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Wednesday , 28 July 2021

KERR: Change your clocks, adjust your plans, go easy on your kids this DST

Facebook memes of 2020 suggest the end of daylight savings time this weekend, since it happens in conjunction with a full moon and Halloween is the year’s equivalent of restarting the computer to resolve technical issues.

And while many people are looking forward to that sweet extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning, most parents with children under the age of five are laughing at the idea their beloved minions might actually sleep in.

In my house, we will consider ourselves very lucky if the one year old sleeps through the night, or at least deigns to go back to sleep after making sure we still exist at half past four.

Our three year old will stay in her bed quietly and look at books when she wakes up, but only so long as there is no audible indication of life elsewhere in the house.

Should my husband or I attempt to sneak to the toilet and come back to bed, the creak of the bathroom door will surely be followed by “Are you awake?” being asked repeatedly between quiet but persistent knocking.

Smarter parents than us started training their children for this shift weeks ago by creeping bedtime later in 15 minute increments.

We’re the people who forgot the time change was even happening.

Our preparation for the time change was reminding ourselves yesterday morning that when the kids get up at 6 a.m. on Sunday, it really is 7 a.m. and we need to be gracious about it. (In previous years, there have been tantrums from everyone).

My husband claims he will go to bed early on Halloween night so he can still get that extra hour. I wish him well, but fully intend to stay up eating our daughter’s candy (not all of it, just the Mars bars and Sour Cherry Blasters) and reading a book that will no doubt make it impossible to fall asleep in a timely fashion.

The Wikipedia entry for daylight savings time is a reasonably entertaining time if you’re in need of a good rabbit hole. (As a fun aside, it is also one of the 3 per cent of Wikipedia articles that do not lead to “Philosophy” if you keep following the first non-italic, non-parenthesis link. Thirteen clicks get you to “Rule of inference” which then becomes a loop with logic.)

Interestingly, the practice of daylight savings time is less global than I thought. Its usage is actually limited to Europe, North America, Chile, Paraguay, and parts of Australia.

Last year, the Ministry of Service even did a study to decide if Alberta wanted, needed, or cared if daylight savings time continued in the province. The results are still under review and no decision has yet been made.

But yeah, the time is changing at 2 a.m. Nov. 1. Change your clocks, adjust your plans, go easy on your kids when they get up before dawn.

About Meredith Kerr

Meredith Kerr moved to St. Paul for a career in journalism and morning radio in 2014 expecting to stay for six months to a year. Since then, she has put down roots in the form of a husband, a mortgage, two babies, and a poorly behaved dog. She continues to work as a reporter until such time as she finishes her book and becomes fabulously wealthy from the royalties. Meredith also serves as a member at large on the St. Paul Library Board and volunteers as a Beaver leader for the 1st St. Paul Scout Group.