Why Your Kid Is Up At the Butt Crack of Dawn: The True, Unvarnished Story

It is written, I’m sure, on a wall in a cave in some remote part of the world that we have yet to discover, that on the one Saturday morning when you most desperately need to sleep in, your child is to arise bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:34 a.m.

They will enter your room and stand at your bedside, insistent that an adult is needed to assist with the most basic of tasks, so basic, in fact, that they have mastered it at 2. They are now 6 3/4.

This is your test, ladies and germs.

The waters are treacherous from here on out, and only the strong will survive. Prepare yourself, but don’t try too hard. You want to pace yourself.

Will you, should you, leap from your bed, assuring little snookums that they shall not go hungry for 30 whole minutes that they could have spent sleeping thankyouverymuch (that last part is mumbled under your breath)? Or will you, should you, roll over so your face is now being cradle by the nest your head formed so perfectly in that pillow as it rested overnight, and mumble out the words, “Please, if you really believe in unicorns, and fairies, and the Easter Bunny, you will gimme 5 more minutes”?

I think you’re guessing which path I follow. No overbearing helicopter parent here. Uh uh. No sirree bob. I’m raising an independent child. If she can’t get her own bowl of Peanut Butter Cheerios now, she’s going to figure out a way to get them or wait until 7:30 when the normal human beings who were given the gift of sleeping in and wisely took it actually arise from the warm depths of the comforter.

In 6 (and 3/4) years, this is what I have learned. Children will rise at a ridiculous hour whether that nagging cough they’ve been carrying around for a week and a half could use some extra shut eye or not.

Parents, on the other hand, need sleep. We gave up enough of it when they were newborns.

But a Mom with sleep behind her is a happier Mom, a kinder Mom, a Mom who doesn’t accidentally pour Multi-Grain Cheerios into the bowl when she’s supposed to be pouring a bowl of Peanut Butter Cheerios – thereby angering the 6-year-old and making Mom want to slam down the box of cereal and say “If you can do it better, do it yourself!” before stomping off in the direction of her bedroom.

Yes, oh parenting gods, I need my beauty sleep. Because otherwise I turn into ogre Mom. Watch out.

She bites people who judge her.

What is the earliest your kid has gotten up to torture you? 

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