Saturday, December 10, 2011

House of the Early-Rising Son

"DAAAAAA-DEEEEEE!  The sun is up!"


"LOOK!  The sun is up!"

This is how my eldest son often wakes me these days.  He proclaims that the sun has risen, not-too-subtly suggesting that we should all rise with it, as if the sun were lonely and needed company in the earliest hours of the day.

"DAAAAAA-DEEEEEEEEEEE!" repeats my son, in case I didn't hear him through our booming child monitor.  Notice how he doesn't usually call for his mother.  He respects her desire to sleep.  And Adam's too.  I think nothing brings my son greater joy than tormenting his father.  "LOOK!  The sun is up!"

I groan again and use all my will to not shout something profane.  "Go back to bed," I respond, and he hears it because he's young and has super-sensitive hearing, which is piqued whenever he expects me to say something profane.

"But I'm not tired.  The sun is up!"

I want to throw a pillow at him to get him to stop, but there's no effective way to do that from my bed.  The pillow hits the wall. 

"Go back to sleep, Kyle!"

To be honest, this isn't a bad wake-up call.  It could be worse.  It could be a scream.  It could be vomit.  It could be Kyle tipping over Adam's crib.  A little proclamation that "the sun is up," is rather harmless and amusing at times.  I probably would welcome it daily if it weren't so often completely inaccurate.  The sun does not rise at 5:15 a.m.

"The sun is NOT up, Kyle!  Go back to bed!"

Okay, maybe the sun is up at 5:15 a.m. somewhere.  There are parts of Alaska where the sun rises early and then doesn't set for more than a month.  But in New York City, in December, the sun does not appear before seven o'clock.  That is, unless the Earth is about to crash into it.  Then, and only then, I'd be okay with getting up.


Don't be fooled: Kyle does not believe that the sun is up, either.  Only once was he confused, and that was because of a full moon at 2 a.m.  When he's up at 5, 5:15 or 5:30, it's because he can't sleep and is excited about going to nursery school, which begins at 8:30.  Our clock alarm is set for 6 a.m., but many times that's too late for Kyle.  If he's up, then naturally the sun must be up, and if he repeats it enough times, he'll convince us all to get up and get going.  But I fight back, determined to stay in bed at least 'til six.  Especially during the weekend.

"Go back to bed Kyle!"

"I'm done sleeping, Daddy!"

And so we go back and forth with a shouting duel between two very stubborn people.  As you can imagine, my wife absolutely loves this.  She often talks about just giving in to the three-year-old, but doing so would require actually getting up, and she usually has no energy for that early in the morning because at night we tend to stay up much later than the parents of two kids should.  So she groans an objection as I keep up the battle.

"No, Kyle, we have to rest a little longer!"

"LOOK, Daddy!  The sun is UP!"

Of all the battles I pick with Kyle, this is one I win fairly regularly, but that's often because it just lasts until six o'clock.  Once the alarm goes off, I stop the fight.  Jennifer gets up, looks at me crossly, and then heads to the shower.  I shuffle my way to the boys' room, and Kyle jumps out with a burst of energy.  He does not admit defeat because he has no concept of time.  The little guy runs to the couch to watch TV, and, after changing Adam, I slowly follow him there.  As I stare blankly at the television, trying figure out why Jennifer and I didn't choose to raise plants instead of children, Kyle begins a new battle, asking repeatedly for breakfast.   Our morning is now officially underway, and, despite claims to the contrary, the sun is still not up.

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