Hey, Time Change, Here’s Two Middle Fingers For You

Well, if you thought I hated Halloween, then wait until you see what I have to say about our dear old friend, the Fall Backward Time Change (“FBTC”).  Is there a bigger asshole on our nation’s calendar?

No, there’s not.

Giving the time change the middle finger.

Giving the time change the middle finger.

I’ve always been a bit grumpy about this one, but this year is the apex of my distaste (or should it be the nadir?).  I can stomach that it will be dark at 4:10 pm, and I’ll be stuck in my house with my kids. (Thank God for Twitter– Holla!)  I can even handle the part where there will about 30 minutes of sunshine a day (because I have plenty of Zoloft).

But ya’ll, the early mornings with my kids are gonna kill me. I swear I am going to expire from “being too old to get up this early” every single day.

Saturday morning, on the eve of FBTC, Simon woke up at 5:30 AM– and that was after we kept him up the night before until almost 9 PM.  That morning he wasn’t drowsy at all–  I heard him ask Jeff if they could go upstairs and play chess.  I am sure Jeff was kind and patient, but I would have told little Bobby Fisher to stuff it and ask me again at 7 AM.

Let’s do some math.  Simon woke up Saturday at 5:30 AM.  After FBTC, it will be a 4:30 AM wake-up call.  How the hell is that going to work?

We’ve tried everything to get him to sleep by past 6.  More food, more activity, shorter naps, extra Benedryl.  The dude is always ready to go at 5:30 AM.

And I have been worrying about this year’s FBTC since August.  My soul is churning with fear about how the mornings will go.

I know it’s not healthy to be this hung-up on sleep.  I have asked everyone how to alter Simon’s sleep schedule, but in the end, I know the words of my spiritual counselor (Ms. Oprah Winfrey) are the ones that will free me: “Accept it and let go.”  (But of course, Oprah doesn’t have children.)

Anyone have strategies for surviving this time change?


47 thoughts on “Hey, Time Change, Here’s Two Middle Fingers For You

  1. I used to spend a week putting peanut to bed ten minutes later, so after a week we were right on schedule. Never worked. It took him a month every Fall to adjust. 4:30 months sucked. But after he turned 4 he ceased the 5:30 wakeups that spelled disaster for DST.

    I say go to bed when they do for at least a week. Early wakers are not maleable. But they’re easier to take on a full night’s sleep.

    Side note: I fail to see how falling back is worse than springing forward. At least falling back we have the chance to catch an extra hour of solitude or sleep so we can build our reserves and better handle the next day. Spring Forward is a nasty fathermucking nightm.are

    • It’s true they are both bad, but this one means winter is coming and my Texan heart is wary. I will be putting the kiddos to bed and then sleeping myself. I know it will be ok, but I just can’t NOT vent about this.

      We tried to put them to bed later all week and it didn’t work. Note to self: don’t try that again.

    • We’ve been doing that with our 14-month-old too — slowly inching towards a later bedtime and finding that morning does not start any later. Some days his naps have been longer, and other days we all just get less sleep. I sure hope it doesn’t take a month for him to adjust.

      I wholeheartedly agree that springing forward is much worse though!

      • How am I forgetting how much worse springing forward is? IS that when my evenings are hijacked by my children? I sort of recall that sucks…..Memory, it fails me.

  2. I got nothing. Except wait ten years or so unitl they’re teenagers and then you will be the one waking them up screaming “Get up already. You are wasting your life.” Just think how good that will feel.

  3. We stopped trying to adjust early and just go cold turkey. It takes my kids about a week to sort it out, then they’re ok. We also gave our early riser an alarm clock and he isn’t allowed to come into our room before 7:00 unless there is blood, vomit, or fire.

    I’m not even pretending that I’m not lucky, though — except for Milo, who is seven and adjusts to time change perfectly, all my kids slept until the new 7:30. Though I kind of think I needed a win after the last couple of days. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been on a string o’ bad luck.

  4. I feel your pain, my son is the same as Simon. He woke up at 5:30am on the dot every day for the first two years of his life (obviously more as a newborn). Though thankfully he has somewhat outgrown it even by age 3.5 (hell no if I am going to wait until the promise of those teenage years!). Until then my friend, I can offer you nothing but a shoulder to cry on and an email address to bitch to. Please use them often.

  5. Have you ever tried putting him to bed earlier? It sounds crazy but even 30 mins earlier can make them sleep longer. What about blackout curtains? I swear mine made my daughter sleep an extra hour every morning.

    • THat’s funny you say that, because long long ago I tried that and it worked. But it’s like I forgot about it. I will be employing that this evening for them and for me. The curtains we have, though they have not produced such wonderful results for us. Glad you have a good sleep situation!

      • Well, she’s been sleeping with me for the last two months and it takes a couple of hours to get her in to bed (2-3 nursings while sleeping on my lap in between), so we are not in that great a situation!

      • OOoh, those days when it took hours to get to sleep, that was rough stuff. I have to say that talking this out all day in these comments has helped me so much. That, and reading about Sandy, which has put my sleep issues into perspective. I have felt more love and joy with my family today because of you and what you have shared with me. I am so moved by this right now. Maybe it’s the exhaustion talking, but it’s still true. Every word.

        Good luck and god bless us all!

      • When mine was a baby, I read a sleep book that said the exact same thing. We keep them up longer, more activity and it backfires – put them to bed earlier for a later wake up time. The experts say….

        Now I love the fall back since with the spring ahead mine darling girl of almost 7yrs (next week is her bday) will not sleep until 9pm or 10pm – goes to bed, but sings, talks, plays…. Now she’ll fall asleep soon after bedtime – yah!

      • THis is so weird how it feels like torture. Did our parents feel this way? Or were they too checked out to be all stabby about this? I actually think I was always a big sleeper.

  6. The time change would probably bother me more if A. wasn’t so young (11 weeks tomorrow). I’m up all the time anyway, so it doesn’t really make a difference. It’s the spring one I’m really dreading – every year I have more trouble adjusting to that one.

    No suggestions for how to improve the sleeping either. S. has never been a good sleeper and nothing has really worked other than time going by and her growing out of whatever phase she’s in.

    • I still can’t believe you have such a young one and you are blogging and producing such great posts. I sort of helps to know I am not the only one. Time should help, right?

  7. Not a strategy in sight other than extra TV or iPad time for my girls today so I can take a nap. I also hate the early start of darkness in the afternoon and find it to be the hardest adjustment (other than the brutal cold that’s coming our way). Remind me again why we live here?

  8. I’ve got nothing, because this morning at 6am (really 7am) I was more than slightly pissed off when I sat down to work on my blasted novel I’m tying to insanely write in 30 days and heard little footsteps coming down the stairs. F you, time change.

  9. I’m hoping after this comment we can still be friends. #1: First of all, I love the fall-back one. I love waking up on Sunday morning and remembering that I can go back to sleep for another hour. And the reason for this brings me to #2: we have a serious sleeper-inner on our hands. She loves sleep ***almost*** as much as her mommy, so much so that we had to buy her an alarm once kindergarten started because school starts at 7:50am and until then, she had never really woken up before 8:00am so we were slightly freaked out. And then there is the completely situational #3: our friends, who clearly weren’t thinking, invited her for a SLEEPOVER on DAYLIGHT SAVINGS WEEKEND. I all I have to say to that is: SUCKAS!

    Hugs and kisses,

  10. It’s totally true…put him to bed EARLIER, and he will sleep LATER. It goes against all common sense, but it really does work. I’ve tested it with two kids now.

  11. I usually like the fall back, but this year is is causing me some anxiety. We just moved into our new house on Friday, and while I am excited, I am also not terribly good (read: I am absolutely awful) with change. On top of all the hurricane-related stress, this has been a weird, and not completely excellent week. So now that I am sitting on my new couch in my new house watching it get darker and darker outside, I am not loving the fall back. Here’s hoping we all get used to it soon.

    • I was wondering when your move was. I know it’s a first-world issue, but moving is super stressful and you were so close to all that devastation. I would want to be somewhere familiar, which is how that couch will feel right there soon enough. Anxiety– I should say so. A move is huge.

  12. I HATE “fall back”! It has been my least favorite day of the year ever since I have kids! And then (annoying childless) folks say, “Why do you hate it? You get an extra hour of sleep!” NO, I DON’T! Just means the kids are up an HOUR earlier!!

    HOWEVER, this year has been better! Granted, they are now 6 and 8 1/2 and will play/snack on their own. It sucks when they’re small. You have all my sympathy.

    Best sleep book I ever read: “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”. Get yourself a copy. It’s very good. And read it with a cocktail in your hand!

  13. Not having kids, my problem this time of year is the early dark evenings. I can’t stand leaving for work in the dark and coming home in the dark. It’s not right!! Every winter…every single winter, I swear I won’t be living in Michigan still by the next winter and, well, here I still am, so you can so how that works out for me.

    • Yes, the dark outward and return journey. It’s really a huge adjustment. My hubs is from LA and I wonder how he could leave all that sunshine for this. But I left Texas so I guess the same is true for me.

  14. People like you and I who hate the time change have two options: Move to Hawaii or move to Arizona. Neither state has DST.
    Or maybe we could start a revolution.

    • I can’t do Arizona because the racist policies there make me stabby. Hawaii and I have some unfinished business so I won’t rule it out. Plus, I look amazing in Hawaiian print. Let’s just do it!

      • Easy for me. H2 was raised there. We visit family as much as we can, but it would be too far from our kids.
        I love the vintage Hawaiian prints.

  15. I also recommend trying and earlier bedtime. It sounds completely backwards, but it has always worked with our litte guy. In fact, we have learned that if he goes to bed later than his normal bedtime, we are guaranteed an unreasonably early morning. Hope it works for you!

  16. I value sleep over almost anything…except maybe a good haircut. Hate the time changes.

    http://www.zazookids.com makes a photo clock for little kids. I have not tried it, but I know the mom who created it.

    Your kids can come over & entertain our cats at 4 am.

  17. I absolutely HATE daylight savings time. We do not need this anymore…maybe once it had its place, but not now!!

    But…I’d rather be falling back than springing forward if I have the choice. (but one of my kids has reached the teenagery level of sleeping in on the weekends and the other knows not to leave her room until 7am on a weekend, so I’ve got it easy. I HATED the fall back when they were smaller)

  18. The time change was miserable. We did it cold turkey, because she gets cranky before bed and no on expanding cranky time. Sunday was miserable – church was awful. Everyone said “she’s not herself.” Well, guess what? You are seeing her much closer to naptime. This is what happens.

    Yesterday and today seem better. Thank goodness my kid is malleable. I can’t imagine a kid taking a month to adjust.

    Oh, and I hear you on the dark so early. Who thinks it’s a good idea for it to get dark at 4 o’clock? Ugh. I feel my depression rolling in.

    • Totally. Simon was up both days in the 4’s. As in 4:34 am. He goes back to sleep after I nurse him for an hour. They are happier than I am about all of this. Depression is at the door. Need a sunlamp! I’m so sorry it was brutal for you.

      • You have it harder than I do! We are adjusting back to the old schedule day by day – will probably be back to what it was in a week.

        I agree on the sunlamp. It’s time to start breaking mine out any time I am sitting longer than a few minutes – like now.

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