Each morning, Ellie springs from sound asleep to wide awake in an instant. When she wakes up, she is ready to move! Unfortunately, she decided that we must be the same, and so when she is up, we (or if I'm honest, Markus) must be up too. She seems oblivious to our zombie-like state. She generally wakes up around 6:30, but it can be much earlier and her eagerness to get us moving is no different. One of my all-time favorite Ellie Dinglish (German & English) quotes was an early morning wake-up, when Ellie was puzzled as to why we didn't want to get out of bed super-early (the sun rises before 5 in Dutch summertime). She wandered over to the window, pulled the curtains aside to reveal the first colors of dawn light and announced, "It's not hell!"...to which Markus responded by muttering into his pillow, "No, but I can see it from here."
('hell' is German for 'light'; she meant it wasn't dark)
After years of early morning starts, we have decided Ellie is old enough to stay in her room each morning until 7am. She has plenty of books, a nice little lamp and Lolo for company, so we think she'll be fine. Although I'm a big believer in teaching kids analog, we put a digital clock in her bedroom so there would be no intricate and unending negotiations about the proximity of the big hand to the 7 (top lawyers of the world, you have nothing on our almost 4 year old). The first morning (yesterday) had the expected debate about which position needed to be a 7 (the last digit was a 7 at 6:17, so hey!). This morning, she tried to forget the whole clock business and carry on as usual, taking the extreme of running down the hallway and hiding behind the kitchen table from Mama who returned her to her room as soon as she was captured. After that, I was pleasantly surprised that she fussed no further and didn't attempt to come out even after Markus went down the hall to get ready for work. I could hear her happily reading and talking to Lolo. Hooray! Day 2 is a success! I even managed to pour myself a cup of tea before she came running down the hall at 7:17, proudly grinning from ear to ear, naked as a jaybird, and shouting, "I did it! I stayed until the 7! And I did it just like Cinderella does!"
I have been asked to clarify the Cinderella comment, and really, I can't. I have no idea. I don't remember a nude scene in "Cinderella". I will try to ignore any suggestions that I am the Wicked Stepmother keeping Cinderella/Ellie in her room against her will. Besides, I really think it was more simple than that. Ellie loves to act out her favorite movies, and after she told me she "did it just like Cinderella does", she demonstrated resting her head on a pillow and then stretching up with one arm toward the open window, smiling to greet the day. Who knows where the naked came in, but it was pretty darn funny.