"It's summer! Can't I control my own schedule even in the summer?" "I am nine, you know. Nine years is plenty old enough to decide when I wake up." "We don't even have anything going on today! Why do you get to decide when I wake up when we don't even have anywhere to go!"
We give her all sorts of perfectly sound reasons for our decision, but she still insists on setting her daily alarm for 5:30 a.m.
I don't know what's wrong with her. "Yes," I agree with her, "it's summer! You should be sleeping in like the rest of the kids your age, you early-rising little freak!" I say this in a semi-jesting tone, and she laughs. I am well aware that the day is soon approaching when I will say something like this and it will offend her, resulting in anger/tears/righteous indignation. Before long we will have an adolescent girl in this house. Come, Lord Jesus.
At our insistence, her alarm clock is currently set for 6. This is a compromise, an hour earlier than the 7 a.m. that was our opening argument. My mom has long hypothesized that children grow so much in the summer because they're getting so much sleep; doesn't she, the girl who is determined to reach a height of an even six feet by sheer force of will, think that some extra rest will help her body achieve that lofty goal?
She cares little for this point of mine. Yes, she wants to be six feet tall (or, she relents, if she has to be shorter than that, then she supposes 5'11" will do, but she won't go an inch shorter than 5'10". I love how she continues to believe she has any control over this.), but apparently even more important to her is her daily alone time. I know what she does in those dark, pre-sunrise hours: She pours a bowl of cereal, adds milk, then spends an extended period of time loitering over her bowl, eating in her extremely slow way, an open book tucked in next to her breakfast dishes.
I, of all people, understand this need to be by oneself, but doesn't she get that in the afternoons, during our daily rest time? She insists that it's not the same, because I'm there, and besides, she just likes being the only one in the house awake. It's her favorite time of day.
I'm well aware that I'll probably look back on this post when she finally has reached those dreaded teenage years and it's all I can do to rouse her before the crack of noon. I'll probably laugh ruefully at my adorable naiveté.
For now, though, I think I'll go set Adelaide's alarm to 6:30, give her thirty extra minutes of growing time. How else is she going to continue in time-honored Crisler tradition and outgrow all her clothes for fall?
|Sleep, Daughter. Sleeeep.|