Monday, March 15, 2010

DST = Darn Stupid Theory

And so it begins again.  Daylight Savings Time, aka a Darn Stupid Theory.  DST has never been my favorite time of year, at least not the "springing forward" portion of events, but now that I have a kid I absolutely loathe it.  The fact that my kid happens to have SPD just makes it worse.  She needs her schedule, and she doesn't need it arbitrarily bumping around by an hour twice a year.  It's like jetlag without the fantabulous destination.

Yesterday, it wasn't so bad.  Being a weekend day, we just let Kiddo sleep in and get up whenever she woke up on her own.  Bedtime last night was another matter altogether.  Despite playing hard at a birthday party yesterday afternoon (and might I digress for a moment to say that while she was looking mighty cute in her party duds as she headed off to the party......
... as soon as she got there, she immediately joined in to the rousing game of Tag that was going on with all the other cute, little girls in their party duds.  A passel of dressy outfits and carefully bowed and beribboned hairdos tearing around the party room, getting more disheveled and sweaty by the second.  You can dress 'em up, but....) Anyhow, as I was saying, despite the playing hard at the party, Kiddo had difficulty falling asleep last night.

I expected she'd have trouble getting up this morning.  Heck, *I* had trouble getting up this morning.  She was grouchy, out of sorts, and for an added bonus appears to be coming down with a head cold.  Because you want crusted over nostrils to complete the look of the grumpy, sleepy, and at least three of the other Dwarfs' names-adjectived kid scowling at you from the breakfast table.

I did my best.  I made her a hearty breakfast (including a dish that is known around here as "Egg Balls" - egg whites nuked in one of those microwave poaching contraptions) and even gave her a glazed doughnut instead of her usual whole wheat toast.  I didn't object when she played the triple audio delight of Eye of the Tiger, Funkytown and the theme from Ghostbusters over and over and OVER again on her iPod without using her headphones.  I ignored the death stare I was getting in the bathroom mirror as I de-bedheadded the newly banged hair.  I didn't even sing "I see London, I see France" when it turned out she'd put her undies on backwards and thus, there was a good inch showing above the waistband of her pants.  I was a Kind and Thoughtful Mommy, Sympathetic to Her Plight.  And this was with me being sleepy and cranky myself, plus in the final hormonal rush of PMS and suffering with the vague rumblings of a headache that I didn't quite vanquish last night to boot.  (Don't worry, I did reward myself with a doughnut as well.  That cinnamon streusel friedcake from the Wegmans bakery was the only thing that got me out of bed and down to the kitchen this morning, truth be told.)  I even let her bring her iPod out on the porch while we shivered in the damp, "oh right, it isn't actually Spring yet" upstate NY air, thus confusing our neighbors into thinking they were suddenly living in Rocky III.

Now, this isn't our first encounter with Daylight Savings Time, obviously.  We've been fighting the fight to keep Kiddo cool, calm and regulated through the time change for several years now.  That is why I know this is going to get worse before it gets better.  I'm bracing for the meltdown that will occur sometime between the bus dropping Kiddo off this afternoon and bedtime.  It is unavoidable, inevitable, like death, taxes and that weird, long, black hair that springs up on my forearm every six weeks.  Complicating matters is that today is swimming lesson day after school.  While ordinarily I look forward to the extra tiring out Kiddo gets from her swimming lesson, I'm thinking we might skip it today so as not to exacerbate the situation.  Tomorrow morning will probably be worse than today, and by Wednesday we'll likely both be weeping into our Honey Nut Generic-Os.

And for what?  Really, what good does Daylight Savings Time really do?  After a few weeks of it finally being lighter when the alarm clock rang, putting a bit of extra spring in all of our steps as we went about our morning routine, this morning when the alarm clock sounded, it was pitch black outside.  Like we'd suddenly plunged back into deepest February.  Nary a bird singing.  It was just so wrong.  As I put on a happy face and tried to get Kiddo through the horror and off to school, I wondered: exactly whose brilliant idea was this, anyway???

I  seemed to recall, in my not-yet-completely-awake brain, hearing that Benjamin Franklin "invented" DST.  I mean, didn't he invent everything back in the 1700s?  I decided my memory must be faulty, so I brushed the doughnut crumbs from my keyboard and googled good, old Ben.

The following quote from Wikipedia cleared things right up:

Daylight saving time (DST) is often erroneously attributed to a 1784 satire that Franklin published anonymously.  Modern DST was first proposed by George Vernon Hudson in 1895.

Aha!  Erroneously attributed to a satire Franklin wrote.  See, I knew Ben wouldn't have come up with such nonsense.  Of course, I immediately clicked on the link to discover the identity of the true culprit who is responsible for such folly.

There he is.  George Vernon Hudson.  Of course a man came up with such a ridiculous idea.  I mean, obviously no woman - at least no mother - would ever think of such nonsense as smart.  Facebook and the Twitterverse have been chock-full of sentiments echoing mine in the past 36 hours, and most of them belong to parents of children who still reside at home and need to be gotten off to school in a timely manner.  (Okay, so that might be slanted a bit, as most of the folks I'm friends with on FB and follow on Twitter are parents of children who still reside at home and need to be gotten off to school in a timely manner... but my point is still valid: I am not alone in this sentiment!)  

Further reading led to the conclusion that at best, DST is "controversial" and it is unclear how much actual benefit there is to the citizens of the world who are forced to deal with it.  Yep, that's right, DST is not a worldwide phenomenon, as evidenced by this map here.  This map, which gives me a brilliant idea:

We need to move to Hawaii.  Right away.  That would solve our DST struggle once and for all!

And really, having this view off the porch:

instead of this one?  

Just a bonus!

I know that, like most other struggles, this too shall pass.  By the coming weekend, Kiddo should be pretty well adjusted to a regular sleep/wake schedule.  It's just the duration of the battle that I dread and loathe.  Especially when it seems so, darn stupid and pointless.  I'd wager that folks would still do the same activities they do now in the summer even if the clocks weren't switched by an hour, dontcha think?


Ronnica said...

Arizona! Another great DST-free place to live.

I wish we were on DST year round. It's really a better light pattern I think than the regular one.

Creative Junkie said...

I totally don't get it either and there are some states that don't bother with DST so WTH? I want it to be light when we wake up and dark when we go to bed.

Easy peasy.

Anonymous said...

I think we should fall back twice a year forever. Instead of gaining an hour in the Fall and giving it back in the Spring, we would gain an extra day every 12 years!

Benefit Baskets said...

I have always hated DST and I always will!!

She does look so cute in her party duds!!

Em said...

The planets aligned around here, and DST just so happens to coincide with Spring Break this week.


Hope it goes better with kiddo than expected.

And seriously, you get that black hair on your arm? Lucky duck. Mine springs right out of the center of my neck. I wish I were kidding.

Givinya De Elba said...

I don't like it because I feel stupid trying to "trick" myself to do things an hour earlier by turning my clock ... um, forward. Or back.

In Queensland we tried it for one year, had a referendum and it was so resoundingly against it we never did it again. People complain how it makes trading with the southern states a huge hassle, but my bright ideas is for THEM to fall into line with US and lose the DST.

"Because you want crusted over nostrils to complete the look of the grumpy, sleepy, and at least three of the other Dwarfs' names-adjectived kid scowling at you from the breakfast table." Loved that bit!