Sunday, January 22, 2012

Spiral Notebook Sunday: Sunday, October 25, 2003

This week's entry is all about the numbers. So here, a few numbers to get you started. At the time this entry was written, Son-One was 15; Son-Two, 13; Son-Three, 12 and Daughter-Only, 9.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunday, October 25, 2003

Mornings at our house are all about the numbers. For instance, six people and one bathroom. The boys are up by 6:45 and out, ideally, by 7:30 (no need to panic until 7:45, though). Daughter-Only is up by 8 and out by 8:30, ideally, but 8:35 is the absolute panic line for her because her bus driver is constitutionally incapable of coming on any kind of regular schedule. We don't expect on-the-dot timing every day, but this guy can't even keep it within a ten-minute window--hence cause for panic at 8:35 even though on many days he's not there until 8:55 or later.

Adding to the numerical joy is the fact that my alarm goes off at 6:30, so I can be sort of a back-up for he boys' own alarms. Rather than reset my alarm for 8, when I actually have to be up, I repeatedly hit the snooze alarm, which goes off every 9 minutes for an hour-and-a-half (ten times). I do this even when it's obvious the boys are up without needing my backup (nagging, I believe, is the more familiar term).

I am a snooze alarm expert--capable of hitting the snooze button purely by instinct, often with no fumbling around. It's as though there is some biomagnetic connection between my hand and the button. Even when I'm so groggy I can barely open my eyes, I can do the math to figure out when the next alarm is going off (how many minutes are left and the nearer I am to the end of my "snoozing," the more precious each minute becomes).

One morning this past week, Daughter-Only, Hubby and I were all trying to get up and out of the house by 8:30 and the following conversation took place:

D-O (looking at the clock on my nightstand): MOM! It's 8:10!
Me: It's ten minutes fast.
Hubby (barely lifting his head off the pillow and squinting at the clock above the computer): That one says 7:55.
Me: Yeah, it's five minutes slow.
D-O (from the dining room): The microwave clock says 8:03, but it's two minutes fast!

For some reason, this struck us all as beyond hysterical. Of the other clocks in our downstairs--there's an alarm clock in the computer room, which is either unset or unplugged, there's a clock on the CD player in the living room, which is unset and flashing a completely incorrect time, and there's a clock on the stove, which was at one point correct, but between power outages and Hubby rearranging appliances (and hence, unplugging the stove), it is wrong by hours. I used to go around setting the flashing clocks, but have long since given up. Hubby is a habitual rearranger and won't reset any of them himself.

As for the stove clock, which is an analog and, therefore, non-flashing, I see it's incorrectness as an homage to my grandfather, whose stove it once was. Pap had refused to turn the clock forward or back for daylight saving adjustments for as long as I can remember--just that one clock so it was more a symbolic rebellion than anything. I got the stove last year as a hand-me-down from Dad and Girlfriend when they replaced it with an all-digital, touch-button, ceramic-top model. For all I know, the new one automatically makes adjustments for daylight saving, which seems so wrong somehow.

In any case, the clock on the old stove is wronger than ever and I view this as an extreme version of what Pap was trying to say when he refused to change his clock on the whims of society. Not merely (as Chicago so pathetically (and pseudo-philosophically) crooned): Does anybody really know what time it is? More like: Who the hell are you to tell me what time it is?


12 comments:

  1. If you wait long enough, the concept of time begins to fade, as a tool for directing actions. I have to perform certain tasks each day, but when I do them is not terribly important. Therefore, I can honestly say that I am not into time. Unfortunately, until recently, being an educator, the clock was a relentless taskmaster, so I am making up for lost time. :)
    BTW, alarm clocks stopped being necessary for me more than twenty years ago. I would give anything to be able to sleep in until such time as an alarm would actually awaken me. Sigh. Meanwhile, nap-time...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As this post would indicate, I'm no fan of the clock. There was at least one other time-related entry that I remember making in the notebook. I think the words fascist and inhumane may have been involved. My work schedule now is kind of weird because it is basically second shift four days a week and then first shift one day. Even after two-plus years of it, it wreaks havoc on me in some ways.

      Delete
  2. Ah, numbers! I don't exactly get the snooze thing - for me, waking up is tantamount to getting up. I rarely stay in bed more than five minutes after I wake up. I am magic when it comes to sleep. I can fall asleep with a minute of closing the book and stay asleep until the moment it is time to get up (which, on school days is about 4:15). And then I just do - get up, that is. No desire to prolong the agony.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I envy your sleeping ability. I am HORRIBLE at it, which is kind of embarrassing since it seems like such a simple skill to master.

      Delete
  3. My husband is the master snooz-er. Not me. My alarm clock is my 15 year-old daughter who gets up on time every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy to report I am a reformed snooz-er now. Though I will admit it's largely because of my new-ish work schedule. I don't have to be to work until 3:30 p.m. most days so an alarm is completely unnecessary except for Sundays when I work at 8 a.m.

      Delete
  4. I love these little views into your life...so fun, and a good indication of what things will be like for me when my 4 munchkins are grown up somewhat! Ian will set his alarm an hour and a half early on purpose just so that he can continually snooze it until he needs to get up. He claims that's the best hour of sleep. I maintain it is nothing short of ridiculously obnoxious, as it deprives me of an extra hour of sleep!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hubby felt pretty much the way you do about the obnoxiousness of it. I eventually did quit doing it and I'm a reformed snooze-buttoner now--because of my work schedule, I only have to set an alarm one day a week now anyway, and I set it to go off with only room enough for one snooze which I use only if I absolutely need it. ;)

      Delete
  5. The only clocks in my house that are right are the ones on our cell phones and computers. All the other clocks are a guesstimate.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yet another thing your Pap and I have in common!

    I have two alarm clock monkeys who wake before dawn. Some sort of cosmic payback for my slatternly ways. It's a good thing they're cute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And my vw just now was "pestst"

      Delete
  7. I don't usually need an alarm clock, but when I do, I get up after the first or second ring. I realize you intentionally keep hitting the snooze button because you don't need to get up on the first ring, but have you ever looked into some of the more clever alarm clocks?

    Off the top of my head:
    - There's one shaped like a ball that shuts off when you hurl it against the wall.
    - There's one that launches a hover craft that annoys the heck out of you until you catch it and turn it off (and it might even squirt you too... I don't remember.)
    - There's one that requires you to enter the answer to a math problem to shut it off. - No math? On it rings!

    ReplyDelete