Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sound the Alarm

Husband and I are different in so many ways. One of the most obvious? How we wake up.

We're sleeping. The room is dark - very dark. We made sure of this by putting up drapes over our wooden blinds. So we have no sense of what time it is by the amount of light.

But then the alarm goes off.

On Husband's side of the bed, things are starting to move. His is the organized side of the bed, which means he actually heard the alarm. The night before, he meticulously set the alarm for twenty minutes before he needs to get out of bed, so when it goes off, an arm claws its way out of the covers, reaches for the clock and he puts it on snooze. Then he snoozes. It goes off again. He puts it on snooze again, now watching it like an alligator, with one eye open beneath the covers. Then it goes off the final time - it is 6:58 AM, time to hop out of bed. And hop he does.

Over on my side of the bed, things are a little less organized. First of all, I don't hear the alarm clock at all, not the first time, nor snooze numbers one, two, or three. This is mainly because Husband has set the alarm to turn on with music, and very quietly, so, in my lazy dreamlike state, I just weave his Classic Rock station into the fabric of my dream.

But he's out of bed, opening the curtains, welcoming the day, waking up the kids, while now I'm staring at the clock in denial. I know I have six minutes till it goes off again and I know the latest time I can make it out of the house with a shower. Then, laying there half dead, I try to do the math to figure out how many snoozes I can have. 
Bar Mitzvahzilla and Daughter have cross-inherited our tendencies. If I'm waking up the kids, sometimes Daughter surprises me by being fully up and dressed yet laying under the covers in her room tricking me. Okay. That would make her like Husband.

No chance of that with Bar Mitzvahzilla. He can sleep through his light being turned on brightly, his radio blasting, his cover taken away. We can walk in there a half hour later and see his big feet and hairy legs sprawled out on the bed, all of him comatose. And that would mean he takes after me.

Yet, somehow, at 8:00 everyday, despite all the smashing of the alarm clocks, all the storming into Bar Mitzvahzilla's bedroom to make sure he's up, all the suspicious questioning about the brushing of the teeth, a car - one or the other - pulls out of the driveway on its way to school, in time for the school's alarm at 8:15.


  1. ugh.
    My oldest and my youngest.
    My oldest daughter, down to the bright lights and big feet...I have to wake her up two or three times.
    My youngest, on the weekends she is in our bedroom at six in the morning.
    My oldest has school from 7:45 till 3:30...it's an academically rigorous school and they give them two study halls daily and a college counseling session once a week. They are there for long hours.
    I love her school. It's a charter and free of charge. However, the kind of hoop jumping and lottery system makes it difficult to get into.
    I did it though.

  2. Mornings. God help me. Save me?
    There are no alarms here yet. The wee little ones are the alarms. This morning and last was an especially chirpy 5:30 am. Which isn't chirpy enough to warrant a happy "good morning" from either me OR the husband.

    Mornings. I hate you. I want to love you. In all your newness. Your presentation of another chance for a great day. But I do not love you. I don't at all.

    I will confess however that there are phases I get into where I can rise early all on my own--somewhere in the 5 am range--and I can sip my coffee in peace and I can start my day feeling heavenly. But a few late nights and that's that. Back to the uncheery me at 5:30 am when the wee ones chirp.

  3. Chris, your comment brings to mind that I should be using the younger one as the alarm clock for the older one. We'll see how that adds to their fighting...

    And I know what you mean about school choice. We've always chosen carefully but part of me just looks back at the days when parents used to shoo the kids out the door towards whatever school there was. How easy was that?

  4. Sarah, I remember the mornings when the kids would wake me up at ungodly hours (to me 5:30 would qualify as ungodly) and I'd sit there tending to their needs and looking at the clock with the hands in this unfamiliar position (I'm a night person, what can I say?) and think, "How soon can I train this kid to sleep late?" It took years.

  5. I used to love mornings. I am gradually learning to love them again.

    I have the alarm on my husband's side. That way, when it goes off, he can nudge me and I can hop out of bed. I really do hop.

  6. My husband and I are completely flipped. On the days he needs up before me I have to kick him several times to wake up and turn off the alarm. I, however, become incoherent after 10PM. Our kids are a good representation of the two. Luckily the really early risers see no need to wake me up, too. They do their own thing till I get up to start waking the grouchy risers for school.

  7. I am a no snooze button, sleep till the last possible second - then run around like a chicken with it's head cut off - type of gal.

  8. Ambrosia, I understand. You can't love mornings when you have babies waking you up. And hopping is good. I need to learn how to hop out of bed.

  9. Charlotte, Isn't it funny how with our kids we can just see that people are programmed differently? Thank goodness some are early risers. I could probably trust my daughter, the drill sergeant, to wake up everyone in the house!

  10. Sativa, I'm just like that. We're always "in a rush" somehow because of me. There's never a leisurely morning, never a newspaper read. It's run for your life to get where ever we're going. Oh well.