I hate the winter. Sure, I love the holiday season and the twinkling of Christmas lights (which, by the way, I feel should be required to stay up until at least Presidents’ Day), but the whole getting dark at 4 o’clock thing really sucks. The day seems to be over so quickly, I want to be in my pajamas before I’ve even had dinner, and I feel as if I should be asleep by 6 pm. I hate the short winter days and long winter nights. Well, I did. Then I had children.
Oh, how I used to long for these summer nights. The sun setting after 9 pm, having dinner and drinks outside on a patio, going for walks, and basking in the glow of firefly lights. But now that I have kids, I am finding it harder to enjoy these summer nights. Our days are great – we’re playing, we’re learning, we’re enjoying our time together. Our nights, however, are much more challenging. At 7 pm, bathed and fed, my children want nothing more than to go back outside to play and get dirty in the garden or go for yet another bike ride. With the sun still shining so bright, it is hard to convince them that it is actually nearing bedtime.
Keeping the lights in the house low does nothing. Blackout curtains do nothing (the light still seems to find its way in). Using “The Force” to try and make the sun go down earlier does nothing. It has become next to impossible to get my kids to bed before 9 o’clock. Of course, this also does not mean that they sleep in the next morning. Oh, no. When the light peeks in through the “blackout” (yeah, right) curtains, they start tossing and turning. They may doze on and off for a while longer, but every stir reawakens me.
At 5:01 am, I lay there and pray that they will fall back asleep. At 5:38 am, I wonder why Bear needs to nurse again when she just did for the past half hour. At 5:59 am, I think that no one should have to be up this early. At 6:02 am, I debate whether or not I should get up and go to the bathroom, knowing that if I move an inch, I will wake someone under the age of five. At 6:42 am, I am thankful that Bear fell back asleep for almost another hour (and so did I, for part of it at least). At 6:58 am, knowing that both kids will be up for the day soon, I think how nice it would be if they each had a snooze button on their forehead. At 7:15 am, I try to ignore the fact that I am getting jumped on by one or two tiny creatures. At 7:16 am, someone lands on my bladder, making me rethink my 6:02 am decision. At 7:30 am, everyone is awake and I wish I hadn’t gone to bed at 2:00 am… again.
My point is, I guess, that I still love the summer – ice cream, beaches, carnivals, fresh fruits and veggies from our garden, and much more. But, I could really do without the daily bedtime battle. So, summer solstice, can you do me a favor and stay away for the next 10 years or so? Because if you keep this up much longer, I’m going to turn into a crazy lady who starts boarding up her windows come March. Much mahalos.