I used to carelessly say "Summer is our season!" but that was then, in the BK days. You may not be au fait with this acronym as it is new. I made it up. It stands for 'Before Kids' and it helps explain many bahaviour changes that accompany the transition into parenthood. Like why you no longer hang-out, stay up all night and drink more than 2 beers. Or why you have low-maintenance hair and wear clothes that allow you to make a sudden sprint...
In my BK days I used to gloat about Cape Town's long Summer days. I loved that the sun was up by 5am and only kissed the Atlantic shoreline close to 9pm. I made plans. There were hikes, runs, sushi dinner... all outside plans that involved lingering in the good weather with great friends.
Fast forward 5 years and I find that my love affair with this season of sunshine has ended.
You see the BK days are infamous for #longdaysshortyears but what Summer brings is extraordinarily long days because no matter how clean your sleep hygiene is or how structured your bedtime routine may be, your kids brains just don't secrete sleep-inducing melatonin until the sun is down. And that is very, very late.... 9.30pm late and That Is Not An Appropriate Bedtime For Babies - especially when they are waking at 5am with the sunrise. Tut tut, stamp stamp.
And so, my quest began for shorter work hours. It was a voyage to re-capture the Winter bedtime that had been 6.30pm. 6.30pm is a reasonable time to sign off from mom duties and sit down... wouldn't you say?
Enter block-out blinds and thick curtaining. Enter lavender baby wash and bath salts... You will eat beautiful, balanced meals, have no sugar after 2pm and no more than one hour of TV a day. Enter park visits and bicycle riding and anything-to-tire-them-out. I'm sure other kids sleep earlier, maybe there's something wrong with you. And so off we went for check-ups at the paediatrician to introduce antihistamines and a glass of warm milk laced with rescue remedy...
And for all the effort and all the voyaging, we made progress only as fast as the season changed.
And so, as the sun has started dipping off earlier so too have my kids. It's taken the whole of Summer to accept that I cannot fight the force of nature on their brains and no amount of block out is going to convince them its dark outside and time for bed when it's not.
And so next Summer, I will be re-reading this blog and making plans to enjoy the long Summer evenings with my kids by my side... Playdate 6-8pm anyone?