Change in Daylight saving – please
It’s five a.m., 19th of October 2007, less than two weeks out from the change to daylight saving . The sun will soon shine through my bedroom window. It’s like the scene in Indiana Jones when he is waiting for the sun to line up with the jewel on the end of the staff and show the way to the Ark – with a couple of notable differences. There is no Ark, just the Arr, Arr, Arr of a wretched crow cawing from a tree outside my room and there are no snakes hissing around me, just the rise and fall of my four kids snoring – for just a little longer – from their rooms. But, like Indiana, I am tense and on edge, not because the Third Reich is about to smash through the walls, but because I am busting for a leak. Yet the pain of holding it in is better than the risk of getting up and setting off an unstoppable chain reaction of awakening throughout the house.
My wife, Deb, was up at three with the baby and is now in a deep sleep. My husband ears worked well all night, shutting out all noises of the baby crying so I should let Deb sleep a little longer. I try to single out the snores – it’s a kind of radar check I do. My eldest son, Max, suffered terribly from sleep apnoea and we needed to get his adenoids out. Now he is six and is breathing just fine. My daughter, Jordan, has borderline apnoea – just the occasional holding of breath but not the long drawn out periods of silence we had with Max. We should probably get it treated but I like the fact that she sleeps in a little longer than the others. I can’t hear Dylan, our two year old, which is slightly alarming. He might be awake already. Dylan is the first to rise lately – yes first, meaning before me. I have thought about putting black plastic on his windows but he’d probably sense the change in temperature from the sun on the horizon and wake up anyway.
The diuretic properties of tea weigh down heavily upon me and I regret the late cuppa I had last night. I need to get up. I switch to stealth mode and unfold the doona gently and roll off the mattress (I can also do this trick at night in reverse after getting home late.) The sheepskin slippers are a little hot for the middle of spring but their softness gives me added silence. I glide towards the bathroom. There are some creaks in certain parts of the floor but I mastered those years ago. All I need to do now is get past Dylan’s door. I choose the brisk walk option, in case he is up and sees me from his bed. Too late. He is already standing at the baby gate waiting for me. “Dadda,” he shouts with joy. I ignore him and continue my brisk walk past his door – yes, perhaps he will tuck himself back into bed and fall asleep by the time I’m done. Respectfully I aim for the ceramic and in that moment of silence I hear the click of the baby gate and then see the quick flash of two boys run up to the door, momentarily pause like Meerkats, look at each other, then dash off, gathering their noisiest toys along the way. Indignantly I aim for the water – all chances of sleeping were heading that way anyway.
As I go through the motions of changing nappies, getting breakfast ready for the kids (and justifying to my wife why I could not simply aim at the side or just sit down and do it) I think about the plans released recently by the government to move daylight saving forward a few weeks, starting from next year. This would mean that the sun rises at six, rather than five, all through October. The idea is good but leaves me with just one question: Oh please, please, please, please, please can we change it now, like this year? One more week like this might kill me.
In Sydney we are on eastern standard time. At the end of October the clocks go forward an hour. We get more light at the end of the day whereas in the morning the sun is rising closer to six rather than five in the morning. In 2008 the Australian government proposes to bring the clocks forward earlier, like near the start of October rather than the end. I’m all for it and you’ll see why when you read this article I wrote at the time.