This Sunday morning at 2:00am, clocks around the United States will “fall back” as Daylight Saving Time ends. Arizona and Hawaii are conscientious objectors to this odd practice, for reasons that will become apparent a little later in this piece.
For college students, this could be the best day of the year. They will stay up four hours later than normal and weep with joy when they realize that it’s not really 1:30pm when they finally roll out of bed. It’s only 12:30, and the caf is still open. Hallelujah, they will shout.
For normal working adults without kids, it’s also reason for excitement, although it’s a demure excitement. They’ll wake up at 8:17am and wonder what they’ll do with the extra hour. Young couples may take a trip to the tile store, just to dream a little about what could be. Super achievers will clean their house. They’ll come back to work on Monday feeling refreshed and thankful. They’ll be cheerful, even giddy, because of that extra hour of sleep.
Parents with small children, however, will be tweeting messages of hatred and violence for a week because their children’s sleep schedule has suddenly become a swirling eddy of chaos that won’t right itself until just after Christmas. They will be out of their minds on Facebook, crabby and mean spirited. “Super excited for the extra hour of sleep, SAID NO PARENT OF TODDLERS EVER!” Angry hash tags will abound: #DaylightSavingTimeMurderer #DieDST #iHateYourAssFaceDST
Fact: Daylight Saving Time is a marketing ploy designed to drive parents with small children to excessively medicate themselves after their small tyrants march into their rooms at 4:32am for the next four weeks. To combat this, parents all over the country will “hear a sniffle” and give their kids Benadryl, so they will feel better. We are told that observing Daylight Saving Time saves energy because we turn on lights later in the day during summer months, but really it’s driven by the alcohol industry. They know parents of small children will be mixing that first cocktail by approximately 3:00pm on that Sunday, and they’re happy to be there for us.
You’ll be tempted to create strategies to avoid Sunday Bloody Sunday, but I’m urging you, begging you, not to. You have to simply suffer your way through it. You cannot avoid it. DST is a wily devil, and it’s had many years to build up immunities against your frail schemes. Suck it up, brave parents.
Here are five things you must not do, under any circumstances. Kids come pre-installed with apps that mitigate against this kind of parental strategery.
1. You must not pretend it’s not that bad. It’s only an hour, you’ll be tempted to think. We’re going to be fine. This is not the worst thing in the world. Ruthlessly resist this urge. Instead, feel the burn. Tap into the rage. This is going to ruin your life forever, so you may as well get good and angry about it.
2. You must not attempt to be cheery and bright on your own. We are the most medicated adult cohort in the history of time, so go ahead and pre-mix a mimosa and put it in a small cooler by your bedside. When you hear that first pitter-patter of tiny feet and the clock reads Insane thirty, go ahead. Take a sip. If mimosas feel a little lightweight, go straight for the Jameson. Be Don Draper for a day. Or a week.
3. You must not attempt to make your kids stay up an hour later the night before, thinking that their bodies will naturally sleep in an extra hour. Think it through, brave parents. This has never, ever worked. You know that when you let your kids stay up late even one night, they make a pact with Satan, who allows them to function on seven hours of sleep per night for the next month.
4. You must not try to outsmart DST and try to break it down into several days. Some of you will be tempted to build complex excel spread sheets that divide the full hour into three twenty minute fall backs; 20 on Friday, 20 on Saturday, and the final 20 on Sunday. Some of you are tempted to do this right now. Don’t be an idiot. This will backfire. They’ll simply wake up 20 minutes earlier each day, and that cycle won’t end until they’re getting up at 11:30pm, ready for breakfast.
5. Whatever you do, you must resist the urge to take your kids outside for most of the day to enjoy the fall weather. You’ve heard that natural sunlight is the best way for your body to adjust to time change? That’s complete balderdash. Put your kids in front of the television for a minimum of seven hours this Sunday.
Parents, you will make it through DST, but it will be the worst week of your life.
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