I’m starting to believe that there is a photo-sensitive gene (rooster chromosome?) in our bodies, or at the very least some kind of behavioral karma. Once upon a time, I was a young child who insisted on getting up with the sun. I have the vaguest recollection of getting up, seeing if my parents were awake, and then settling down in front of the TV before it was “on.” These were the days when stations went off the air for the night (no infomercials in the absence of programming), ending and commencing with the rainbow bars and the national anthem. My dad and stepmother tell stories of waking up to have me (age 5 or so) standing beside them, staring intently, and asking if they’d like to play cards at 6 AM. I can recall sleepovers at my BFF’s house in which I would be the first and only one up for an eternity, no on else being an early riser.
College cured me of this kind of thing, and I eventually began to sleep later and later. My first jobs in the “real world” weren’t much better, as they were mostly retail positions with hours that bounced all over the place. For a while my townhouse was known as “IHOP,” as I was seemingly up 24 hours a day. I’d bring the closing crew home from the store at midnight and we’d hang out drinking wine until 4 or 5 AM. Good times.
Once I got out of retail and into a “normal” job, I got in a pretty good routine. During the week I’d get to bed by 10 or so and wake around 6. Weekends would be adjusted an hour or two later. Once I got pregnant, I was tired most of the time. I started going to bed around 9 or 9:30 each night, unable to keep my eyes open.
Then came the baby. At first, you sleep whenever. But then we finally got into some kind of schedule. Unfortunately, it’s a very early one. She wants to go to bed around 6 PM, but we’re up by 4:30 or 5 AM. No exceptions. I’ve been working on the bedtime, trying to make it a bit later by increments. It’s helped a bit, but the early rising has not. I think I’m doomed to be up before the sun until she goes to college. This also means I’m doomed to be in bed by 9:00 each night since I’m so damn tired. My parents must secretly be laughing at me.