Every other trick exhausted, mom called in the stuffed toys to assist with morning wake up!

Awaken Imagination

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It’s still dark when I step into my daughters’ room. I find myself tiptoeing, even though I’m there to wake them for the day and noise is my friend. Much as I need to wake the kids, I dread the tears that will accompany their rise.

Everyone in our family has to wake up painfully early for work and school. We’re up at 5:30 Mountain Time in El Paso, allowing me to start telecommuting to my job at 8:00 Central Time. (I get easily confused about what time it is.) M has been struggling particularly hard this week. Her environmental allergies have left her completely exhausted, poor thing.

I’ve used all the tried and true techniques to get her to wake up happy. I’ve climbed under the covers with her and wiggled her toes. I’ve played her favourite music at her bedside. I’ve put her socks on her while she sleeps to grant her a few extra moments of sleep. I’ve asked her about her dreams. None of this have kept her from tired, self-pitying tears and anger at having to go through the morning routine.

Mommy's helper in waking the kids with a smile on their faces!

This morning, something finally worked. I asked M to tell me not about her own dreams, but about her stuffed toy du jour’s. She has a Care Bear, the music one (Heartsong), that she has named Fuey. (The naming of toys is a discussion for another day.) She was instantly awake.

“Fuey had a dream about going to my school, which is my work. She is going to my work to participate in my choir club. She’s going to be the audience. She dreamed of wearing her Easter dress and sitting with Caitlin who is her favourite my friend because Caitlin loves her. Mommy, I’m awake! I’m ready for the big light! I need to brush Fuey’s teeth. I will squeeze the toothpaste just to let air out which is imaginary toothpaste and brush her teeth!”

That’s the little chatterbox I had been hoping to see! She finished breakfast on time, managed to navigate a disagreement over shoes without tears, and got on the bus cheerful and ready for her Friday. I’m just hoping she’ll remember to turn her homework in.

What helps you get your kids out of bed in the morning or, for those you with early birds, keeps them in?

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Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 10-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. They live in the Austin, TX suburbs, where Sadia works full time in information technology. She contributes to a number of parenting websites and magazines and also runs The Mommy Blogging Guide, where she answers mommy bloggers' technical questions.

5 thoughts on “Awaken Imagination”

  1. I don’t have any tricks to share about getting up…but what I love about this little anecdote is how we, as parents, can work to find some pretty unique ways to work around situations. :)

  2. My trick for getting up early is the non-negotiable, strictly enforced early bedtime! The consistent bedtime applies on weekends too, and they are so much better off for it. And when it is still light outside at my twins bedtime of 7:30 PM, it doesn’t matter because their blackout curtains in their room make it dark enough for sleeping. We also start winding down a good 30 minutes before bath and bedtime, which helps.

  3. We have an 8:00 pm bedtime, and it’s 100% strict. Their dad made an exception once to finish up a Star Wars move, but that, and weddings, are the only exceptions I can think of. I think the girls’ school bus schedule is just too early, but I can’t get everything into their evening with an earlier bed time. :(

  4. i have two sets of ID twins ages 3 and 6 sara and sofie (older)have a bedtime of 8:30 but go upstairs at8:00 so thay can have a wind down bath,brush thair teeth and hair and have a bedtime story to end up with them in bed by 8:30 sharp.the “babys”are in bed by 7:30 and do the same as ther sisters.my girls are EARLYrisers wakeing up around5:00-6:00(cristmas an exception of corse)if its anyware from5:00-6:30 we send them back to bed and keep them in by makeing sure thare are no sings of it being at all near morning and occasionaly giving them some cammomile tea and washing ther faces with lavender soap to calm them down enough to send them too sleep.if its later than that (6:30 or later )we let them watch cartoons for awile befor breckfast

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