Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Best Laid Plans

(Hope you didn't miss me yesterday!  Technical difficulties wouldn't let me upload my post, but I seem to be up and running today!)

I am so tired of being awakened at ten minutes to six in the morning.  I'm so tired of traipsing around the house to queue up various movies by the hazy light of dawn in the bleary-eyed hope that I can milk another fifteen minutes of sleep out of the arrangement. 

I guess I'm just plain tired.

And while I'm perfectly content with sleeping until 9am, my little tyrants are less than accommodating.  So most days, when one of them wakes up and is incapable of functioning while his brother is unconscious and the noise level in the house is below 100 decibels, he rouses the other and, as a team, they awaken me from a dead sleep in the most jarring manner possible.

Sometimes they jump on me, concentrating on joints and my bladder.  Sometimes I get hit in the head with a hard plastic toy (never a stuffed animal).  Sometimes my brain jumps to life at the sound of large amounts of splashing water or the doorbell being rung by an elusive four year-old wearing nothing but dinosaur underpants.

No matter how they did it, it needed to stop.

My first choice was to chain them into the bedroom using some sort of weapons-grade materials, but knowing that one of them occasionally needs to use the toilet forced me to reconsider.  Joel and I talked about setting an alarm clock to go off at a predetermined time, but I was hesitant to encourage them to wake up on the exceedingly rare chance that they might sleep in.  You know, someday.

The best option for us was this nifty little device that seemed to fit our needs perfectly; a clock that could be set to the time we felt was acceptable for our young kids to leave their room.  When the clock would strike that unfortunate hour, the picture on the clock would change from a blue star to a golden sun and signal that it was time to get up.

But that product is made overseas, and I'm cheap.  Even when it comes to my sleep, it would seem.

So we tried to purchase a similar product, only to discover that it was sold out and badly back-ordered because America clearly has an epidemic of early risers with curly hair and a penchant for maternal torture.

The best do-it-ourselves alternative we could come up with was to put a lamp timer on, well, a lamp of all things, set to kick on at 7:30am, a time still well before my preferred wake-up, but better than 6:15am.  We stocked their closet with a bookshelf and a plethora of toys to play with until they were allowed to leave.

We rigged it all up, tossed the kiddos in bed, and crossed our fingers.  And you know what?  The most amazing thing happened.  Tiny footsteps padded up the stairs at 7:30 sharp the next morning. 

"Daddy, our lamp turned on, but I just wanted to tell you that Graham and I are going to keep playing in our room, okay?"

I'm sorry-- WHAT?

I think I got better sleep that morning than I have since I had children.  There might have been a double rainbow, and I bet I dreamed about newborn puppies.  It was a great day.

The next morning I woke up to this.

And the day after.  And pretty much every morning since.

In fact, what began as such a well-executed attempt at self-preservation has turned into a disaster of my own making.  Every day they succeed in trashing the room more thoroughly than a grunge rocker in a pay-by-the-hour hotel.  Sheets are ripped from the bed, blinds are bent in every direction and those tiny dinosaur underpants are strung from the fan blades. 

And yesterday they still came out before the lamp came on.  So many times, in fact, that I was up for good from 5:57am on, either herding the boys back to their room or pulling wooden trains from between the mattress and box spring of Graham's bed. 

So as I stumbled through yesterday's activities with a foggy mind, I had only one lucid thought-- what was so wrong before?


  1. LOL! I've contemplated those clocks before too. Luckily Raya is scared to get out of her bed so she just calls for me in the morning....and I've been going in and saying "nope, it's too early...go back to sleeP" and she will usually oblige for another 30 minutes. I"m so glad she's scared to get out of her bed so that she can't make a mess in her room! I'm screwed when Brielle is older though---someone I don't think she'll be as timid :-P

    1. I'm so jealous! For now, I guess... when Brielle is on the loose it sounds like you might be in my position. I hope you have better luck than I have!

  2. I feel bad for you- that is way too early to be awake!! I hate it when we try to do something different and "better" and then we figure out that it is actually worse and we wished we had just left it alone! My boys at ages 7, 4 & 3 are finally starting to play fairly nicely in the mornings and letting me stay in bed as long as I please. They are way too loud to get much sleep, but at least I can doze and ignore their fighting!!

    1. That's great that you can trust them not to start fires or climb the curtains when you're not watching. I'm hoping it will come with age. Before 18, preferably.


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.