Tuesday, March 16, 2010

beating back time, or-- time beating me

This time change is beating my butt.  At 4pm this afternoon I could hardly hold my eyes open and now, at 8pm I know I do not have long left.  I'm aiming to go to bed after the kids- and Pook is still up, reading with CD.

When Pook was an infant he thought morning started at 5am.  We figured either he'd been born into the wrong family or he was simply wrong.  Wanting to keep him, we set out to change his behavior.  And, don't laugh, because we did.  When the time changed and suddenly one morning he was waking at 6am, we adjusted ourselves but not him.  We continued to put him to bed as if the time had not changed and he continued to wake up at a (slightly more) acceptable time, according to our clocks, internal and external.  When the clocks changed back in the fall we took a more scientific approach and adjusted him by fifteen minutes a day for four days or so.  And, yes, he was the kind of baby that a parent could do that with- a very predictable sleeper.  (Extra story:  I was on the phone with my mom and said I needed to go because Pook was about to wake.  She wondered how I could know.  My reply was that he usually napped between 59 and 61 minutes and it was 59 minutes since he'd gone to sleep.  And then I heard him wake.  On cue.)

As the kids have gotten older we have become more casual about adjusting them to the time and it has only mattered in the fall anyway.  Until the recent change in date, the Spring Forward has always happened during our spring break.  Vacation Time never really cares about clocks and we had a week to adjust slowly so we didn't consider how difficult it could be before a school week.

This past weekend was a fun one.  We have a friend who, basically, is the astronomy department at a local college.  (Another aside: before Pook was born she came over and laid down on the nursery floor with a compass, a map of the May sky, and a pile of glow-in-the-dark stars.  The ceiling, which is now our playroom, is astronomically correct for his birth month.)  This past Saturday night she invited us, and two other families, to a private showing of the planetarium and observatory.  We sat in the dark, in comfy recliners, and got a tour of the sky.  Anyone, aged 3+ who had a question got the question answered and demonstrated.  "Why does it look like planets reverse their direction in the sky?"  "Well, let me show you!"  Did you know that the earth has shifted on its poles since the astronomical signs were assigned?  I'm really not a Capricorn at all; I'm a Sagittarius.  And, more interestingly, part of December has no astronomical sign at all!  Captivating stuff!  We went upstairs to the telescope, but the cloudy skies prevented us from seeing anything.  The kids enjoyed rotating the scope, opening the ceiling and rotating the ceiling with her key chain remote.  And climbing on ladders.

I knew it would probably be a late evening, and when we finished dinner at 7:30 and hadn't yet even gone to the planetarium, I realized I needed to stop checking the time and just go with it.  And we did.  It was a great evening and it was worth the loss of sleep.  Hopefully I can catch up tonight and spring forward with the rest of the country tomorrow.


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