It was Wednesday, Game 1 of the World Series, and the Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals were battling at Fenway Park. In homes around Red Sox Nation, equally intense matchups were underway, as young fans intent on staying up past bedtime played hardball with their parents.
Let’s join Newton’s David Schumacher and his sons in the bottom of the first. “After this inning we are going to get our pajamas on,” said Schumacher, a litigator and Little League coach. Alas, it was less a statement than a plea. Jamie, 9, a fan so rabid he can recite the story of the 2004 playoff run, and Luke, 6, a fan so uninterested he was asking to listen to music but happy to exploit the situation, sensed weakness.
“Nooooo,” they wailed.
By 9:15 p.m. — 45 minutes past bedtime, following warnings from dad, and pledges from the boys to read more and fight less — Schumacher turned serious. Jamie did, too. Like an activist engaged in nonviolent resistance, he went limp. “Is there something wrong with your body?” Schumacher asked. “I’m glued to the couch,” Jamie said, extending an arm to be helped up, then falling like a rag doll.
Baseball is a game of statistics, and as the teams head to St. Louis, the numbers don’t look good for parents. If the Series runs seven games, six will fall on school nights. If last year’s World Series is any guide, the average game won’t end until 11:35 p.m. Some kids need about 10 hours of sleep, according to a Boston Children’s Hospital specialist, and schools aren’t planning to start late. All of which means that by Nov. 1, a serious portion of the region’s kids may be facing a sleep deficit equal to almost an entire day.
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