Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Girl Child Is Trying To Kill Me

You know what this is?

This is one of those stupid situations that you have in your life that you feel like is NEVER going to end, and then one day it's all over, and suddenly it's YEARS later, and maybe you can sit down and laugh, and say to someone:

"Ha ha!  Remember when my daughter was young and she would NOT stop waking up at FIVE even though it drove me crazy?  And remember how no matter how many times I asked her to just be quiet and not wake anyone up, she'd wake up her brother every day and then HE'D be an unlivable GROUCH for the rest of the day?  Ha! And then I'D be SUPER TIRED ALL DAY, so basically the whole family would be fighting by dinner time?

Remember that?

Remember how I'd feel all in despair because no matter WHAT THE HELL I tried to do, she'd STILL WAKE UP AT THAT STUPID UNGODLY STILL BLACK A$$ CRACK HOUR OF THE DAY?  And Then SHE'D be so tired by noon that she was unbearable, and when I came to get her after school it would be TANTRUM CITY???

That was funny eh?  I thought it would NEVER END!"


So, my daughter is an early riser.  She wakes up at a stupid time.  I can call it stupid because a) we're not FARMERS and b) we're not GO-GETTERS.  Therefore, any hour with the number 5 in front of it is RIDICULOUS.

I know what you're going to say, some of you, and seriously?  It will bring me NO comfort.  You're going to say; "karen, I'm one of those people that will drive you crazy because I actually LIKE getting up at FIVE.  Tee hee!  Yes, but karen, I get up at FIVE so I can have some peace and quiet before all the kids get up."

And that's fine.  I can dig that.  I respect it.  Why?  Because YOU are probably not up singing Justin Bieber tunes as loud as you can, and reorganizing the VALLEY OF THE DOLLS in your bedroom.  You know--you need to get up and set up Barbie's apartment by DROPPING most of the furniture on the hardwood floor?

No.  You probably put on slippers so your feet would make barely any noise, stealthily made yourself a hot beverage, and sat in front of the computer quietly reading some news.


maybe you got up, slipped on your SPORT GEAR closed the door with a quiet "shnick" and headed off for a jog.


you slipped out of bed to do some ZEN YOGA, but nobody even realised you were up.

I think I'm actually ready to give up.

Yes, I, karen Somethingorother, am ready to give up.  And I never give up.  NEVER!  NEVER SURRENDER UNTIL YOU'RE UNDER THE DIRT PEOPLE!!!

I have googled what to do when your little person is an early bird.  I have put a digital clock in her room and had the nice little conversation:

Rational me:  "see this Ella?  What number is this?  It's a 4, right?  If you see a 4, 5, or a 6, then you say 'oops! It's still NIGHT TIME!  I'm going to go back to sleep!' and then you stay in bed until the clock says 7, okay honey?"

That worked a couple of times.  Then it stopped working.  So I changed it to her being allowed to come downstairs at 6:30.  Then it was 6:00.  Then it got changed to "just be QUIET until 7:00."  Then it was "DON'T WAKE YOUR BROTHER UP.  YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GO SNUGGLE WITH YOUR BROTHER UNTIL IT'S 7:00."

I tried keeping her awake till after 8 PM.

I tried adjusting the times the airconditioner/furnace would come on, so it wouldn't start the waking up process.

I tried a night light in her room, hoping that she wouldn't wake up at 4 any more to put her bedside lamp on, thus starting the waking process.

I begged.

I bribed.

I appealed to that psychotic need of a pre-schooler/kindergartener to WIN, WIN, WIN AT EVERYTHING.  Yeah, I told her that if I heard her get up too early, I would win, and if she got up at 7, SHE would win.

That worked once.

Then I pulled out my biggest weapon:

SANTA.  Yes, that's right.  I'm not at all above invoking the power of SANTA as a means of controlling my kids when they're maniacs.

Picture, for example, an epic Saturday SMACK FEST.  There will be some punching, some pinching, and some good old fashioned hair pulling.  Both will be screaming and crying, but neither of them will stay away from each other.


I casually say this:  "Sigh.  Looks like I'm going to have to CALL SANTA."


me:  "but I think he DESERVES to know what's going on."


and then, miraculously:


See?  Genius.

But, I think I've been using that one too much.  And I'm worried that in Ella's eyes Santa will go from this:

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas little ones!  And thanks for the cookies!  They were AWESOME!

to THIS:


So, I have to stop doing that. Besides, it's not working anyway.  What I need to do is go back to my old stand-by:

"The Parents' HOTLINE."

Oh come on.  You've never pretend-phoned THE PARENTS' HOTLINE???  I've mock-phoned THE HOTLINE all the time.  If you don't have kids, you may find it hard to imagine that there are times when you just can not. make. them. stop. fighting.  You get like a minute's respite, and then they're back at it, with the wailing and the freaking and the tattling.

ingenious me:  "That's it.  I'm calling."



Then you flip your cell phone open, and you either move your lips around to make it look like you're talking, if your kids are far enough away, or you actually do talk, like this:

me: "yeah, hi, is this THE HOTLINE?  Yeah, well, I just don't know what to do anymore.  They won't stop fighting.*sigh*  Okay.  I'll try that and see if it works.  Thanks."

And all the while, your kids will be going bananas.


me (saddened):  "No, they're not coming over.  They just said to call again when I feel really sad."

Do you know I once called the hotline, in the lake, at the beach?  Yeah, I actually did the fake phone hand thing, by sticking out my thumb and pointy finger and putting my hand up to my face and pretending to talk.

And it worked.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Today Ella got up at 5:50.  I don't know what time she actually WOKE UP, but there the kids were, with EVERY LIGHT BLAZING AWAY downstairs, and me flipping out of bed all homicidal.  I made Jack go back to bed to try to get a little more sleep.  That poor kid doesn't fall asleep easily at night, and he's super tired if he gets up too early.

But I give up.  I'm thinking that the next plan will be that if she wakes up that early, she has to come straight downstairs and put that idiotic TV on.  I don't know what else to do.

And Santa's sick of me calling him anyway.



  1. brooke has always been in insanely early riser too. she doesn't have any siblings to compound the problem, but since she's generally a stickler for rules, i've been able to somewhat control what happens in the mornings. we did the clock thing. no turning on any lights or playing before 6. no leaving her room before 7. no waking me up before 8. during the time that she's awake and out of her room but can't wake me up, i've got dry cereal set out that she can eat, a sippy cup of milk/water/juice in the fridge (no sippy anymore, but that worked for years) & tv shows she's allowed to watch with the volume down low. have you tried putting some kind of noisemaker in her room? we use a wave machine thing for brooke, but a noisy fan works too. it's always helped brooke sleep better when it's on & she sleeps later when it's on than when it's off.

  2. I say wake her up at midnight, just to tell her that you want a snack before you go to bed. Tell her that after she makes you a snack, she can go back to bed. Then the next day tell her that every time she disturbs the household early, you will have to disturb her from sleep that night. She is old enough to remember the connection and the consequence, I think. Some might cry out, 'Mean parenting', but obviously the implications and importance are not sinking in with her, but if it negatively affects her world, it may finally 'click'. I dunno. You said you were desperate. Let me know if you try it.

  3. nyquill?do they even still sell that?i would say take away a toy every time she wakes up early and disturbs the household..and take all the toys out of her room and put them in the basement she can be all kinds of noisy wayyy down in the basement.

  4. Wow, I love it when people ask for my advice. So I say, zennishly, observe the reality - what hours does she sleep, how many? Accept the reality of her metabolism - she is one who is wakeful in the morning. Observe that the current methods aren't working. Maybe approach it as a puzzle, i.e. with detachment, the goal being that you get enough sleep. Yes, it's great to be very old and know everything, including to know you will never ever have a little one in the house again. Unless my grandson gets stupid . . .

  5. Sherilin, I used to leave the sippy cup in the fridge too! Ah, those were nice times. Actually, Ella is a mini Mommy and she'll go and get herself a drink, and she'll even make Jack a chocolate milk. Incidentally, it appears this nurturing crap, and these masculine/feminine roles are hardwired into us.

    Ella: "Jack, I'll make you a chocolate milk!"

    Jack: "okay!"

    Jack can barely even pour himself a glass.

    I read online about the white noise maker thingy. I may have to get one of those. Or, shut up and suffer :)

  6. Ha! Matt, that's a good idea, and believe you me, I would LURV IT, but a) she's IMPOSSIBLE to wake up, and b) what freaking age do kids get CAUSE-EFFECT????? Mine don't have it. Ella would never put together that she deserves it, so it would all be WASTED. Wasted fun.

  7. Ooo, Paula's hardcare. Me likey. Good idea. I feel it wouldn't work though but I'd have to deal with a TON of crying. Still...

  8. But Jeanne, I don't want to go to bed at NINE! Ha ha..what you said is all true. I know she's only going to sleep for x number of hours. The only problems I have with this (aside from the selfish factor) is that 1) she wakes her brother up, and that kid can not fall asleep in 2 seconds like his sister, and 2) she's tired and grouchy herself for the rest of the day!

    She's MUCH happier if she gets up around 6:30.

    Bah, I'm tired of listening to myself. Whine, whine, whine.

  9. you can buy those noisemaker things in drug stores if you want to go cheap or if you're looking for something fancier, they sell them in stores that have interesting house stuff, like massaging chairs, fancy alarm clocks, etc. do they have brookstone where you live?

  10. I KNOW!!!! Why didn't I suggest this before?!?! You sleep in a hotel every night. One with the complementary breakfast system. Show up at home just before you have to walk the kids to school. Problem: SOLVED.

  11. put a pillow over her face....oops I meant your face. You know so you can sleep through it.

  12. Matt, I've got one better! Karen can walk over to her sister's house! And send Aimee's kids to Karen's house. It will be perfect!

    I've never used the hotline approach. However now that I'm educated in it, I just used it on 2 guys at work. You want me to do what?? Hahaha. Let me call the hotline on that. : )

    And sorry for the early mornings. We get up at 5:50 every work day so all of us love to sleep on the weekends. I have to set an alarm if we need to be up before 10.

  13. having a kid who wakes up too early may be one of my only fears in life

  14. Thanks Sherilin. No, we don't have Brookstone but I'm sure they can be found easily enough.

  15. Matt, that sounds FANTASTIC! Especially right now because I'm cold and tired and burnt out and am wearing a snuggly scarf...sniff..

  16. Ha ha ha Melissa, too funny. Actually, I've tried that, but with my super human hearing I hear everything...until that magical time after many days of crap sleep when I hear, nature takes care of the problem!

  17. Lisa, I'm super happy about all that you said. Yes, why wouldn't be have the kids live in one house and the adults in another?? BRILLIANT. Also, I'm so pleased you used THE HOTLINE. It's invaluable. And finally, the mental image of you and your boys all peacefully sleeping in till a much more civilized hour just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

  18. I've never heard of The Hotline, that's a genius idea though! E is a super early riser and he drives us crazy so we let him turn on the TV in the mornings as long as he is quiet and doesn't wake us up. Then we had the nugget and he is a super early riser too, so we're just screwed because there is no reasoning with a 9 month old.

  19. Paula, I just don't get it. I LURV sleep. I love to sleep in. Sleep is a wonderful gift, and the children and RUINING IT. I feel your pain. You know I feel your pain.

    I give you the hotline as my gift so that you may have light when there is only darkness.

  20. I like Matt's idea - also - did I miss if keeping her up late works in this thread? I also like the waking her up - but only if it works to get more sleep.
    We don't have early risers ((sorry, K.)) - it's quite the opposite in the morning. QUITE the opposite - zip, zip zoom on a slow morning. . .

  21. Christina, keeping her up late does NOT work. What works today, will almost certainly NOT work tomorrow :) Oh well, knock on wood, a little night light seems to be working lately!


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