Four-year-olds do not sleep when it's sunny. That's an exaggeration, but I cannot say that I am in love with this early switch to later sunsets. The hour shift has been tough enough when we've had three more weeks of gradual, natural lightening to get used to the idea. But now that it's mid-March... Ouch.
Last summer my non-napping three-year-old played hard enough that he was ready to hit the pillow by 7:00 most nights. This early spring, he's got more stamina -- physically, not emotionally! And, he has less chance to burn off calories if it's too chilly for his wimpy mom to want to run him around a ton, or if she's too busy working all day and making dinner after preschool to let him spend two hours at the park. But my son is so darn tired, I know he needs to get rest or I will be in for a big whine-fest the next day (to say nothing of what wrath the preschool friends will encounter). If only I'd taught the child how to rest by himself and he hadn't abruptly stopped napping at two and a half with no interest in quiet time...
In the winter, early bedtime was easy. It's dark outside during dinner. Now, three days into this new schedule, I'm well over the loss of the hour on Sunday, but with daylight streaming in well into bedtime snacktime, we are struggle to wind the day down on schedule. Once you're used to quiet upstairs by 7:30 p.m., it's rough on the marriage and the psyche not to have it until 8:30 p.m.
By the time we
I clean up from dinner, make the next day's lunch, finish emails or remaining work, we can't finish getting through Tivo'd American Idol
until 11 p.m.! Then we're all groggy in the morning and facing a rush to get out to school by 8:30 so that I don't lose a precious drop of childcare.
I just hope that when I'm big and pregnant in the summer that we can find a way to trick the kid into believing it's okay to go to bed while the sun is shining. I'll never forget the Simpsons
episode where Bart has to bunk with Ned Flanders'
kids, who are tucked in while kids outside are still playing in broad http://www.americanidol.com/daylight. Any wonder why I've signed him up for three weeks of full-day camp?
Even without clocks messing with her, Jessica Claire/Claire Jess regularly fails at the kind of intentional, rhythmic approach to parenting that she admires. She blogs at Crunchy-Chew Mama.