Monday, March 11, 2013

Daylight Savings Time Blues

Over the weekend, all of my Facebook friends were buzzing about daylight saving time. Most people were looking forward to the change, planning to enjoy those extra hours of afternoon sun, and thinking of it as the first step toward longer days and warmer weather ahead.

I was in a distinct minority. As far as I was concerned, we could have left things just the way they were.

Don't get me wrong, I like sunshine too. But I like it in the morning. In fact, I hate getting up in the dark. And that's exactly what I'll be doing for the next several weeks. Thanks a lot, daylight saving time!

I always assumed that daylight saving time was a throw-back to a more agricultural era. (No wonder I never appreciated it. For the record, there's nothing agricultural about my life except when I go to Whole Foods and pay too much for organic produce.) However, thanks to a little resource called Wikipedia (a.k.a. "If it's on the Internet, it must be true"), I now know that daylight saving time was proposed in 1895 and implemented for the first time during World War I. An early objective was to limit usage of incandescent lighting. With modern energy systems, this is no longer necessary.

So why do I have to wake up in the dark?

I am now and have always been a morning person. Call me crazy, but I like my mornings to look like ... well ... mornings. Plus, I have a particularly good reason to bemoan setting the clock forward this year. 

You see, I am the mother of a teenager.

Like every teenager I've ever met, my daughter is perpetually sleep-deprived. Between hours of homework, hours of horseback riding, and hours (and hours and hours and hours) of texting, she is always tired. Under the best possible morning circumstances (a carefree vacation day, bright skies, bacon frying downstairs in the kitchen), my daughter has a hard time getting up. Prying her out of bed before the sun has even risen? 

Can you say, "mission impossible?"

Here is our typical morning ...

6:15 am Her first alarm goes off

6:16 am She hits "snooze"

6:30 am Her second alarm goes off

6:31 am She emerges from her room and moans, "Mo-o-o-om, I'm so-o-o-o-o-o tired. Can I have five more minutes?" I answer, "No." She moans louder and shuffles back to her room, where she will stare blankly for several minutes before finally getting dressed, finally (kinda sorta) making her bed, and finally coming downstairs for breakfast and a ride to school. Often there are last minute emergencies and firedrills — a ripped sweater, a misplaced permission slip, money needed for a rendezvous at Orange Leaf. If she can be ready by 7:00, my husband can take her. Otherwise, I have to.

Daylight saving time won't change much about this little ritual, except that it will be that much darker; she will be that much more tired.

So, I Googled "teens and daylight saving time" to find some advice. Here's what I found:

Tip 1: In preparation for changing the clocks Sunday, don't let your teen sleep in on Saturday. Get her/him up by 8:00 am.

Ha ha ha.

Tip 2: Encourage your teen to try relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Tip 3: Insist that your teen turn off all electronics (mobile phone, PC, TV) thirty minutes before bedtime.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Sorry, but I'm laughing too hard to type now. Good night!

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