Because of Twitter I know that everyone else's children are waking up Unacceptably Early, just like mine. I think it's the early morning light, right? The kids have some pretty big windows in their room, and even though they're covered with shades and curtains, you can still see the light around the edges and it'd fool me too. If I wasn't a grown up who didn't highly value sleeping in.
Anyway, it's usually Molly. Around 5 or 5:30 or 6 if we're lucky, she'll pitter patter into our room, blankie in tow, passo jammed in her mouth, and stand next to you all creepy-like until your eyes flutter open and see that The Princess has arrived. You are then expected to haul her into bed next to you and let her play with your phone or the iPad until you are capable of functioning. Which is NEVER before The Princess starts demanding breakfast.
The KICKER to all of this is Jack, who we've always KNOWN to be a Sensitive Super Volatile Waker Upper. The first time he started bawling at six in the morning, when Molly had already been in bed with us for an hour, we had no idea what was up. And you know we were pleasant about it too. But seriously, who is capable of dealing with Full On Outright Temper Tantrummy BAWLING at six in the morning? When we finally got him to calm down he stammered, "I don't want Mollymoo to get up BEFOOOOOOORE MEEEEEE."
The next morning was the same thing, only this time he said, "Daddy I want you to wake me up before Mollymoo!" Like it's a competition? Or something? Or maybe he just doesn't like waking up and seeing that he's alone? WHO CARES! HOW STUPID!
A week or two later it's standard fare in the Cheung household. Children invade the bedroom unpleasantly early, we sleepily tug them into bed and ply them with electronic entertainment. On occasion I stumble out of bed and turn on the television in the living room. But they STILL start demanding breakfast before I'm ready to deliver, and I know what you are thinking. You are thinking: Come on, woman! Do your job! Your children are hungry! But did you know that I can fix a beautiful, healthy breakfast and watch the kids have exactly three bites before declaring they are no LONGER hungry? I can even give them sugary cereal and doughnuts and they will still do this. And then demand lunch at ten. AAAUUUGGGHHH!!!
Phillip left on another business trip yesterday afternoon, so I was on my own this morning when Molly flounced into my room and, on cue, Jack started howling at six. And I decided: THIS IS IT.
I forced Molly back to her room. So then I had two kids crying. I sat on Jack's bed and explained, in detail, how HORRIBLE he is when he hasn't had enough sleep, how he is CRETIN-LIKE and UNBEARABLE and TOTALLY UNREASONABLE. That his "wrong side of bed" is SO MUCH MORE WRONGER than anyone else's. And that he was staying in bed until seven. AT LEAST SEVEN. Both of them. I didn't care if they slept or not, but they were NOT coming out of that room until seven. I put the tiny digital alarm clock next to Jack's bed and told him they were not allowed out until the six turned into a seven.
AND IT WORKED. !!!
Well, not without a lot of, "MOMMY, I NEED A KLEENEX!" and "MOMMY, I HUNGRY!" and "MOMMY, MY NECK HURTS!" and CERTAINLY not without my phone and the iPad to keep them entertained. But at seven, when they were allowed to get up and demand their frozen waffles, they were, dare I say it, halfway pleasant. And I'd had a good forty-five minutes of Time To Process before I had to get up and do anything.
It's an ugly win, but a win nonetheless.
They are now on their second frozen waffle and shouting - YELLING - at a fly stuck in the kitchen. As if they hope to scare the fly into submission. Well. They are no longer yelling at ME, and that is an improvement.