Spring Forward, Fall Apart
Last week I stumbled upon my husband and four year old son engaged in a very serious conversation. What happened? I had asked, when my husband emerged from my son’s bedroom. Did he throw something? “No,” he’d replied. Did he say asshole again? “No,” he had repeated, shaking his head in disappointment. “He said he wanted an alarm clock for Christmas.” That’s it? He just told you he wanted an alarm clock for Christmas? It looked more serious than that. My husband sighed. “I explained he should never have an alarm clock until he was absolutely ready to – until he had to.” Right, I replied under my breath, did you also tell him he only had one special flower and that once he gave it away he could never get that special flower back? “I just wanted him to understand that waking up to an alarm each morning isn’t that fun.” Perfect, I had concluded, we’ll skip the alarm clock this year and ask Santa to bring him some crack-laced weed instead.
It’s because of this association – alarm clocks are from the devil – that I was confused Saturday night when my husband became irritated to
learn the clocks went back an hour. That’s a good thing, I reminded him, it means you get an extra hour of sleep. He frowned. I wish we set them forward an hour. I glared at him and ran into the curb. You want to lose an hour of sleep?
Fast forward to yesterday morning and it all became clear. Setting the clock back meant that he’d have to wait a full extra hour for football to start. It did not help that he couldn’t find the Halloween candy to eat the time away until kick-off. I reminded him that sugar was from the devil
and gave him oatmeal and a grapefruit while I swallowed a peanut butter cup whole. At 7:00am he had already set his fantasy football line-ups and read the injury report. At 8:00am he had swaddled a pigskin and was rocking it in the bassinette. By 9:00am I feared a scene similar to Ace Ventura Pet Detective – graffiti on the walls, news clippings pasted on the board and traced into the carpet: fall forward. Should have been fall forward.
I, on the other hand, didn’t mind the time change. I reminded myself all day of how the kids would be in bed early and that I might get some time to myself. True to plan, both kids crashed by 7 and I celebrated by staying up late. It was all good until 4:00am rolled around and my son arrived at our bedside. What’s up? I asked him, did you have a bad dream? “I did have a dream,” he replied. “I dreamt we were at a friend’s house.” That’s it? You woke me up at 4 to tell me you had a dream we were at a friend’s house? “Yes.” he replied. Well, what happened? I asked, waiting for the part about the alarm clock that tried to slit his throat. “Nothing,” he said. “We were just at a friend’s house.” Was Meatloaf at least there? “Who’s Meatloaf?” Nevermind, go back to bed. “But I’m done sleeping.” “Me too,” came a voice from the doorway.
Within minutes, every light was on in the house. UFC 39 started in our bedroom and continued downstairs, followed by requests for breakfast and demands to watch The Princess Bride. By 4:30am I had them set up an inch from the TV with snacks and attempted to go back to bed. “What are you doing?” My husband asked disoriented, as though he’d just arrived back from his Avatar body. Fall forward, I said curling up into the fetal position. It should have been fall forward. But by then he was already falling back asleep and I was falling apart.