Monday, September 24, 2007

Falling Asleep, Waking up

The Geeky family are not morning people. We do not leap out of bed when the alarm goes off ready to greet the day. I've had visions of being that person, but it never happens. Sadly, the world is stacked against us. School and work begin at ungodly early hours. Geeky Boy has an especially difficult time rousing himself in the morning. I've written about this before. I find it extraordinarily frustrating. Like in the previous post, I'm torn between "let him suffer the consequences" and "you suck as a parent." Talk about a rock and a hard place. I said to him this morning that if he didn't have school, I wouldn't have to get up. I could sleep at least another hour if I didn't have to check in with him all the time to make sure he hasn't gone back to sleep. I said it's not really fair that I have to get up just to make sure he makes it out the door. I don't mind being the backup, the insurance to double-check that he has everything he needs for school, but I don't like being in a situation where if I'm not awake, he'd just sleep until noon. In other words, I'd like him to take some responsibility for his actions.

For all of you with small children who wake you bright and early every morning, I'm telling you, this is the hard part. I know it seems like the lack of sleep and the terrible twos and all of that is hard, and it is, but the psychology of holding on/letting go is even harder. There's a surprisingly thin line between support and neglect. I'm honestly at a loss of what to do. I've tried a lot of things: lecturing, buying better alarm clocks, taking away privileges, letting him suffer the consequences. Nothing seems to work. I certainly sympathize with him. I nearly failed a class in college because it met at 8 a.m. No amount of feeling obligated to attend could get me out of bed. Gradually, I began to feel more responsible and go to bed earlier. And then, of course, I had kids.

The issue of waking up on time is just one small area of responsibility in a whole series of things we'd like Geeky Boy to take more responsibility for. In some areas, he's great. In others, not so much. And I'm not sure we're the best role models because much of what we take responsibility for is invisible: bills, papers, relationships, etc. We suck at the more visible stuff: cleaning, getting up early, etc. I wonder if we worked harder at the visible stuff if that would make a difference. It might. It might not. And maybe it won't matter. Maybe the invisible stuff is what's important anyway. In the meantime, Geeky Boy still has to make it to school on time.