Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bedtime in the Land of the Midnight Sun: F.A.Q.

Bedtime is often a flash-point of conflict for parents, but Alaska throws a monkey wrench into the works with its seasonal extremes of light and dark. Juneau is less drastic in this respect than cities like Anchorage and Fairbanks, which are much further north. Still, on the longest and shortest days of the year, we get something like 18 and 6 hours of daylight here, and the sun never exactly "sets" or "rises" during those times.

No matter how often I explain to my kids that Alaska's acceptable waking hours cannot be judged by the outside light (or lack thereof) during the depths of summer or winter, they remain confused (as do all of our bodies).

That's why I've prepared this handy F.A.Q. about bedtime in the Land of the Midnight Sun, for Alaskan parents, or those visiting Alaska with children. 

F.A.Q. About Bedtime in Alaska

1. It's light outside, but the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 11. Is it still bedtime?

Yes! Go the fuck to sleep!

2. Why do I still hear kids riding their bikes outside then?

Because their parents are nice and we're dicks.

3. It's still nighttime. Why are you waking me up now?

No, it's not nighttime. It's a Monday morning in December. In Alaska. Where you live. Remember?

4. I'm all dressed and ready for my end-of-school field trip to the beach! Can we leave now?

No. It's 4:00 a.m. Go the fuck back to sleep.

5. But I caaaaaaaaaaan't go back to sleep! Can we play outside by ourselves?

Fuck no! Not without an adult, and I'm asleep (as you can see). There might be a bear out this early. Do you feel like being a bear's breakfast? Didn't think so. Go find some crayons and paper.

6. How about a cartoon?

That's only for the weekends. Don't push your luck.

7. Santa?! Is that you? Why are you waking me up in the middle of the night?

I'm not Santa. I'm your dad. And it's not the middle of the night. So get up. It's time for school.

8. Why are you using those heavy black curtains to block out the sun?

Because you're a complete asshole without 12 hours of sleep, and it's June and this is the only way you'll get it.

9. Santa!?

Again, I'm not Santa. I'm your dad. Also, we're Jewish. Santa hates us. Remember?

10. Why are you making us go to bed now if it's still light outside?

For the ten zillionth time, you live in Alaska! Remember when we went to Philadelphia last summer and you were surprised that it got dark at night? Well, that shit doesn't happen here. You should know that by now. Go the fuck to sleep!

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