Up­hill bat­tle to re­pro­gram the chil­dren

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Mi­randa Mur­phy Mi­randa Mur­phy is a mother of three and a jour­nal­ist at The Aus­tralian. Follow me on Twit­ter @mur­phymi­randa

RING out the bells – day­light sav­ing is al­most here!

Don’t for­get to put your clocks for­ward. Or is it back? Best not to trust me on this one – I’m never en­tirely sure.

Avoid mak­ing im­por­tant ap­point­ments for Sun­day morn­ing, just to be safe.

Let’s go with clocks for­ward. Ad­mit­tedly you lose an hour be­tween 2am and 3am – but, lo, you “gain” an ex­tra hour of glo­ri­ous light at the end of the day.

And that’s an ex­tra hour of fruit­less ef­fort con­vinc­ing the chil­dren it re­ally is time to go to bed. “But it’s still light!” they protest – point­ing at the 7.30pm sun­shine blaz­ing into their bed­rooms.

Next morn­ing you can’t get the lit­tle blighters up.

“But it’s still dark!” they protest – de­spite the 6000watt light bulb you’ve in­stalled to re-cre­ate the con­di­tions of a day­break.

Lit­tle chil­dren look be­wil­dered at this off-kil­ter turn of events for a few days – why, mummy, why?! – but even­tu­ally they just ad­just.

Older kids de­mand a sci­en­tific ex­pla­na­tion of day­light sav­ing and why days and nights get shorter or longer.

Ap­par­ently the idea of day­light sav­ing was first thought of by Benjamin Franklin, the Amer­i­can found­ing fa­ther, sci­en­tist and pro­lific in­ven­tor, among other wor­thy pas­times.

We can also thank him for the uri­nary catheter, bi­fo­cal glasses, the light­ning rod and flip­pers – but sadly he never ap­plied his gi­nor­mous brain to a ma­chine for get­ting young­sters to bed when it’s still light at 9pm.

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