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Early Mornings

10/01/2013

A few posts ago I wrote about our apparent victory over the transition to a toddler bed for our son. I don’t want to say that it subsequently became a failure because that would not be accurate. I’d say it has been a 73% success – which in non-engineering terms would make me a half glass full kind of girl. So what has contributed to our 27% slide you might ask? Well approximately 10 days after raising our glasses to our achievement, our son woke up an hour earlier (6:30 am) than his normal 12-hour night. The next night it was an hour and a half earlier, followed by two hours earlier. Luckily (?) we held at two hours – around 5:30 am for those keeping track – for the following week. This was not sustainable for several reasons:

  1. My son is not a morning person, he is really not a morning person when he has two hours less of sleep. In fact, that makes him not an afternoon person, or an evening person either.
  2. My husband is not a morning person, and while I am a morning person, I disagree with the assertion that any time before 6 am is “morning”.
  3. Grumpy toddlers are God’s way of ensuring population control. You don’t want to be with them, but you can’t be without them.

One grouchy week later, and after several conversations with other mom’s who were nice enough to tell me I looked terrible (I agreed), we ordered an “OK to Wake Clock”. The clock had actually been recommended to me by a friend before we made the transition, but as with most things, I needed to learn for myself what didn’t work before applying others’ good sense.

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The OK to Wake Clock glows when the child is permitted to exit the confines of their chamber. My husband programmed the clock (incorrectly I discovered the next morning, but I digress) and we gave it to our son with great fanfare as a “present” – his new favourite word since I just had my birthday and he’s I’m favour of the concept. We took it into his bedroom where we let him choose where to put his new clock. Then my husband proceeded to jump in and out of his bed saying “good morning!” and “night night!” while I turned the glowing feature on and off. This is the sort of parenting moment where you imagine what this would look like as an outside viewer and you realize just how crazy you’ve become in the name of parenting.

The next morning I went in at 6 am when he woke up to find the clock glowing due to the programming issue mentioned previously. I couldn’t say much because technically he had listened to the clock so I acted happy and did the morning routine. The next morning (with better programming), he woke up four minutes before the clock was to glow so my husband went in and made him climb back in bed while he laid on the floor and pretended to sleep until the clock glowed. The following morning we heard some discussion from his room – no doubt a deep philosophical debate with his teddy bear – around 6:50 am, but no calls for us. The clocked started to glow at 7:15 am, but he had fallen back asleep and didn’t get up until 8 am. Success! We are now a few days into later wakings so here’s hoping this trend continues and the OK to Wake Clock keeps earning its keep.

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