Saturday, December 26, 2009

Borrowed Material

As a parent who has children who refuse to sleep and are just plain ol' awful sleepers, I was thoroughly amused by this Daddy-Blogger's (Dorky Dad: Where testorerone and hope go to die) post about "The Child Wake-Up Theorem".

The Child Wake-Up Theorem

I need to talk about a serious problem that every parent faces. It's a problem that they don't tell you about in parenting books or in seminars or in the media. Nobody talks about it, because they know the moment they say something about it, you'll take a vow of celibacy to avoid having any children -- which, by the way, is the same reason nobody talks about potty training to would-be parents.

I'm talking about the fact that kids never, ever sleep in when you want them to.

This is the Child Wake-Up Theorem: The likelihood that a child sleeps in decreases the more that child's parents want them to sleep in.I had to wake both of my kids up this morning. They slept in because I didn't want them to. The Boy had a bus to catch, which provides me with a nice, stressful deadline, which is just what I need in the morning. (For those of you who do not know, I'm what one would call a "night person." And being a "night person" makes me "grumpy" in the mornings. Ergo, a deadline makes it worse.)

The Sequel was relatively easy to wake up. I just lift him from the bed and he is virtually helpless, especially when I'm an uncomfortable ride because I'm jogging from one room to the next trying to get everything done before I have to go to work.

The Boy is not so easy. When he decides it's time to sleep in, it frequently takes a series of pulleys and a team of big horses to extract him from bed. And you'd better make sure that the straps are on tight, because the skinny little thing will find a way out of them if you don't.

This never fails. When I need them to wake up, they sleep in. When I want them to sleep in, which is on most weekends, they insist on getting up as early as humanly possible, assuming they went to bed in the first place, so they can get their full day's worth of shouting and jumping and laughing and crying and leaping upon Dad's sensitive body parts.

I should be used to this by now, for I've had offspring for five years. But my body still expects to sleep in on weekends and on holidays and I feel cheated when I don't get to.

(By the way, I also feel cheated when I have to wear nice clothes to work on Friday, when we normally get to wear jeans; maybe I could just change whenever my dressy-uppy meeting is over ...)

So when The Boy or The Sequel wakes me up early on a weekend, he reduces me to a whimpering mass of humanity, a sad spectacle for anybody who holds fathers in high regard. I do what comes naturally -- I whine, I cover my head with the pillow, and I dive underneath the covers, all the while begging the kids to please, please, for the love of all that's right in the word go ... back ... to ... sleep.

But it never happens, and I'm afraid it never will. It's our curse, as parents, to this fate.

So maybe I should get to bed.

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