When I was younger, I would hide behind the sofa and eavesdrop on the neighborhood women gathered for morning coffee at my house. Eventually their conversation would center on “the change.” So and so was suffering through “the change.” Over time it seemed that the entire neighborhood was involved and concerned about the unpleasant “change.” It was years before I realized they were talking about Daylight Saving Time.
Raising our two grandchildren, we have learned to adapt, cope, close our eyes and hope; but the one thing that adds more gray hair than even Miss Clairol can cover is the dreaded DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME.
We have tried everything in preparing the children, black out drapes, no naps, staying up all night but nothing is effective.
This year was no exception. We went with the no nap, hope springs eternal, and by 7:30 real time, the three-year-old had fallen asleep on the sofa wearing his Buzz Light Year costume. I eased him out of his space gear and carried him off to bed with visions of sleeping-in dancing in my head.
At 8:30 he was awake and ready to eat….again. Once fed, it was off to bed…again. It was then 8:45 real time. By 9:30 it was throw up time. By 10:05 it was throw up time again. At 11:00 I moved him to our bed which has a shorter run to the bathroom. My husband moved to the recliner. It was either vacate the bed or switch to singing soprano.
With all the ups and downs of a stomach virus, I began thinking “ Ok, this may work out after all.” It was the night to switch the clocks back an hour so it was technically only 11:00, not midnight.
Nothing, I repeat nothing, can alter the three-year-old’s internal clock more than thirty minutes. Right on his schedule, at 4:30 daylight-ugh-savings time he popped up wide awake. “Cartoons, please,” he demanded. Well, he had said “please.”
Not one of the quadrillion satellite TV channels has cartoons on at 4:30 in the morning. An infomercial kept him occupied for ten minutes… just long enough for me to doze off. As I was dreaming of receiving the Nobel Peace and Quiet Prize, a voice in my ear said, “Time to eat. Feed me.” He was playing the guilt card. I knew his tummy was empty and he knew that I knew it.
I rolled out of bed and stumbled toward the kitchen at 4:40 in the pitch darkness trying to avoid the 60 million toy cars scattered on the living room floor. I managed to get one eye open, but a harmonica that had been missing since April suddenly resurfaced on the bottom of my foot.
“Pampakes and sausage, please.” Thank you God for freezers and microwaves. As I was nuking the pancakes, I attacked the easy-to-open-if-you-are-built-like-Rambo plastic bag of sausage patties. The guy who designed that package must have also designed every cracker, potato chip, cereal package, and childproof medicine bottle on the market. My theory is he was a former CIA agent in charge of protecting nuclear warheads from accidental detonation.
While I was looking for scissors, flame thrower, chain saw, anything to open the plastic bag of sausage patties, the three-year-old began his game of hopscotch and alternately singing and accompanying himself on the harmonica. This was followed by the sound of the plastic bag of frozen pancakes exploding in the microwave. It was now 5:30 a.m. Daylight Savings Time and my husband had not stirred from his chair, which is not five yards from the hop-scotch -harmonica-playing-and-singing-awake-since-4:30-three-year-old who is still protesting that he is hungry.
They say that a mother seeing her child trapped beneath the wheels of an automobile can summon Herculean strength and lift a three-ton vehicle and move it aside to save her child. That ain’t nothing compared to a post-menopausal-sleep-deprived-daylight-saving-time-hating-woman determined to feed her three-year-old a sausage patty. With mounting fury the plastic bag was torn asunder by my bare hands and sharp teeth. Sausage patties became air borne flying saucers much to the delight of the three-year-old.
Finally, he was fed. and happy. I ignored the wrecked kitchen, put his beloved Buzz Light Year costume on him, turned on “Toy Story,” wrapped us both in a warm fuzzy blanket, cuddled up on the sofa… and waited for daylight. It had to come sometime!
Curse you Ben Franklin, for Daylight Saving Time!