Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spring Foward; Fall Apart

I hate Daylight Savings Time - or at least the "fall back" part of it.

Now don't get me wrong.  In my life BC (before children), I loved the chance to sleep an extra hour just as the Northeast weather was getting crisp and I was six weeks or so into my school year.

But now - now! - arbitrarily changing the clocks wreaks havoc on all of my considerable efforts to get my sons on a sleep schedule.  Big Boy did fine with the change this year.  He stayed up a little later on Halloween night and slept until his usual leisurely hour the next morning.  But Tiny Baby has treated us to 5:30 a.m. wake-up calls each morning since the shift, even while going to bed for the night at an adjusted time.  Seems that he's following his body's lead and is still unable to tell time, even at the seasoned age of six months.

In railing against DST this morning, I mistakenly assumed it was a vestige of the farm economy - kind of like our outdated school calendar.  But, as it often does, my curiosity led me to Wikipedia, where I learned that our farming friends are not to blame at all and that they in fact join me (and, I'm assuming, legions of other parents of young kids) in decrying the practice since it screws up their livelihoods way more than my own.

Apparently, the concept was dreamt up by a Kiwi bug collector whose non-standard working hours allowed him to pursue his hobby in the daylight when others were still toiling away.  George Vernon Hudson proposed changing the clocks as a way to allow others to have time for their own leisure activities. DST began in the U.S. in 1918 and entomologists around the country have been reaping the benefits ever since.

Of course, DST might just work to my advantage next spring when Tiny Baby's early rising will magically shift an hour later, but isn't it the American way to complain first, and ask questions later?

How have your kids reacted to "falling back"?  In an age when many work and school schedules find people working until well after dark anyway, is DST even relevant anymore?

1 comment:

  1. I love that you wrote this!
    I feel like everybody kept saying last week, "Well, we get an extra hour!" And I was the only person on the planet saying: "Hello, with kids, fall back is a a bad thing, not a good thing!"



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