Remember the days when Sunday mornings meant a lazy sleep-in? Maybe that still is your reality. Lucky you!
In my case, the realities of parenthood and the ridiculous sleeping patterns of our children (i.e their early rising) has annihilated any chance of a sleep-in at our place. This is particularly unfortunate at this time of year. The sun doesn’t even wake up until 7am, yet we’re rudely awoken before the sparrows. Plus the house is an ice box. Under the doona is definitely my preferred place to be!
The rainy weather doesn’t help the situation either. I fantasise about those romantic BC sleep-ins in bed, lazily spooning while we listened to the rain…
Yeah, right. Those days are long gone!
But you would think that conditions would be perfect for our children to sleep-in during the Winter months. Afterall, it is lovely and snug in bed, and aren’t they meant to be afraid of the dark? Apparently not! Because 6am tick-tocks around oh-so-quickly when we’re living off sleep fumes and suddenly it’s AWAKE time. And unfortunately for us, it turns out that just because they’re awake, we have to be awake too!
Just quietly though, I’ve recently found a way to sneak in an extra 30 minutes of golden, under-the-doona, morning cuddles with Mr D. It’s all thanks to that controversial babysitter; it’s called, Television. Oh Television, how I love thee! You and your ABCkids and NickJnr whose morning programming is my sleep-saving saviour!
Thanks to morning TV, my morning ritual goes like this.
Right after Miss E pads into our room and prises my eyelids open to introduce me to the new day, she promptly wakes young J-Man (who’s currently co-sleeping with us). No matter how much I shush her, her chatter and uncoordinated belly-flop as she squeezes in for a cuddle in our tiny double bed always wakes her brother.
“Who wants Dora?” I hopefully ask, as I realise there’s no chance they’ll go back to sleep.
Instead of being met with rapturous applause, I hear the unison thud and hurried stompings as they both jump/fall out of our bed and rush to the loungeroom. I stumble after them, my short-sighted eyes without their sight-giving contact lenses.
I manage to find the remote in the dark and the chime of the tele buzzing to life gives me a sense of relief as I realise my return to slumber is not far off. Next I cover their little knees and toes (which don’t even nearly make it off the edge of the couch) with a throw rug, and power up the gas heater. Comfort for the little ones is key.
Not wanting to be woken again before sunrise, I blindly find my way to the kitchen and choose their favourite bowls. This bowl allocation is essential to avoid Miss E’s complaints that, ‘He’s using my bowl!’ and insistent ‘Choo Choo!!!’ pointing from J-Man when his sister has his Thomas bowl.
So, to avoid further delay of my return to the land of nod I get the bowls right the first time. I then pop one smartie* (preferably in a ‘girl’ colour) into the Barbie bowl because Miss E slept the whole night in her own bed. Next I split a mandarine equally (oh god yes, equally) amongst the bowls and then cut half a dozen pieces of cheese to be shared also. Then a packet of sultanas – shared. And maybe some dried cereal – shared. Alllll shared between the bowls.
After checking the bowls for equality – just to be sure, I calmly place them in their laps for a pre-breakfast snack. I quietly tuck their rug around them again, pop their drink bottles on the coffee table and silently retreat to my bedroom. All this while their eyes have been fixated on the plasma, and my brain waves resemble REM sleep.
With the children now cosily pacified with Dora and munchies, I sneak under the covers and make spoons with my toasty Hubster, warming up my toes between his shins. If we’re lucky we’ll get 30 minutes of uninterrupted cuddle time. If we’re unlucky – 30 seconds. Then it will be his turn to brave the blinding, pre-dawn down-lights and biting chill of the floorboards under his naked feet. But fingers crossed for the former!
* You may judge me for the morning chocolate, but despite this being very poor nutrition I focus on my comfortable sleep through the night more than the ill effects of her sugar high.
Do you have a back-up plan for the mornings that works with your kids, so you can get just a few precious minutes sleep?