In which the time change breaks us all

By Mir
April 4, 2006

You know, I read all of these posts out there bitching about the time change over the last few days, and I was all smug and “Pffft! Time change! No sweat!” but I am here to tell you now that I was in DENIAL and I am ready to repent.

Bless me, internet, for I have sinned. Everything is just WRONG and yes, YES, I ADMIT IT, I cannot handle changing the clocks by one hour. It is more than my wee, delicate little cortex can handle. And the children, forget it. They weren’t all that stable to begin with, you know. Now they are both insufferable AND sleep-deprived. Well, they were. Until I ate them. Which happened this evening right around the time that I finished chiselling the toothpaste scum off of every surface in their bathroom and Monkey spat an impressive mouthful anew on the freshly scrubbed faucet.

They were delicious, tasting predominantly of blueberry pop-tarts with just a faint hint of french fries.

So. It started when I changed all the clocks on Saturday night. We slept in (of course) on Sunday, and that was fine. Monday morning–when I shut off my alarm and arose to discover the temperature in my bedroom was an unforgiving 57 degrees–I realized I’d forgotten to adjust the clocks on the thermostats. Whoops!

Do you know how hard it is to get up for school, feeling like it’s an hour early? Do you know how much harder it is to do that when the entire house is still at arctic temperature?

Did you also know that no matter how hard it is to get up at that time, in the cold, that by bedtime, if you are, say, 6, or maybe, I dunno, almost 8, you will still believe you should stay up another hour? It’s true! And if your very mean mother has the NERVE to put you to bed, that’s no problem. You can just lie there in bed and SING! For an HOUR! Yes, that would be a good idea. Because, chances are, it won’t be so cold the next morning (once the thermostats are adjusted). So you’d better be twice as tired! Just to keep it interesting!

So, um, yesterday was… a bit challenging. Today? Well, today I had to eat the children.

But allow me to back up, for a minute.

Today, in addition to my regular work, I had a few other things to attend to. Like:
1) Trying to coordinate with a committee on a project I’m apparently committed to producing something for by, um, Thursday, even though I don’t have any of the contributing materials yet.
2) The fact that my hair has responded to the recent rain by reminding me that it’s been, what, two months since I last had a haircut, freak? And then dealing with the associated angst of calling for an appointment and trying to balance wanting to go back to my regular stylist (who had been out on maternity leave, but is now back) but not wanting to offend the substitute stylist who has been cutting my hair for months now.
3) Searching online for plane tickets for this summer, which is always entertaining because no two searches yield the same result! The tickets are always too expensive, but a different price every time. It’s like gambling, only with less risk and more crying!
4) Realizing that I have less than two weeks until Easter and MY GOD, IT’S LESS THAN TWO WEEKS UNTIL EASTER HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? I put in a call to the Easter Bunny, and he laughed in my face and told me I’m slipping.
5) Also realizing that Chickadee’s birthday is right after Easter and there is no bunny to help me with THAT.

It was sort of a busy day. Plus I am *this* close to deeming this “cold” I’m battling just plain allergies, because ENOUGH ALREADY with the impacted sinuses.

So I got as much done as I could, before it was time to get the kids. I was grateful for the break when I headed out to fetch them. And they, of course, repaid me by making it crystal clear that the time change had busted whatever tenuous grip on reality and manners they’d previously possessed.

Monkey was happy to see me… for about ten seconds. That was the time he required to show me that he’d read the requisite number of books to take another trip the prize box, and the small dinosaur he’d selected. Then his brain shorted out and he spent the next hour trying to convince me to let him watch television. It went sort of like this:

Monkey: Can I watch TV?
Me: No.
Monkey: Why not?
Me: Because it’s not television time right now. Find something to play with.
Monkey: I don’t have anything good.
Me: Okay, well, I guess I can give away your stuff, then–
Monkey: NOOOOOOO!!
Me: Okay then.
Monkey: But I’m bored.
Me: I’m sorry to hear that.
Monkey: Can I watch TV?
Me: No.
Monkey: But I really want to.
Me: I’m clear on that, thanks. But no.
Monkey: When CAN I watch TV?
Me: That depends.
Monkey: On what?
Me: On how many more times you ask me.
Monkey: But. Um. WHEN can I watch?
Me: Lalalalalalalala I can’t heeeeear you….

Meanwhile–just in case that wasn’t entertaining enough–Chickadee greeted me this afternoon in a way that made it clear that I was in for a rough ride. I offered her a snack but it was the WRONG ONE. I asked about her day but I asked about the WRONG THING. By the time we made it back to the house, she’d lost today’s allowance and was on her final warning for tomorrow’s. She kept SCREAMING at me and I was fantasizing about wrapping her head in duct tape until she could control herself. No amount of calm explanation as to how I didn’t much enjoy being subjected to her wrath seemed to make a dent in her righteous fury.

[Here I must note that I did, around the sixth time that she got up in my face and hollered at me, raise my own voice in response.]

Finally I packed them both off with dad for dinner, and heaved a sigh of relief. Not before catching my ex up on their stunning behavior, however.

When the children were returned to me, Chickadee threw her arms around my waist and clutched me, then apologized for her earlier behavior. She seemed quite contrite, and I was impressed. I thanked her for the apology and hugged her back, while kissing the top of her head. She pulled away from me, all business now. “Okay, Mama, now YOU apologize to ME.” I raised an eyebrow. “You yelled at me, too, you know,” she pointed out.

I was stuck. True, I had raised my voice. True, two wrongs don’t make a right. Still. What a little lawyer she is. I apologized, but couldn’t resist adding that while my behavior was certainly not excused by the provocation that had preceded it, it was worth NOTING that I had only lost my temper after being screamed at continuously for thirty minutes prior to my lapse. She nodded. “We both yelled,” she mused. “You were just as wrong as me.”

But I– but SHE– Mmmmppphhhgggggg. I sent her upstairs to take a shower.

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord to RETURN MY CHILDREN TO SANITY (and maybe LIGHTEN THE WORKLOAD A BIT and P.S. some frequent flier miles and a couple of easter baskets and a party planner would be useful too, k, thanks)
And if I die before I wake
I’m guessing it would be fairly peaceful and therefore, utterly foreign (but probably inconvenient)….


  1. Chickie

    Chickadee cracks me up. Maybe she’ll grow up to be the judge on The People’s Court.

  2. Susan

    On Friday I said to my husband, “This weekend is the beginning of daylight savings time.”

    And he said, “No it isn’t.” And I believed him.

    So we were in the dark until nearly 3:00 pm on Sunday, which was of course ACTUALLY 4:00 and Henry had a 4:30 soccer game that we had to RACE to get to and I spent the ENTIRE drive saying, “I TOLD YOU DAYLIGHT SAVINGS STARTED TODAY!” You know, a normal Sunday afternoon.

    Stupid time change.

  3. dcfullest

    i think you idea of giving your kids their allowance on a daily basis is great? that must be much easier for them to understand than kids who have to wait a week and lose the entire thing. you need to write a parenting booking– you have great ideas, real punishments and admit that you aren’t perfect.

  4. Cele

    I’m not gloating. But your life reminds me why it is so great to be a grand parent. Fortunately you tell it all so well.

  5. chris

    Gah, I guess I should find out when easter is so I can buy plastic grass and life size chocolate bunnies. And we have a birthday coming up on the 21st that I should probably plan for.

    Daylight savings time worked out well for me this year, what with it falling on April Fools day.

    So if you find a party planner and some frequent flyer miles send ’em on over here, would ya?

  6. osteff

    So similar to my life…

    I tried to compromise and let my 9yr old stay up 30 min later on Sun. We today is Wednesday and he would not get his rear out of bed.

  7. Marti

    The time change threw us into an alternate universe – Flueville, where everything is constructed of snot and everyone groans.

    Best wishes to you hon.

  8. Jennifer

    Someday, we should get Chickadee and my daughter Katie together. They sound like they would hit it off so well — and I’ve been meaning to tell you that since the “eyes on fire” drawing. Katie is also bright, and also prone to fits of temper for no apparent reason. It drives us crazy, although I do try to remember the concept of asynchronous development in gifted kids. It helps a little bit. However, eating her may be a good alternative solution. Oh, and here we got the time change + a nasty goopy-eyed cold for my 3yo son, Ian. They’re having a contest for most unbearable child this week! So I’m sending you much empathy.

  9. EverydaySuperGoddess

    Ooh! Duct tape! I’m TOTALLY gonna try that!

    Thanks for the tip!

  10. Jenn

    You know, this has nothing to do with anything in this post, but now I can’t hear or see the word sucker without thinking MAZEL TOV, SUCKER!

  11. niihaus

    If I mail you my children will you eat them too?? What if I throw in some frequent flier miles…

  12. Meramoo is a metasearch for airlines, so it searches all the other websites for you. It doesn’t check Southwest, because they don’t allow it, but every other airline I know of is on there.

  13. Alexa

    Huh. So you set your clocks ahead on SATURDAY? Implying that you remembered about the time change before it happened? And thus did not spend any extra time resetting your computer clock, which was inexplicable an hour ahead of all the other clocks in your house? Huh.

  14. Amy-GO

    Apologize? For screaming? At children? Not on your life. They deserve it, it builds character, get over it. Also I would never get to do anything BUT apologize. ;)

  15. andy

    Dude, that’s some funny stuff. Way to go. Good luck with digesting the children though. I hear ‘Bean-o’ helps.

  16. Patricia

    When I was young and naive (read: childless), I used to extoll the vitures of “Falling Back.” That weekend was a full 49 hours!!! WHOOOHOOO. And I’d complain and argue and hate “Springing Forward.”
    Fast forward to my life now with the cheery morning person for a child. I LIVE for Springing forward. For that child to “sleep in” past 6am for nearly a week until he adjusts is just heaven. I enjoy NOT waking up to the chorus of “TV, NOW” in the morning. Ah — the joys of a toddler at 6am. And no, I don’t mind him staying up an hour longer — it means he goes to bed at the 8pm hour, instead of his standard 7pm. (Heartless mommy that I am, I put a kid who is falling asleep in his dinner to bed at 7pm).
    FWIW, i now dread “falling back” Because 6am becomes 5am WAY too easily. I may have to eat him this October.

  17. artemis

    Blessed be the lord for [she] hears your voice! You are forgiven my child. And the children, well they are the made in the image of god, so no worry dear. You will be blessed (Elton John). The huntress goddess understands the imperviousness of all the toothpaste scum and mum. All a mother needs is to be “good-enough.” Supermoms are out of fashion and their wits. Good enough is good enough. You are good enough. I know because I raised a few and now they’re all just fine, once I shaved off the Supermom model and decided I’d just be good enough. Keep up the fire.

    (P.S.: I found this blog from a blogger of a blogger of a blogger and I can’t remember which one was which but I guess it’ll just have to be good enough.)

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