If You Turn Back The Time And Other Stories of Childhood

If the government issues a clock-altering mandate that says you must set your time back one hour in the fall, your children will not grasp the concept of sleeping in to compensate.

If your children fail to sleep in after the time change, they will be up at various early hours, depending on what time their tiny little spirits move. Their tiny little spirits are mostly driven by evil forces.

If  one of your children is up at various early hours, at some point he will hit upon the 5 o'clock hour to be awake, and you will all rue the day. Or at least the next few hours.

At five o'clock in the morning, the first thing one has to do is use the restroom. Fair enough. Afterward, anyone with half a brain would go right back to bed at that hour if they didn't need to be up. Seven year old boys most definitely fall into the "don't need" category. But seven year old boys who follow a lot of the Rules of Toddlerhood make things up as they go, and going back to bed is never a viable option in their world. Once the eyes are open, they must remain open at all costs.

Knowing that one would be in Big Huge Trouble if one went downstairs and turned on the TV at 5 o'clock in the morning, a boy will go back to his bedroom and turn his light on. This, in turn, will alert his sleeping parents that he is not where he belongs. And also that he is up.

This is not a good way to wake up. Nor is it a good hour to be awakened.

The Mom will get out of bed, stumble down the hall, tell the boy that he needs to go back to bed, and tuck him in after pretty much tossing him under the covers because he procrastinated getting there himself. She will sigh as she looks at the clock, knowing that the day has just started off on the wrong foot.

Knowing that she shouldn't really go back to sleep because a certain boy down the hall won't, The Mom will lay in bed trying to doze with eyes and ears open. Just about time she achieves this parental feat, she will be rudely snapped from the brink of unconsciousness by the flute.

The flute, at 5:30 in the morning, is a most unpleasant intrusion. The Mom will be out of her bed and down the hall before she's even aware that she is vertical. Flutes are evil in the single digit hours of the dark. They must be stopped. Or broken in half and thrown out a window. Being awakened by a flute will efface any feelings of love and goodwill toward one's offspring, and The Mom will glare at The Boy, demanding that he go back to bed. Now. She will personally put him there herself. Again. He will know that if he dares get up again, his life will be in grave jeopardy.

The Mom will diligently try to achieve that eyes-open state of doze once again, and once again, just as she is drifting toward the elusive thing called Sleep, she will be awakened by the light. Again. And the bathroom door. Again. This time it would be the teenaged boy, heading out to check his trapline before school. While this can go unattended and even unnoticed by The Mom on a normal day, it's too late. She is now awake. Again.

That was 6:30. The alarm is set to go off at 7:00. It's funny how one's arthritis can decide to hurt at such an odd hour, preventing sleep. Again. As if one could actually fall asleep at 6:50 anyway.

Oh, wait, One did. Of course. Because being awakened by something other than my own free will for the fourth time in two hours is how everyone wants to begin their day.

Parenthood. It's what they don't tell you that you should be most concerned about.


Michelle said...

Oh I feel for you. The wee ones can't sleep in yet, although they do blessedly know that a) waking up Mommy is a cardinal sin and b) waking up a sibling who is sleeping is a cardinal sin. That doesn't mean I wasn't the only one awake in the house at 6am today though. Once I'm up, I'm sunk though - no way to fall back asleep.

Roger said...

You know it's a good thing that this information isn't in the mythical "rule book" - because I believe that there would be a whole lot less offspring running around if it were.

Funny thing though, you will totally miss this one day, no doubt. Although I have a real hard time convincing myself of that.