Let’s just put it out there. If you have kids, DAYLIGHT SAVINGS SUCKS. It makes me swear. It makes me yell. It makes me put my kids to bed at 6:50 in the evening. It messes with them and they in turn mess with me.
When I was childless, I LOVED the Daylight Savings. Ohhh, the days are longer, more sun, happy happy joy joy. One of the few pieces of legislation I supported that Dubya passed during his reign was when he made Daylight Savings longer. Awesome! Yay farmers! Thanks for needing the light! (See? I knew there was a reason to be one.)
Now, I dread it and for good reason. First, I have to explain why we are leaving the house when it is still pitch black outside. It feels like we are sneaking out in the middle of the night to start our day. They freak out when I turn all the lights in the house off and shut the door behind us and we are temporarily blinded – guided only by the lights of the pre-started mom mobile. Then after a long day, I get to explain why it is still light out when I am putting them to bed, thus making me, not the farmers or the government, the bad guy. As usual.
Tonight was a prime example of how I hate time change. You cannot MESS with my kids’ schedules. They lose their freakin minds. I have two awful weeks every year while my kids adjust. Spring forward is the worst. And once again, I am by myself to witness the devastation. One day, and it will be during a time change week, I swear my kids’ heads are going to swivel all the way around. Green vomit. Glassy eyes of evil. The whole shebang. They cannot handle this.
There also seems to be a growing trend in my house that the sound of my voice is not at a decibel level that my kids can hear. Apparently, only dogs and squirrels can hear my requests, demands, pleas and screams to pick up their plates/clothes/coats/bookbags, put their PJs on, wash their hands and so on. Even questions as simple as what they’d like to drink for dinner and how was their day fall on deaf ears.
Today was the final straw. A zen-like calm came over me. I made up my mind and I stuck to it. One too many, I HATE HOMEWORK AND I HATE YOUs. The camel’s back was broken when the high pitched shrieking whine and hysterical tears came from the living room because she couldn’t find her Barbie’s shoe. The bell was tolled after I put dinner on the table and they looked at it and whined, but we don’t like this! It’s ravioli for the love of God. It’s not like I am making them eat foie gras or duck l’orange for Pete’s sake. They seemed to tag team with each other. An unspoken bond made that one would be quiet while the other went in for the kill.
I had had it. I put them in bed. My six and four year old in bed for the night at 6:50 p.m. 1 hour and 10 minutes before actual bedtime, 50 minutes after we had gotten home for the day. No stories. No movies. Light and sunny day still going on outside.
There was no yelling. Just an eerie calm emanated from my body. I didn’t raise my voice or stamp my feet. There was no manhandling. Just a calm, “Get into bed, this night is over.” I was at my limit, but not fearful of losing it, I just knew I had had enough. Time to assert who’s on the top of this food chain.
I am so proud of myself. It’s not easy when they are whining, pleading, begging, bargaining for one more chance and how very sorry they are for what they said before and that they didn’t mean it. They’ve learned and won’t ever do it again. I stayed strong during red blotchy faces and hitching breath. I won. I fought a battle of wills with a four and a six year old and I won.
If you don’t have kids, you might think me weak for being so proud of winning one argument and sticking to my guns. You might think, my kids will listen the first time, every time. HA! I thought that too, and I was very very naive. These buggers are the most stubborn, tenacious beasts you will ever come across. They will fight until you are in the fetal position hiding in your closet. They know no fear. They take no prisoners. Until you have them and they are your responsibility alone, you cannot fathom how hard this job is. How they suck every ounce of energy from your body, leaving you a flabby pile of mush at the end of each day. I’m in the trenches. I am writing my war story as we speak. I will have battle scars, but this will make me stronger, a better parent, a wiser person.
I win. Today. Kids – 843 Mom – 1 I’ll take what I can get.