Friday miscellany: Slow starts

Just a quick post as I am typing this in my basement at 6:30 a.m. The bad news is the toddler was up at 5:15 a.m. this morning, which was just…tough. The good news is that he has recently started to play semi-independently (often with the Thomas train car set!). So I get two minute patches between events requiring my attention.

We were supposed to be traveling yesterday but Ida hit around here with a vengeance. We’re all fine and the houses are fine — just lost power for a few hours — but a lot of roads are closed. I keep staring at photos of the interchange in Philadelphia where I-676 splits off to go northwest on I-76 to my house, or south toward the airport. I’ve been there a hundred times and yesterday water was all the way up to the signs on the overpass.

Ten years ago we attempted to drive the day after a hurricane (Irene) after it appeared damage was light, and we wound up driving in circles for hours and eventually staying in a hotel in upstate New York where the basement was completely flooded out and there was limited power but they took pity on me — with my 4-year-old, toddler, and 7.5 months pregnant with #3 — and let us stay. I had no desire to repeat that experience, so here we are. We’ll do Labor Day adventures, but for now it’s just a slow start.

Thanks for everyone’s responses to the morning schedule post. I assume we will wind up driving twice a week or so (I suspect Monday in particular, since that can be the roughest sleep shift). We need to be more disciplined about bedtime for everyone — me included, if the toddler wakes me up at 5:15 a.m., though I am hoping that was an outlier — and that will help as well. I also have some hope that the bus schedule will be better when we move to the new house, so we shall see. There had been moves afoot to shift high school to a later start time, but with Covid that just lost intensity.

2 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: Slow starts

  1. You will probably find that an earlier bedtime doesn’t really help teens get more sleep, because of the shift in circadian rhythms. At some point each of our four kids expressed something along the lines of, “it’s stupid to make me lie in bed awake for three hours if I can’t actually fall asleep.”
    We just did our best to prevent screen use after 8 or 9 (not entirely successfully – we would literally lock phones up in a box at night, and at least one of them responded by buying a secret burner phone; we set the internet to turn off, they hacked in and reprogrammed it…your kids may be more compliant than mine were, but they do say now that they appreciate our efforts in retrospect, despite the years of mighty and vociferous objections we endured!)
    Our district began working on changing school start times when my oldest was in middle school, and it happened in time for my youngest’s senior year of high school, so it took 7 years. It might be possible to set things up so he doesn’t have a first hour class, effectively creating your own late start.
    If I were in your shoes, I would try to keep consistency and plan to drive (or have your nanny drive) every day. It would be better for kids to start later, better for the climate to incentivize the bus, and it’s unfortunate that the system is not set up for either.

  2. Sorry to hear that you were also affected by Hurricane Ida. I live in Hammond, Louisiana where my community was greatly impacted by the storm. I’m actually using a hotspot from my husband’s work phone to access my email since we do not have power or internet service. We lost power on the evening of 08/29. We do have a gas generator that we use off and on throughout the day to power the fridge and a window unit for some relief from the heat. While we have damage to the house (tree fell on roof above my youngest son Andrew’s bedroom), many downed trees strewn all over the yard, and limited communication, we are blessed that no one was hurt and things will be repaired eventually. We are hoping electricity will be restored in the next day or two. Thankfully, we can remain in the house while the roof and Andrew’s room is repaired. I remain hopeful and look forward to getting back on my regular schedule. Life is truly an adventure!

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