The first Monday after the Spring time change . . . Anyone else feeling the pain?
It’s not really the early (by our bodies’ calculations) start that’s the real problem. No, it’s bedtime the night before that nails us.
Not ALL of us, of course.
Jane, who spent the day riding her bike around the huge coral-like reefs of half-melted snow in our neighborhood, dropped off last night like a rock, bless her. And my husband had taught his usual Sunday morning yoga and had also kept an eye on Jane from his own bike, so he was ready to sleep by the time I put my precious wordcount to bed around ten.
Sunny and I made slightly different choices.
I enjoyed a two-hour nap in the middle of Sunday—this was not a choice, mind you, it was a mandatory system shut down after an ill-timed midnight writing jag and a huge buffet brunch. But naps haven’t stopped me falling asleep at night since . . . . well, Janie is eleven. So, I didn’t anticipate any problems as I turned off my monitor and set my alarm.
My mistake, in retrospect, was trying to sneak my nap past my husband by taking Sunny with me to “rest” for a bit while he had some him-time. I figured she’d squiggle around, kick my shins a few times, ask me several questions about penguins, dinosaurs, and the real color of the sun (Yellow?Orange?), get bored, and go away, leaving me to pretend all those ZZZs coming out of my ears were a complete surprise to me.
And it was so.
Except she came back a little later. And since I was already down for the count, I didn’t know until I woke up about two and a half hours later to see her drooling into her father’s pillow like a damp advertisement for Children’s Ambien.
So basically, my nearly seven-year old had a two-hour nap on the first day of Spring Daylight Savings, and then—according to her inner clock—we tried to put her to bed an hour early. That was never going to go well, especially with a kid who is so allergic to bedtime that she often beats us back to the living room after we tuck her in.
She was up and down for two hours, three drinks of water, one backrub, an enforced visit to the bathroom, two more Five Minute Cuddles™ and one “Get back in your OWN bed until Mommy’s alarm goes off—it’s a school night and you know the rules.”
And then I blinked and my Marquis de Sade alarm clock claimed it was morning and demanded submission.
Here’s how we all fared:
My husband rose and shone, as usual. Must be all that yoga.
Janie slept so well, she even skipped the usual Good Morning Pre-Teen Sunshine Gumpypants Routine. For a while.
“Wow, you’re up ten minutes early! Good for you.”
“Yeah. Can I have my inhaler? My lungs feel tight.”
“Sure, honey. Your Dad’s in the bathroom; he’ll get it for you.”
Fifteen minutes later . . .
“I don’t know,” my husband said. “She took two shots from her breather and went to get dressed. But all the lights are off in her room.”
“Jane? Janie, no. No. Janie, UP.”
“But Moo-oom! You saaaid I had ten minuuutes!”
“Not anymore, you don’t.”
Sunny’s little face resembled a very sleepy fist. She put her underwear on over her pajama pants and fought against their removal because she didn’t WANT to get dressed before breakfast. She couldn’t find a spoon she liked in the fork section of the silverware drawer. Or the shoes she was already wearing.
How did I fare on this Monday morning, when my body thought I got up at 4am, and I burned myself on the curling iron that I had to use because I forgot to wash my hair? And looked down at breakfast to discover one of the underwires from my only clean bra poking out from my neckline? And forgot to make coffee in time to drink much of it before I had to get two kids, one attitudinal and one manically-sleepy, into the car with all their stuff so that I could get them to school in time to haul my yawning carcass to the branch across town and moderate the library’s short story group? And waltzed out of the branch a few hours later with the meeting room keys in my pocket?
Not bad for a Monday, all things told.
*Daylight Savings Traumatic Stress Disorder. For those of you who live in saner countries, in Fall, most of the US resets their clocks an hour earlier (“Falling back”), and in Spring, we set out clocks an hour forward (“Springing ahead”). There are several other countires and places that do this, too, though maybe not on the same schedule. There’s a reason behind all this, but I’m too zonked to explain right now. Have a video: