I’ve discovered over the last two and a bit years that as children master new skills, new challenges are thrown up for parents. It’s a bit like technology and the law, the latter is always trying to catch up to the former. So for me I feel like I’ve been playing a very long game of catch up, which in all likelihood is going to continue for many years to come, as I try to keep pace with the development of my children. It’s exciting to see them achieve new heights, but inside I dread what this achievement will mean for me as a parent. For example, once Miss Two finally managed to get on the move, the cat’s water bowl was the main attraction – the cat now drinks in the garage. Once she learnt to walk and then run the cat himself was fair game – he now hides out in my room most of the day.
The most recently acquired skill for Miss Two has come about from a combination of increased height and better co-ordination, the skill is…… the ability to open doors. Until now she has either been too short or not able to co-ordinate the action of pulling the handle down and pushing the door at the same time. This new skill means that she is able to get into and out of every room in the house. So far she is making the most of this freedom, now rising in the mornings between 5am and 6am, getting out of her room and into ours. This might be okay if she was willing to climb into bed with me and go back to sleep, but that is not her idea of fun – and never has been. Her first words are ‘Cereal?’, cue breakfast mum. As yet I have not been able to come up with any kind of workable solution to this, how do I encourage her back to sleep? We’ve also tried to get her to play in her room until a slightly more acceptable hour, she is happy to do this at other times, but not first thing in the morning. This best we’ve managed to do is to have my husband get up with her, as he gets up pretty early to go to work anyway, get her breakfast and put on a taped episode of playschool and then as he walks out the door I get up. This system works well as long as the baby has slept well overnight, ah there is just too much to co-ordinate here.
So in my attempt to stay positive about all things in my life, I’m asking myself what’s so good about getting up BEFORE the crack of dawn everyday? I’ve managed to come up with a few things so far. I can get at least an extra load of washing done in my front loader which has incredibly long cycles, although with many wet days recently I don’t always have inside hanging space available. I can get the rest of the housework done at least an hour earlier leaving me with extra crafting time with Miss Two. Her latest craze has been one of those books where you add water with a paint brush and the colours come through, do you remember those? I’ve had just as much fun with it as she has and it’s not messy at all. We’ve made it to the library story time before the start of the story – dressed appropriately in a fairy dress and gumboots (Miss Two, not me) – and in general we’ve made it to most of our activities on time instead of the standard 15-30 mins late.
Despite all these good things I think I’d rather an extra hour undisturbed in bed in the mornings. So readers, can anyone convince me otherwise, or better yet offer a solution to this fad of early rising.
By the way, while we’re talking about newly acquired skill the baby has just found her hands and couldn’t be more excited. The world has suddenly opened up and she grabbing with both hands… literally. Of course when I say the world, I’m referring to her playframe and her older sister.