Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Changing times changes lives.

When you have kids your life changes completely.  I know I heard soooo many people say that to me when we were pregnant.  In fact, I got to hate hearing it.  Oh no, I would think to myself.  I am going to be that one in a million that doesn't let my offspring change the amount of time I spend with my friends, with my family, on my work....I will be able to do it all.  I will be the one person that will NOT let my life change just because I have a baby.  And I honestly can say, that I walked into the delivery room believing that.  And then I pushed out a baby along with every other delusional idea and notion I had with what life was going to be like with a family.  For folks out their about to have a baby or are thinking about having a baby...don't be scared.  I, like every other parent, allowed my life to change willingly.  One cute like burp, a smile, ten lil' piggies and you're a goner.  You will do what ever you need to do to make your little munchkin' happy and healthy, even if it means giving up you old life and to start a new chapter. 

Granted there are days where you catch yourself longing for some of your old self back.  The partying, the shopping, the long soaks in the bath with out a rubber ducky falling on your get my drift.  And I'm not going to say there are not days where this life is just way to much reality,  and you catch yourself imaging how life would be if you did this or that differently. But then your kiddos sense that they are about to get thrown out with the trash and do something incredibly cute like hold your face in their hands and give you a big fat, wet, cheerio kiss and your back to your reality happy as ever.  What strikes me funny are the small things that didn't effect me without kids but are game changers now that we do; for instance, the time change!

If you don't live in a state, country or region that follows day light savings time, let me explain.  Twice a year we change our clocks ahead an hour or behind an hour to allow for the most sunlight possible during our waking hours.  It started a long time ago to help farmers and now we do it for electricity and economical purposes (or so I think and if I am wrong someone please explain to me why we do this).

Daylight savings never really affecting me before I had kids.  In fact, it was usually something I kind of looked forward to because it meant an extra hour sleep, an extra hour at a bar, or an hour less of a date during the weekend of the change.  But after I had kids I now dread it.  In fact I FEAR it!  My husband and I whisper about it like it has ears, thinking if we don't speak to loudly maybe, just maybe we can sneak past it and the kids will not realize it has happened.  And yet they do, and our lives go crazy for about a week.

It can't be that bad, you are probably thinking to yourself.  Oh yes it is, I will argue back.  Unfortunately, the kids internal clocks don't change even though our physical wall hanging ones do.  And if you happen to have a special needs child who thrives in routines, structure and concrete ideals, then this internal clock needs a sledge hammer to break the old schedule and to start a new one. 

My kids are so different on how they handle it that I have to describe them separately to paint the whole picture.  So first, let's tackle the baby.  Our baby has always had an amazing set sleeping and eating schedule.  Wakes up at 6:30am, eats, sleeps at 12:30pm, eats, eats, eats, goes to bed at 8:30pm.  He typically goes with the flow with everything else in life, but mess with his eating and sleeping schedule and you get one crazed psycho baby that uses his bottle as a lethal weapon towards anyone or anything that might make him mad.  So, during the time change, baby then wakes up at 5:30 and I try to stall him in the bed for as long as possible, but of course the means I am messing with his breakfast so he starts to get mad.  For nap, I try to push it back some, and crankiness get worse.  The crankiness continues throughout the day as I try to adjust his schedule.  By the end of the first day of our "new" time the baby is walking around shouting random words and swinging his bottle around like a drunken sailor.  Enough said for the baby.

Now for our aspie.....weeeellll it's a little different, and what he is going through currently is partly my fault.  About a year back we were really having problems with our aspie sleeping.  He just could not sleep.  IF he fell asleep at midnight, he was up at 4am.  IF he fell asleep at 8:30pm, then he was up at 12:30am.  We tried everything we could think of to try to get him on a schedule and to sleep. I even came up with some rules so that my hubs and I could get some sleep. And for aspies, most rules are pretty well followed.   Rule #1:  When the sun is up we are awake.  Rule #2:  When the sun is down, we must be home in our bedroom starting to relax or if you wake up when the sun is down you must stay in your room.  The sun's position is something my aspie could see for himself and hence it helped with time recognition.  It was also concrete and could not be argued. This and melatonin has really helped him with his sleep and we are now on a really great bedtime/morning routine.  It started getting dark, we would take a bath and get ready for bed.  When the sun is up, my aspie would emerge from his room ready to go. 

We realized we might have a problem with this wonderful "follow the sun" idea I had when we were at the Pirate baseball game for his birthday.  The sun was starting to set earlier and by 7:30 my aspie was rocking in his seat upset that it was getting dark and he wasn't home in his room.  We actually had to leave the game in the 4th inning because of it.  It kept happening every where we went, and my great idea to follow the sun turned into one major problem when we changed our clocks on Sunday.  Since the sun is up at 6:00, so is my aspie which means he is ready for his day, including school, free time and everything in between...oh about 3 hours to soon.  5:30pm and you can find my aspie in his room naked as a jay bird relaxing in his bed waiting to fall asleep, about 3 hours too soon.  Trying to "adjust" his schedule comes with meltdowns that are not just the swinging of a bottle.  Oh no!  This is potty accidents, writing on the walls, not eating, fighting to do anything kind of meltdowns.  Damn sun and damn government Day Light Saving time!

So here we are in day four of trying to convince my aspie that although the sun is "asleep" we can still be up for a few more hours with the family and although the sun is up, its "waking" up a bit early.  It's not going so well.  Actually, its not "going" at all.   But with the help of a digital clock schedule so he can look at numbers on the clock and match them to his schedule, not the sun, we are hoping to be situated in a few days...weeks...months....who know really. 

So, it's the little stuff.  It's the little stuff that gets you every time if you think about it.  The little things like a time idea that you think will help your kiddo....a little bundle of joy to comes into your life one day.  Yep, the little stuff.  Who knew.  I sure as heck didn't, but I can tell you that I have learned this.  Things change and you can't stop it from happening.  So do your best and know the sun will always come up tomorrow. 

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