Laura Snyder column: Bait for sleepyheads
I’m running out of bait. By bait, I mean anything I can think of that would make my children want to get out of bed on a cold winter school day.
I absolutely hate being awakened suddenly when there isn’t some really good reason. So if the house isn’t burning down and there isn’t a hunky movie star knocking on my door, I just want to be left to wake up naturally.
I try to have the same sensitivity when I wake up my children for school. Like me, if they are awakened rudely or suddenly, they may be awake, but they are growling like a pack of bears all morning. It doesn’t make for a good start to the day.
My husband, who needs exactly 40 winks of sleep every night and is up at the crack of three or four o’clock in the morning (which is before dawn, I believe, though I’ve not had many opportunities to test that theory) thinks that the children are best aroused by turning on their lights and yelling “Get up, sleepyheads!” at the top of his lungs. Blasting light into their sleepy eyes and an explosion of sound into their little ears certainly does wake them up, but at what price?
My children love the way I wake them up, but they tend to take advantage of it. Like every other kid, if you give them an inch, they want a day off school.
If I manage to get to them before my husband does, I’ll rub their back or tickle their nose and toes. Sometimes a stuffed animal is employed to do the tickling. They wake up with a smile on their face, but as soon as they realize it’s a school day, they start negotiating a day off.
“I don’t feel good, mom.”
“You were just laughing when I tickled your nose.”
“I know but I think I’m getting ammonia.”
“That’s pneumonia, but trust me, you don’t have it.”
Undaunted, the negotiations continue. “I think I might have a fever. Can you feel my head?”
“Well, that would be bad if you did, because there are donuts for breakfast, and I don’t think the other kids are going to save one for you if you’re sick.”
That’s called bait. But what if there are no donuts? I have whole list of bait up my sleeves:
…It’s your day for show and tell!
…There’s a party at school today!
…There’s a brand new box of cereal and nobody has claimed the prize inside it yet!
…Don’t you want to wear your new sneakers to school today?
…I bought new toothpaste and it’s bubble gum-flavored!
…Guess what? It snowed last night!
…I heard the teacher say you’re going to paint today!
…It’s silly hat day!
…Connor’s bringing his gerbil to school today, remember?
These are bait. You might think that the kids wouldn’t get up if I had no bait. Not true. If, for some reason, I have no bait, I simply stay in bed an extra ten minutes and wait until my husband comes in, flips on the light, and yells, “Get up, sleepyhead!”
You can reach Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com for more columns and info about her books.
You can reach Laura at email@example.com Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com.