Tuesday, March 22, 2011

To Wake Or Not To Wake? That Is The Question…

I believe that I may have, on a few occasions, expressed my frustration at my youngest’s propensity for getting up so early that she could give bakers wake-up calls. I may have. Once or twice. But, you know, I don’t like to complain…I just don’t understand why it has to be SO hard to train a toddler to wake up at EXACTLY 6:00 every weekday morning.

Well, a few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to
re-claim our bedroom once and for all, damn it foster Skye’s independence by moving her into her own room. However, her air conditioner stopped working and rather than sit around and wait for our landlord to fix it, we moved her in with Kaia.

The first few nights, we thought that we were geniuses. Skye slept better, and Kaia actually stayed in her room ALL NIGHT instead of coming down and crawling in with us (well, more often than not, anyway). It was easy at first- we’d put Skyelar down for bed, then hang out in the living room with Kaia until Skye fell asleep. It worked pretty well, until the one day when Skye wasn’t as tired at bedtime as she usually is.

On that night, she was still awake when Kaia went up to bed, and the two of them stayed up, playing with stuffed animals, taking turns yelling down to get our attention then giggling, and parroting ridiculous babble back and forth to each other. They were like a Vaudeville act. They had a blast, but didn’t fall asleep for a loooooooooooong time. Usually, Jabiz and I do quiet things while we wait for them to fall asleep, but that night, we finally just gave up and started watching Top Chef at full volume, because all those episodes aren’t just going to watch themselves!

Unfortunately, that night taught Skyelar about all the fun things that she and her sister can do if she waits up until Kaia goes to bed. Needless to say, whenever we put her to bed now, she just lies awake, waiting. And waiting. We’ve tried putting her down earlier and then prolonging Kaia’s bedtime routine, but still Skye waits. I swear, she has the patience of a predator, waiting to pounce on Kaia the second she goes through the door and force her to pay attention to her by throwing all of her binkies to the floor one by one until she does. The two of them are never asleep before 8:00 p.m., and the result is that they both sleep later in the morning.

Sounds great, right?

I thought so, too, until the other morning, when it was 6:15 and Skye was still asleep. We usually leave for school at about 7:00, after having had breakfast together and done all of the usual morning routine things. However, that morning, Skye was not there.

I was completely thrown off, and I was confused. Shouldn’t I be happy that she was finally sleeping late? Then I realized it: I missed her. As a working mom, morning time is very important to me. Take that away, and you are taking away one hour of the few hours I get to see her every weekday. What? That’s just not right! Unacceptable.

I sat at the table and fidgeted for a few minutes, then looked to my husband for support.

“Should we go up and wake her?”

“Are you crazy? Let her sleep as long as she needs to.”

Did he NOT understand? Yes, I was crazy! Of course I was crazy! I was missing out on my morning quality Skye Time! The time when I watch her not eat anything and fling her cup to the floor, the time when I watch her run meowing after the cat, the time when she is grumpy and screams if I’m not holding her, and the time when I have to battle between getting myself ready and stopping her from taking everything out of my make-up bag and throwing it in the tub.

How could I NOT have that?

But I kept quiet and slowly made my way to the top of the stairs, where I stopped and stood, biting my nails and balancing from foot to foot while having the following conversation with myself:

“I’ll just go in and see if she’s REALLY asleep.”

“You’ll just wake her up when you open the door.”

“But maybe she’s ready to get up and doesn’t know it yet.”

“Or maybe she needs more sleep and will be thrown off for the rest of the day if you wake her too early.”

“That’s the nanny’s problem, not mine. At least I’d still get to see her.”

“You are a Bad Mommy.”

“Am I? Or am I The Most Awesome Mommy In The World?”

“You’re an idiot.”

“Yes, yes I am.”

I stood there for another few seconds, trying to decide what to do when suddenly, I heard the sound that I’d been waiting for all morning: the sound of a binkie hitting the floor and rustling. I flew into the room and snatched her before she could even stand up. My husband came out of our bedroom and saw me as I was carrying her triumphantly down the stairs.

“Did you wake her up? You woke her up, didn’t you?” He asked this with a BIT more accusation and judgement than I felt I deserved under the circumstances.

“NO, of course not! She woke up on her own.”

And I wasn’t lying! Though I’m still not sure that my powerful thought waves didn’t somehow will her into opening her eyes. And yes, I know, I am totally pathetic.

Please, please tell me that this has happened to you, too!


  1. I laughed at this post as it's the other way round in my house! My husband is in like a shot in the mornings if our son even coughs and I'm the one saying, "don't go in", "he's just stirring, let him wake up properly first". But my husband loves a quick peek and play in the morning before he goes to work as he gets home late most days. I never complain though, how lucky are we really!

  2. Morning time is so precious in our house too - if our youngest isn't up by 7.00am then I am on the baby monitor and ear at the door just trying to make sure she is alive and breathing - did I smother her in blankets; did she climb out of her cot and hit her head; did she eat something and choke on it... just so melodramatic, but I miss her in the morning too. All the things that we have to deal with as mums.