Sydney and I have been struggling to adjust to a new schedule ever since stupid daylight savings (up yours, Ben Franklin!). Before the time change she was like a well-oiled clock: She woke up between 7:30 and 8 am, we had breakfast, maybe watched a little Sesame Street, played, took a walk around the block in her buggy or ran an errand, then it was straight to nap around 11-11:30. She'd be out for two solid hours. I would catch up on email, shower, go to the bathroom with *gasp!* the door closed, rest a little … basically enjoy my two scheduled hours of free time a day. Then she'd wake up, we'd have lunch, do some afternoon errands and usually go to the playground, come home and eat dinner at 5:30, take a bath, then she'd hit the sack without a fuss at 6:30-7 pm. Easy as pie. I could make dinner, do laundry, catch up on dishes, wash the floor and still have time for a television show or some reading before we adults conk out at around 10:30.
Oh my predictable, idyllic life. I hardly knew ye.
Of course "Spring Forward" (why do they try and make it sound so cheery when it's SO HORRIBLE?) goes into effect on Sunday morning. Of course I'm married to a pastor and yep, we go to church unless we have the Black Plague. So suddenly our 7:30 wakeup? Which we usually have to push to 7 on Sundays to make it by 8 am worship practice? Yeah, that hurts. It hurts A LOT. Because instead of "springing forward" LA-TI-FRICKING-DA, we are actually rolling backwards. And everything's off. Nap time's off, lunch time's off, bedtime's off … IT'S ALL WRONG. WRONG WRONG WRONG. And we're all cranky. Alls the time.
Yes I'm a little bitter. And I should be. Because it's only started to smooth out THIS WEEK (remember, Spring Forward was on MARCH 14). And it hasn't been without a few hard knocks.
On Monday I was determined to finally catch up on some birthday shopping. We were late on my sister's gift and my nephew's gift as well as many other things. I hit Trader Joe's for a few groceries and planned to skate through Target for birthday cards and the finishing touches on a few boxes we were well overdue to mail (my bedroom has looked like a UPS shipping store for the better part of a month). We didn't make it to Target until nearly 12. I knew Sydney would need to go down for her nap soon, but I figured I could afford just 45 minutes more because some days she could make it until almost one.
People, I couldn't have been more wrong. I mentioned earlier in the week that Syd had a temper tantrum at Target (you know, the one my pants fell victim to?) but that scarcely does it justice. What should have been a 30 minute in-and-out job turned into an hour ordeal. It was so bad that I had another mother practically begging me – she had a full cart too – to go ahead of her in line because she knows how hard it can be sometimes. I was so, so grateful. And so, so tired. And you'd better believe that I didn't come home with nearly half of what I needed.
Which of course meant that I had to go back. Heaven help me.
This time I waited until after nap time (which she woke up cranky from because it again came too late 1-3 pm). I took snacks. Sippy cups. Toys. I felt prepared. But as soon as we approached that red cart it was like a switch flipped in my daughter's brain and she started crying and freaking out and doing that crazy toddler flailing thing where you get smacked in the face and kicked in the crotch at the same time. And that's when it happened. I was weak. I was so desperate for peace. I said the magic words: "Do you want to watch a show?" Immediately the flailing stopped. With tears streaming down her face my daughter perked up and said "YA!" She slid complacently into the seat and accepted my iPhone with a downloaded Sesame Street podcast and didn't look back up for 30 mins. I got it all done. I didn't forget a single thing.
It was bliss.
And so the following day? When we were walking back from our local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and she started throwing a fit on me because she wanted a drink of my "wa" (ice coffee) and I said "no"? Out came the iPhone again. I just couldn't deal with it. I wanted to push the buggy home in peace with one hand and finish my ice coffee with the other. I didn't want to argue. I didn't want to struggle to make her sit back down in her seat. I didn't want the tears and the screaming. I just wanted to make it home without a pinched nerve somewhere.
And I felt so guilty every step of the way.
An adorable beagle puppy hopped by on a leash with its owner. Sydney barely saw him, and usually when she sees a dog coming down the street BLOCKS away she starts the delighted exclamations of "doggy! DOGGY!" "It's just this once" I told myself. But it was a lie! Yesterday it was "just once" … now it's TWICE! And my kid is missing out on a beautiful sunny day and the puppy and trees and birds AND I AM A HORRIBLE SELFISH MOTHER! WHY DOES LIFE SUCK!?!?!
I write all this because Tuesday night? And all day Wednesday? And this morning? Have been wonderful. And I haven't busted out the iPhone again or contracted out to Sesame Street. Instead? I've embraced the new schedule and finally, FINALLY made mental note of it. Up at 8, down for nap by 12, down for bed by 7. And I don't know why I so rigidly refused to accept this little shift for so long. I guess it's because I worked really hard for the other schedule. It worked for us. I knew how to plan my day and I didn't WANT to have to learn it all over again.
But I guess that's what you do when you have kids. You embrace change. OR DIE.
(For "little moments of WIN," check out this cool website: It Made My Day. It never fails to cheer me up!)
(And elsewhere on the internet, I posted at Style Lush about the one makeup product I can't live without.)