It's 12:30 AM. Do you know where your kids are?

“Why yes, I do. Playing with me on a stoop on 51st street.”

I’m not one to rant, but WHAT THE FUCK WERE THESE KIDS DOING OUT THAT LATE? I’m not talking about teens, pre-teens, elementary school students, nor even pre-kindergarteners. THESE KIDS WERE A YEAR AND A BLOODY HALF OLD! No one, but several, separated in space by a few blocks so you know it’s not an isolated incident. Not walking along, on their way home from visiting Granny at the hospital or some other perfectly respectable reason for being out so late. No, just hangin’ with mommy or daddy.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PARENTS? THOSE KIDS BELONG HOME IN BED!

Thank you.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH DROPZONE? HIS NEIGHBORS’ BEDTIMES ARE NONE OF HIS BUSINESS!

Seriously though, some children just don’t latch on to “normal” sleep cycles like others. I never went to sleep at 10 and got up at 8 like a good little boy, but it wasn’t for lack of trying on my parents’ part. Hell, my first words were “Heeeeeerrreee’s Johnny!”

. . . and, needless to say, I’m not up at 10:18 in the morning. Im still up at 10:18 in the morning. So there.

At least these parent do know where their kids are. I’ve noticed a trend in the last few years that just amazes me. Teenagers on my newsgroups and message boards who just leave the house at 11:30 PM or later and wander around town with their friends into the morning hours! It amazes me. When I was fifteen, my parents knew exactly where I was at all times and came looking for me if I was out later than 12 (and that better be at a school dance!). I mean, I was 18 and away at college before I walked to the grocery store a mile away after dark. And these kids are just kind of wandering around town at 3AM?

It’s not like I’m 82 years old or something either. I’m 30. My teenage years didn’t happen in the 40s or 50s. I’m just amazed when I hear this…

What’s wrong with just hanging out with their parents? They are only a year and a half…why bother with bedtimes? It’s not like they’ll need to get up at seven- for what? They won’t need to work for about two more decades. School? Not for about four or five more years.

Were they abusing their children? Being too loud? If not, I don’t think you can really criticize them…

Add me to the “what better things should kids do than hang with the folks” Some kids don’t sleep. My littlest sister doesn’t. Never really has. My parents would come home from a party and find the babysitter conked out on the sofa, the child in pjs curled up on the floor watching cooking with the dog. (Or Lawrence Welk. The two of them liked Lawrence Welk and the hunting shows where they give you a recipe at the end.)

The way I see it, parents might as well hang out with the kid, as long as they are both up. Were they drunk and loud? Or what?

We are a diurnal species, both biologically and culturally. These kids will someday enter school and need to become night sleepers, so the training should start now. For now, they need regular hours and PLENTY of sleep for proper brain development.

Sorry, but I don’t see what the big deal is. What if the parents work strange shifts and this is they only time they have to spend with their kids?

In any case, kids (and adults) are adaptable. They can always learn different habits later.

One other thing to possibly consider - if one of the parents involved works an odd shift, it’s entirely possible that they’ve kinda set up the kid’s time to be awake so that that parent can interact with the young one.

WHAT? Are you using cogent and logical arguments to play on the heartstrings of an old third-shifter? You forget–I HAVE no heart!

Okay. Maybe a little one. They sure were cute out there, stumbling back and forth on their stumpy little legs, while doting parents and admiring passersby…

Nope. This is the Pit, not GD. I can allow neither logic nor sympathy to sway me from my original opinion.

Simpsons hijack:

TV: It’s 11:00. Do you know where your children are?
Homer: I told you last night, no!