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Cracking the Crack of Dawn
I count myself a morning person, but even early birds have limits. Mine is 6:30 on days when I'm not up earlier to run or bike.
If only I could get my 4-year-old, Talie, to buy into this concept. Somehow her earliest mornings dovetail with the days I'm cleared to sleep like a sloth until 6:45.
So I hatched a plan. I took my old kitchen wall clock, set the hands at 6:45, and photocopied it. I hung the clock on Talie's bedroom wall with the photocopy underneath, in her sight line from her pillow.
Before bedtime that night, I showed her what the clock would look like while she slept, and what it would look like at a good time to wake up. We talked about how rest keeps the grumpies away.
The next morning I could hardly believe it when I woke at 6:40 with no sign of Talie. I found her in her bedroom, trading lip gloss with her sister Ellie. She'd checked the clock, and not quite sure of the hour, had gone to wake Ellie at what turned out to be 6:30.
The following morning, I returned from biking at 6:50, and Talie was up, but still in her room, this time putting purple nail polish on her toes. "I'm waiting for the skinny hand to get to 7, Mom," she explained.
Talie's time management skills may turn out to be fleeting (hopefully her interest in make-up will be, too). Even so, I've stumbled upon something equally helpful. If Talie learns to head for Caitlin and Ellie's room when she wakes up, it will solve another morning problem: rousing the big girls in time to eat breakfast before the bus arrives.