Like so many others, I have always dreaded the end of Daylight Savings Time, but as a parent my distaste even runs deeper.
Although it falls a couple weeks later than it once did on the calendar, this annual change has always been difficult to accept, as it means darkness comes an hour earlier in the evenings, leading to a bit of seasonal depression for most of us.
However, add kids to the mix and the disruptions it causes their sleeping schedules and matters can get quite interesting.
This was the first year I recall the end of Daylight Savings Time affecting my sons, who are now 3 ½ and 2 years old, respectively.
From other parents, I had been hearing about the challenges the annual change poses, but until this year there was not much of an issue for us.
Over the last couple of weeks, it has meant extreme early mornings, as everything has essentially moved up an hour.
Perhaps Pam and I are to blame in part because our rule around the house for several months has been the kids must stay in their beds until the sun comes up. It was something we referred to often because it worked. “You can’t get out of your bed until Mr. Sun comes up,” we reminded the boys often.
It was not a planned thing, but something one of us began utilizing to ensure the kids kept the extreme early mornings to a minimum. It was a way for the kids to know when their days were to begin.
Unfortunately, that approach is now biting us in the rear, to a degree, as both kids are waking up earlier than usual because the sun is shining in their rooms an hour or so before it had been.
It’s understandable, but now I find myself telling Beckett each night not to get out of bed in the morning until his clock says “7:00”.
It’s not sinking in yet, as all he usually says is, “that’s not a clock, that’s a radio player” (he’s right to a degree because it plays music while he’s sleeping).
A cardinal bird caused quite a stir the other morning.
While the entire family was starting the day and heading in our typical opposite directions, Beckett had a confrontation with the bird that would prove to be quite memorable for him.
Actually, he was so startled he fascinated over it for a couple days.
What happened was he was standing on a little screened-in porch we have and somehow the bird had managed to get stuck on the porch, despite the fact he could come and go as he pleased.
When Beckett meandered on to the porch, he had no idea the bird was there. However, a few seconds later, he discovered it, and the bird and he went into a meltdown.
The bird, apparently injured as it was favoring a wing, was flapping with all its might, while Beckett was giving 110 percent to a screaming and crying session.
Once Beckett was removed from the porch, he obsessed over this run-in. I tried explaining to him why the bird was in there and why it was “freaking out”, as my son called it.
When I told him the bird was actually scared of him, he didn’t know what to think. When he asked why the bird was on the porch and why it wouldn’t just fly away into the sky, I said, “it’s not as smart as you are and it was confused.”
Without any further discussion of the sort, Beckett said from the back seat of the car, “it’s because he has an itty-bitty brain, right Daddy?”
All I could say was, “yes, that’s true buddy.”
I have to admit I was extremely proud of him at that moment. I love have these little minds work.
The fact Carson laughs whenever I say “no” has been disturbing me lately.
Although she doesn’t say it in so many words, Pam has indicated it’s because I don’t say it with authority, leading Carson to think I’m playing.
I disagree, and always will, but I have begun to understand she may be on to something, thanks to a few recent events.
Oftentimes my issues with discipline boil down to that line between being a guy and a father.
For instance, Carson picked up a spoon off the table the other morning and flung it across the room with his left hand, sending it crashing into a wall. Although I managed a “no, we don’t throw things inside,” resulting in a silly giggle from my youngest son, I admit to not really meaning it.
Instead, I stood up, counted the feet in which it was hurled and began wondering whether he was going to be left-handed.
Later, I recalled an incident when Carson managed to push his big brother off a toy he got for his recent birthday. I did manager to squeeze out, “no Carson, we don’t push people,” but I think he sensed I was proud of him for standing up for himself as he once again laughed.
Unfortunately, I think my son’s intuition is not based on reality because there’s absolutely nothing funny about being slapped in the face first thing in the morning.
That’s what happened Tuesday morning when I pulled him out of his crib. He greeted me with an ear-ringing slap to the side of the head, leading me to make it clear that was unacceptable. That, in turn, caused him to cry for about 15 minutes straight.
Maybe he thought I would marvel over how strong he has gotten of late.
I blame myself.