Monday, September 10, 2012

Waking the Deaf*

Two summers ago, I attended a parents-only presentation during Pennsylvania's Great Start Conference. The doors were closed to professionals to give us all comfort and freedom talk about said professionals. I don't remember any juicy disclosures about the uninvited, but I've never forgotten one of our sidebar discussions.

"How do you wake your kid in the morning?" the presenter asked. "I don't know the answer, I seriously just want to know how you do it. Give me some ideas."

I raised my hand high. "My daughter is very sensitive to light," I replied. "I just open the blinds in the morning and fifteen minutes later she's awake."

Easy-peasy, as Julia would say.

And I knew even then that I had made a mistake. I'd jinxed it and soon, growing more mature, getting sleepier, and discovering the ever present draw of a peaceful slumber, Julia would get over her sensitivity to light. 

This summer, she slept past 7 for the first time in her life. Sometimes she'd make it to 9:30, even 10. Sunlight was powerless to stop her.

On school mornings, I open the blinds. That serves to help me find her. Then I hug, kiss, and shake her until she's awake. Groaning she'll ask, "is it the weekend?" I sign "no" and she burrows under the covers.

Luke and Leia during a forced period of outdoor wakefulness.
Most mornings, I enlist the help of these two: the fuzzy alarm clocks. They are effective past 8 am. Full of energy and eager for a play mate, they'll jump all over Julia, not stopping until she is upright.

Before 8 am, not so much. They're Shih Tzus. Roughly translated**, "shih tzu" means "to sleep all day." Even though they bound after me with much enthusiasm, they will very willingly curl up next to their kid for an early morning nap. She throws her arms around them and it's over. Now I have to wake a kid and two dogs.

The morning wake up is one of my favorite parts of the day. Sometimes, Julia tries to pull me under. I can score an extra hug before she really knows whats happening. Eventually, I'll have to get her an electronic device. But for now, I enjoy the morning wake up. Useless fuzzy alarm clocks and all.

*We don't normally refer to our daughter as "deaf." See here, for further explanation.
**Shih Tzu does not mean "to sleep all day" although my dogs do sleep all day.

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