Daylight Saving Time is no friend of anyone with small children.
Monday morning, my Facebook newsfeed was cluttered with people complaining about being up so early with their kids. One person lamented that her son was almost 4. "When does it end?" she said.
I remember those days pre-children, when I'd look forward to the day of "fall back," when I'd get an extra hour to catch up on whatever. Maybe on reading, the shows on my DVR or cleaning. Or maybe, if my little heart could dream big enough, SLEEP.
I remember those days like I remember the pain of childbirth. I know it happened, but I have little concept of how it felt.
Once you switch your wake-up mechanism from alarm clock to baby, Daylight Saving Time becomes an enemy that attacks by confusing its targets.
Flash to 2:33 a.m. Monday. Bennett, 1 1/2, woke with a spirited, happy coo. I bypassed the back rubbing and subsequent crying and plucked him from his crib. He sidled up next to me in my bed.
He plugged his noise maker with his thumb. But for an hour he tossed, kicked, flipped and belly-flopped between Will, my husband, and I.
I'd had all I could take after an hour. By 3:33 a.m., Bennett was back in his crib, ready to play. I switched his noise machine to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and turned on the projector. As if that was going to appease him.
An hour later, we were both asleep in his cushy arm chair. Me with a neck ache, he with sprawling toddler limbs poking in all directions. An hour after that, Quinn, nearly 3, tugged on me to get up.
We were all thrown that morning, but we pressed onward and ran errands as scheduled. We loaded into a cart and speed-shopped through Sears' hardware, women's clothing and home decor departments in a record 10 or 15 minutes. The time was around 11 at that point — noon to my unfed, sleepy children.and nearly nap time. DST demon baby flailed, cried and frantically stuffed his face with Honey Bunny Grahams.
It was time to pay for my items, but Bennett decided he wanted to bungee out of the cart. I placed him on the floor. He bolted around the corner, down an aisle. He laid down. I picked him up. He dive-bombed.
That's where he stayed, all 27 pounds of him in a football hold. Balancing him on my hip, I fished my wallet out of my bag and swiped my card. Quinn rubbed his eyes and whined over and over and over and over and over that he wanted to go home.
As we left, the clerk flashed a sheepish smile and offered a futile sign-off: "Take it easy."
We were in similar straits Tuesday morning, even though we made sure the kids went to bed an hour later than usual. Bennett began chirping at 5 a.m. I let him lie. Quinn came in at 5:33, pants soaked from an over-wet Pull-Up. I changed him and pulled him under the covers, determined not to rise for the day until at least 6.
Oof. Quinn flopped on top of me, straining to see the clock. "Five-four-seven," he said. Bennett continued his chirping. I rolled over.
Quinn lay still a few minutes. "Fifty-five, five," he said. I let him rouse his brother, one of his favorite jobs as the elder sibling. They played a few minutes, separated by crib bars. Quinn came back, tugged on me. "Five-five-nine," he said.
I zombie-shuffled into Bennett's room.
" 'iiiiiiiiii!!!!!" yelled a bright-eyed Bennett.
"Can I get in Bennett's crib?" Quinn asked. "I want to go to sleep."