christina M. Currie

I’ve been looking forward to the end of daylight savings time like a child looks forward to Christmas.

I’m sure that with one more hour of sleep I could lead armies and rule worlds.

It didn’t occur to me until today that I have two small children, who I’m sure won’t understand the significance of daylight savings time and I’m not sure how to explain at 7 o’clock in the morning that it’s really only six, so they can go right back to sleep.

Yeah. That’s gonna happen.

So in reality, falling back one hour is going to create more problems than it solves.

Katie’s been systematically pushing her bedtime later and later. We went from having two children in bed by 9 p.m. (those days are hazy) to having one baby in bed by nine and the other at 11:30ish and pushing toward midnight.

And to be honest, it took a lot of time to notice.

You see, in the middle of chaos, the goal is to survive and after awhile, you even stop checking the clock to see how long you’ve been trapped.

So, we did two things to preserve our sanity. One was something we said we’d never, ever, ever do.

We bought a television for Katie’s room (I’ll give you a minute to finish gasping).

It was a hard decision, but when I found myself singing Barney’s “Mr. Sun” in the shower, in the car, at Kmart and humming it at work, I knew something had to be done.

I admit I caved.

I also admit I’m liking the result.

“If all the snowflakes were candy bars and milk shakes oh what a world it would be.”

Ok, so I’m not cured, but it’s getting better.

Our second step in regaining sanity was to establish a bedtime for Katie and force her to stick to it.

That one’s a challenge.

We started with 10 p.m. and plan to work slowly back to nine. I hope.

First, we had to establish a “no Barney after 9 p.m. rule.”

Tantrum number one.

Next, we get the blanket and the bottle, sometimes a balloon, and settle into place in the rocking chair, which she’s content to do for a little while.

But then her unending source of energy bubbles to the surface. She tosses and turns and tries to ease back to the floor.

The screaming begins when we tighten our grip and say “it’s night, night time.”

Our only threat is “do you want to go to bed?”

We’re lucky that she always says “no.” It’s an empty threat anyway.

Her sister is already in the bedroom they share, having been asleep for hours after a short cuddle and a tuck-in with her blanket and a bottle.

Nikki doesn’t fight bedtime.

If rocking doesn’t put her to sleep, we can lay her down and she’s out three minutes later.

Katie, on the other hand, cannot be put in her crib awake. She tears down the mobile, strips the mattress of all blankets and throws things into her sister’s bed. Well, it’s more like she throws things at her sister.

Worse, I rearranged the room and put the laundry hamper right next to her crib.

A perfect step ladder.

She hasn’t found the guts to go over the wall yet, but I’ve caught her pretty close.

So, we struggle in the chair until she gives up and falls asleep.

We’ve also revived the “bathtime as a sleep-aid” trick and it’s even easier now that the two can share a bath without an adult holding one of them up.

That is offset by the fact that there’s also no adult sitting right there to referee. Hanging over the side of the tub just doesn’t offer the same amount of division.

Katie’s getting pretty bossy and not in the kind, gentle way of parents.

When Nikki stands up, I hold on, say “sit down” and set her down. Katie yells “sit down!” and puts her entire weight on Nikki’s head in an effort to force her down, and under, I think.

But despite the arguments and the fun, the heat sets in and babies get drowsy.

After a bath, Nikki’s out in minutes.

Katie, after a short period of relaxation (which lulls her parents into the belief she’s down for the night), is rejuvenated and we have to start the no more Barney, tie Katie into the chair routine.

See. We have a system.

Losing one hour is going to be a major flaw.

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