Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ticking time bomb

Posted By on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 at 7:21 AM

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There are several groups petitioning to keep Colorado on Daylight Savings Time and eliminate the need for you to go around the house messing with your clocks twice a year. Fast-talking volunteers are standing with clipboards outside a grocery store near you, gathering the necessary 98,000 signatures to send the decision to the ballot boxes in November. If they get their way, Coloradans can just twiddle their thumbs while the rest of the country climbs atop their stoves to reach for their kitchen clocks.

Usually I scoff inwardly at these petitioners as I speed-walk past them. First of all, what makes them think grocery shoppers are the target audience for their many little petitions? And what sort of person can hold a clipboard and sign his name while his arms are full of groceries? But after enduring this first week of trying to put my baby to sleep at a new time, I’m all-in on the dotted line.

There may be some advantages to not switching the times back and forth on people. Save The Daylight Colorado has done the research, or at least brainstormed a few ideas together, stating confidently on their website that the lack of sleep after springing forward “causes an increase in heart attacks.”

I’ll go with it. And although it’s a simple equation, it gets a little confusing trying to figure out the gain and loss of one hour on the current schedule, and when you eat dinner at six o’clock the same as the night before, why is it that you’re lying in bed now with a growling stomach and your eyes wide open? If the you of the past is now an hour into the future, why can’t he figure this whole mess out by the time you catch up to him?

You see? Instead of setting the clock forward or back, I’d rather just set the clock outside the window until things settle back to the way they were.

But I’m in it for legitimate reasons, like getting the baby to sleep with as little fuss as possible.

Getting my son to fall asleep at his regular bedtime is hard enough. He doesn’t care about daylight savings. All he knows is he’s being put in his crib an hour early and cheated on the amount of time he gets to push his toys around.

The toughest part of being a new parent is the cry-it-out phase and knowing how long is long enough. Changing the time just makes this worse. He screams until his head is sweaty all over and he doesn’t fall asleep until it’s well past his normal bedtime, at which point my wife and I have broken every cry-it-out rule that’s ever been passed down since Adam and Eve.

I consider myself to be tough about the rules, but my son cries into the monitor until my wife feels bad enough to send me in to his rescue, only to find that his cries were a put-on and he hasn’t dropped a single tear, already smiling as my appearance is right on time. He lays there and watches the door for movement, and any parent who has to crawl in and out the nursery door every night to avoid being seen knows switching the time on a baby is not going to go well.

Who thought time was something man can control anyway? If the inventor of the clock never came along with his fancy idea for harnessing day and night into a little box then we wouldn’t be having this discussion in the first place. He must not have had a baby of his own or ever had to babysit for any friends, and he got the timing of it wrong anyway, otherwise we’d all be out playing in the yard or something instead of sitting here talking about one measly hour.

Things are much better if you just let the sun tell you what time it is, I say. You might miss your favorite show once in a while, and maybe looking up at the sun isn’t quite what the eye doctors are recommending, but at least there would be no pressure about being early or late for things. Babies do their best to ignore the rules anyway. You show them a schedule and they might laugh you right out the nursery door.

To simplify any confusion, allow me to propose a new set of rules: Wake up when it’s light out and go to sleep when it’s dark again.

So, on second thought, I’m not signing any quack petition to twist the clocks’ arms for the last time. I propose a new petition to rid the world of time completely.

Pico spent his childhood years in the Springs. Now, as a father, he's seeing the city (and life) in a different light. Follow him on twitter at @DavidXPico.

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