My No. 5 son has just crossed one of life’s bigger thresholds. He is now being awakened from his nightly slumbers by an alarm clock, instead of by me, or my wife, or the sound of the school bus engine as it pulls away from his stop.
I expected No. 5 to start rousing himself on his own this school year. He’s a 7th grader, after all; he gets twitchy when his parents are in the same zip code as him, much less wandering about his own personal bedroom/sanctum sanctorum.
Although I wonder if occasionally he’ll question his decision to choose an automated wake-up system over the tender ministrations of his parents. Well, I’m tender anyway. I tiptoe quietly into the room (Things That Makes You Go “Hmmmmm” Alert: can one tiptoe loudly?), sit gingerly on the edge of the bed, and gently pat the child’s back, or softly tousle his hair.
My wife, on the other hand, sort of barrels into the room, pulling up the blinds and loudly chirping “Good MORN-ing sleepyhead!” My mother used to do something quite similar; she’d snap up the window shades – which snapped up right noisily – while singing a song that went, “It’s time to get UP! Get UP! Get UP!”
I love you mom, but I gotta tell ya, I never cared much for that.
I wonder if on some level, these startling and jarring techniques offer a woman a way to exact a smidgen of revenge for all those nights she was awakened by a baby’s squalling.
Then again, my dad didn’t wake me any more gently. His thing was to stick a finger in an exposed ear. Sometimes, I think he licked the finger first. I guess when I squalled at night as a babe, he must’ve woken up too.