Parenting

Adjusting to the time change

After Amy's daughter wakes up at 5:30 a.m.(because of the time change), she gets chatty

Jack Kesselman

It’s 5:30 a.m. Talia walks into our room and sits beside me on the bed.
“Tal, go back to bed,” I hiss. “It’s 5:30 in the morning.”
 
Tal leaves — but only for a few minutes. I hear the toilet flush and see the blazing light in the hallway. Sigh. She’s back. Perched beside me on the bed, she wants to chat. Or more precisely, she wants to talk. Even though it’s now 5:35 a.m. I don’t have the heart to boot her out.
 
She speaks:
“The garbage truck comes at 6:45….My school bus comes at 8:17…..Sometimes my bus goes really fast…..I should tell the driver to slow down….. My friend A. sits in the bus behind me. I respect his personal space….I have personal fitness class at school this week…Running season is done…..We’re making spaghetti in class — we voted about it…..It’s vegetarian this time….Sometimes my friend at school has bad behaviours…..She slams the door…. I don’t have bad behaviours…I might like to volunteer at the Y….. I might not have enough time………………”
 
As Tal speaks, I fade in and out of sleep. Occasionally, I make brilliant comments like: “really? mmm? that’s true….hmmm…” Thirty minutes go by…..I’m faced with the ultimate dilemma: Do I give in, officially wake up and inhale coffee? Or do I stay in bed and continue to doze and listen? 
 
Somehow I’m reminded of my University of Toronto days when I studied William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury in English class. Written in a stream of consciousness style, the book lets the reader inside a character’s head. The book is a wild ride of characters’ thoughts darting though time and space and memory. Today I’m having my own Faulkner-esque morning. In the darkness, I have a lovely window into my daughter’s stream of consciousness thoughts and concerns. 
 
Too bad it’s just so darn early. Last night, Tal went to bed at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. OLD time). Normally she wakes up at 7 a.m. like clockwork. But the time change upset her whole body rhythm. I know that setting the clocks back (or forward) messes up a lot of kids. But for OUR kids — this time of year can be especially discombobulating. (DISCOMBOBULATING — love that word!)
 
How did your kids do with the time change? Did you try any strategies for make the switch less stressful?