No one will dread this weekend more than parents of toddlers. Why? Because around 100 years ago some cockwomble of a man decided it was a good idea to change time…TWICE A YEAR!
As I write this I am on my third cup of coffee having been up for FIVE hours (and it’s only 9:45am) so, as you can imagine, this will inevitably be a sleep-deprived, caffeine-fuelled, angry-mama rant of a post (with some vaguely interesting facts spattered amongst the expletives).
Daylight Saving sounds like such a positive term; but underneath lies a torturous shift in time that torments parents across the world. I already have to forcibly keep my kids in their beds until the clock says 6 (I am unashamedly jealous of all you muthas who have miniatures who sleep until 7am or later). But on Sunday I will have an hour-longer battle thanks to the shit-show that is Daylight Saving.
But who’s to blame? Germany was officially the first country to instigate DS in 1916 as a measure to save energy during war times; but I feel a tad harsh blaming them (cue an upshift in my Britishness as I adopt a ‘we mustn’t talk about the war in the same sentence as Germany’ attitude).
In fact, I have to turn to my adorable second nation for an even earlier (if not very localised) use of the Devil’s Time. Thunder Bay in Canada (for my non-Canuck readers Thunder Bay is a comparatively small city which sits over 1,300km North West of Toronto, just above Wisconsin) started time-shifting in 1908, with many other Canadian cities following suite soon after.
Again, I can’t really pin this hellish event on my maple-worshipping fellows; so let’s look closer to home and see who all us mamas can curse come Sunday morning. The culprit is a charming man called William Willett; who, in 1905, put forward the notion of moving the clocks but sadly (or luckily) died before the idea was implemented in May 1916 (just days after our German friends).
As always, the United States have a finger in this early-rising pie too. The man, the legend B-Frank wrote a paper (“An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light”) in 1784 suggesting that Parisians get out of bed earlier to save on candle usage. Quite Franklinly (see what I did there?!) he can do one too!
So there you have it, a cacophony of short-sighted blokes all independently thinking of the same way to drive mothers (and fathers) to the depths of eye-bulging despair during the formative years of their fledglings lives. Good luck to all of you this Sunday!
*Many thanks to www.timeanddate.com for educating me on Daylight Saving!