Monday, August 03, 2009

Watching the clock

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!" 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.


Karly said...

Ok, I laughed out loud at Ellie's Dinglish!! Too cute! And, as I am most definitely not a morning person in any way, shape, or form, I can sympathize with you when it comes to having a little one who wakes up and just instantly pops out of bed, ready to go, and expects the do they do that?

I'm glad to hear that it's going well so far with Ellie staying in her room til 7 :)

Anonymous said...

Did you know that when YOU were 3 your Dad put a dowel on your lightswitch since you weren't tall enough to reach it but you were ALWAYS up before 6 a.m. He drilled a hole through a very small diameter dowel just the right size for you to hold, and he drilled a very small hole through the lightswitch switch itself. Then he ran a copper wire through both. You could turn your light on when you woke up. We would leave a banana in your room the night before, in case you were hungry. You would "read" your books and play until it got light (good in the winter, bad in the summer), then you could "come out" of your room. Like Mother, like daughter...



the dipe squad said...

I'm not sure how well this plan will work. Markus gave her flex room on day 3, and she ended up fighting us tooth and nail until nearly 7:45. Today is day 4, and I was so high on my own quality sleep that I forgot to corral her when she came to see me at 6:45. We need to be more consistent, because (as I learned today by luck), it is SO nice to wake up on my own and greet the day on my terms. That has happened so rarely in the past 4 years that I had forgotten!