I’ve often wondered what it must be like to live in a country with different time zones. Do people in LA constantly get fed up with people from New York phoning them up at 6am?

In fact I don’t have to wonder because I have got two time zones right here in my own home: GMT and TST – Toddler Standard Time. This morning I’m on TST, hence why I am writing this at 6.23am while those on GMT are still snoozing happily away.

Most people would accept when having kids that their body clocks are going to have to adjust to the change. Even beyond the baby stage, the sleepless nights are not over. Both of my kids at the toddler stage have insisted on getting up at the crack of dawn. In fact at this time of year, it’s a good hour or two before the cock crows. Ollie was not too bad when he was about Jamie’s age (three). He used to just wake up and read a book in his room or go downstairs and switch Cbeebies on until the rest of us got up. But Jamie is different. He likes to announce to the whole household as well as next door that he is up and about. The first thing he does is go and wake Ollie up to play. We had just about got Ollie into a good routine where if left undisturbed he would wake up about 7.30am, just right for a school day. Unfortunately Jamie now likes to wake him and the rest of us up at 6am. This has repercussions later when Ollie becomes tired and irritable at school.

Claire has found it easier than I have to adjust her body clock to TST. Mine still clings on to the memory of when it could go to bed when it liked and get up when it liked – which was about 10am at the weekend before the kids came along. Try as I might I cannot seem to train my body to the new hours. There’s an old adage that ‘An hour’s sleep before midnight is worth two after’, but if I attempt to go to bed at 11pm I just lie there for hours unable to get to sleep.

Short of re-locating the entire family to a time zone three hours east of here (a bit drastic) it seems there is not a lot I can do. I’ve tried letting them stay up later but it makes no difference. The only time we all seem to get into synch is when we go on holiday and the entertainers tire them out. Sadly, hiring an entire Thomas Cook entertainment team to come round the house every night and run a kids’ disco, bingo and karaoke is not a realistic option.

According to friends with older children, when they become teens I’ll have the opposite problem and be struggling to drag them out of bed. Presumably at some point between now and then we’ll reach a happy medium. In the meantime, Jamie, please be quiet and go back to bed!

Jason Ayres is a Bicester based author of two humorous parenting diaries. You can follow him on Twitter @AusterityDad