Thanks Daylight Savings

Yesterday the clocks went back an hour.

The children woke at their usual time of 5.20 am, which was now 4.20am. Despite their early rising both children weren’t keen on having day sleeps. Essentially we had an extra hour of tired children (and parents) to amuse for the day.

The benefit of the long and sleepless day was that they seemed to hit their wall a little earlier than usual.

6.25pm my husband points at our 19 month old “Quick- she’s rubbing her eyes”

I immediately jump to attention and run around like a loon “White noise, teddy bear, night light, curtains closed – READY”

My husband walks into her room, places her in the cot, and leaves. Still holding the door handle, eye brows raised, waiting for the usual screams. Silence. He lets go of the door handle, still raising his eyebrows and I suspect holding his breath, as I was. Shrugs shoulders. SILENCE. This silence after placing her in her cot at bedtime is a new phenomenon for us and if it weren’t so cheesy it would absolutely be an appropriate moment to high five.

Child one – DOWN – 6.30pm – RESULT

That just leaves Tinkerbell (not her real name -age 3) who is suddenly/tactically playing all of her cute cards in order to distract us from the fact it will soon be her bedtime. Cuddly and delicious, she begins reading her books out loud, cocking her head to the side and grinning at us. Earlier in the evening she requested a spoon of ice-cream on the basis that she would go to bed when we told her and without requiring us to lie down with her until she gets to sleep. Desperate to reinstate child-free evenings in our household, I was prepared to offer anything up as bribery.

At 7.00pm, when we were sure child number one was soundly asleep, we informed the eldest it was now her bedtime.

“I’m hungry”

“I’m thirsty”

“I need the toilet”

After the usual standard delay tactics I remind her of our deal.

The cute lovely smiles are replaced with her lower lip dropping onto the floor as her eyes roll that way too.

“I don’t wanna”

Again I remind her of our deal.

“I don’t want ice-cream again”

“So how will you feel tomorrow when your sister gets lots of yummy treats and you don’t get any”

“I don’t wannna go to sleep. I don’t want ice-cream or cupcakes”

This scenario is something that has been happening a lot lately. I’m desperate to see my threat through the following day however, if truth be told I’m a bit rubbish. She knows this. When tomorrow comes if she’s generally good and cute enough I will end up giving her treats. If all else fails, if she’s bad enough and I need her to do something – I will end up giving her treats (my only way to get her compliance). It’s become apparent to me that I basically reward her for bad behaviour. I have a feeling she knows me and my weak resolve extremely well!

Eventually she agrees to go to bed if Daddy lies with her (kind of a result for me at least). He goes with her to bed. 10 minutes later he reappears, eyebrows raised and a shrug and that look I know so well,

“Down – for now!”

Child two – DOWN – 7.30pm – RESULT

Our daylight savings reward is the fact that for the first time in a long time/EVER both girls are tucked up in bed by 7.30pm.

Child one – AWAKE –

Child two – AWAKE – 4.28 am

Thank you daylight savings!

In their world it’s 5 (ish). 5 am is a time that has changed from pre-children being ridiculously, absurdly early to be awake at/middle of the night to now being grateful for it, regarding it as an acceptable time to start the day. However, anything that starts with a 4, I am not grateful for nor is it acceptable in my books.

As today is ballet and its pouring with rain outside I decide to get the girls out early and do the food shopping. I feel rather pleased with myself that I have managed to complete a big food shop with both children, we are all still smiling (ok, so they may have eaten half the contents of the supermarket on the way round) all before 10am. I look at the time and decide that we still have heaps of time before ballet so we can dash home to unload the shopping beforehand.

En–route to ballet the girls are beginning to fall asleep in the car – understandable given they have already been up nearly 6 hours at this point. I do my best to keep them from sleeping, plying them with more sugary treats (yep – my threat of no treats for the eldest today already well and truly abandoned).

As I’m attempting to park the car, a dad who attends the class after ours, helps direct me into the space. I wonder why he is so early but perhaps he’s going to the playground first? I then take my time getting the girls out of the car, it’s only just 10am and I’d rather not have to wait outside the class too long with two fidgety children as it’s located at the top of some precariously steep stairs. We dilly dally along to the class. I then see my friend with his daughter who also goes to the later class. As I walk towards them the penny drops – I’ve messed up the time of the class!

After a brief and frazzled discussion with my friend, I grab the girls and leg it up the steep steps, bursting apologetically into the class for the last 5 minutes. Just in time for some bubble machine action and Miss Emma distributing the end of term certificates. The girls don’t really get that it’s the end of the class. They are just excited to be at ballet. I try my best to hide my face from all the other parents as the tears fall out of my eyes by the bucket load. I’m so cross with myself.  The other mums see I’m upset and give me understanding, sympathetic looks.  I feel like a total idiot and am so disappointed for the girls who have not stopped talking about ballet all week!

As the class finishes up, the doors open and the next batch of ballerinas (including my friends’ little girl) burst in. They all sit on the mat in the middle of the room and my 2 angelic looking girls join them. Obviously they think that’s what they are meant to do, they’ve only just arrived after all. I drag them away as they look at me confused, even more so by the fact I have more tears rolling down my cheeks again.

The room next door is huge and empty. A couple of the other mums are in there with their children. My girls join them and they all run around in circles giggling and jumping off the pile of mats in the corner. I start chatting to the mums, explaining my morning to them. They are lovely and of course – have been there! One of them has twins (2 girls nearly 3 years old). They are 2 beautiful bundles bursting with energy and full of cheeky chatter! We exchange stories and straight away I feel better, just by talking to someone else who understands. Quite honestly I am in awe of people who have multiples as I struggle to keep afloat at times with 2 young girls 18 months apart.

I’m not entirely sure I can blame daylight savings on my cock up with the time of the ballet class (they used to attend the later class however haven’t done so for at least 4 weeks) however I do think if it wasn’t for daylight savings the girls may not have been up so early, I may not have thought that I could fit in shopping before the class and I may have realised the correct time for the class was in fact 9.35am. However, I would like to thank daylight savings for the fact that my husband and I had an evening last night, the fun the girls had with the twins in the room next door to the ballet class and the fact I made a lovely, brand spanking new friend.


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