Sometime here over the last few weeks, RR has embraced a new morning routine where she comes out of her room, stands by my side of the bed while I’m sleeping, and pokes me over and over and over until I wake up.  (Previously to this new routine, she would wake up and play quietly in her room, and then knock on her door and wait for one of us to tell her she could come out.  For real.)

I then, sleepily, drag her under the covers where we spoon and cuddle for MAYBE five more minutes (woah is me, with my delicious morning cuddles).  If I’m lucky.  Usually, she lies there quietly, but one morning she counted, in a whisper, up to the number 39, and then sang “Let It Go” to herself.  And, subsequently, me.

Sometimes, she takes her fingers and pries one of my eyes open, asking me to wake-up.  She then asks me to “Check your cwock, mama” to see what time it is.

Our household takes an hour, start-to-finish, to get out of the house.  This includes showering, dressing, eating breakfast, packing lunches, feeding the dog, stepping OVER the dog, chasing the cats inside from the back yard, gathering and assembling RR’s camp bag, our gym bag to take to work (Mondays), my meditation clothes bag (Tuesdays), and finding a pair of RR’s shoes that don’t reek of urine (a consequence of improper wiping).

During the summer months, we can get away with walking out of the house at 8:30am.  During the school year, this is more like 8:15am, if we’re damn lucky.

We are spoiled, yes.  The crazy benefit of living where we live.  We can’t get married, y’all, but hell yes for free time and not having to routinely wake up at 5am, a la Washington, DC.  (Not to mention, we’re the Happiest City in America).  We’re also fortunate that RR has never been obsessed with early wake-ups.  Seriously.  SERIOUSLY.

ANYWAY!  This is all to say that, hey, when she wakes up and crawls in the bed at 6:15am… well, that’s a lot of time to kill.

Enter… DUN DUN DUNNNN, the television.  Our brief social experiment with morning television (on week days especially) turns RR into a raging, uncooperative, crankass.  Ten minutes or an hour.  Frozen (AGAIN) or Curious George or this Wild Kratt show (I know more about wild animals now than I ever needed to), it doesn’t matter.  CRANKASS!

This morning, I dashed her television-watching dreams in exchange for playing Anna and Elsa with her (I got to be Anna… usually I’m Kristoff).  It resulted in a few disappointed tears, but nothing insurmountable.  And in exchange, we got this polite and fucking delightful four year old, who helped make breakfast (she cracked the eggs and stirred them in the pan), directed what she wanted for lunch (I had to sacrifice one PBJ triangle to the cause), and sat politely at the breakfast table, saying please and thank you.

I told my wife that she hadn’t watched TV this morning.  Her response, “Oh!  That’s why she’s being so nice and cooperative!!”

I don’t know the moral of the story other than I should go to bed earlier so that I can be a less lazy parent in the morning?  I mean, really.  Sometimes Mama just wants to sit quietly with her coffee, am I right?

We’re also considering getting her one of those clocks that tells her when she can wake-up and start her day?  Anyone have one of those?

As inconvenient as she is with her wake-ups, I can’t really complain when I get to cuddle her every morning.  At least she’s not throwing water on me or something.

Does morning television turn anyone else’s kid into a raging crazy-pants?

Posted on July 22, 2014, in everyday. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Yep. As you may have heard, we have had early mornings to contend with since, oh, not quite 3.5 years ago. But regrettably, so regrettably!, TV is a false friend in the mornings. What with the complications inherent in adding another small person to the household, I have tried mid-morning videos again twice in recent weeks. It’s good to make the same mistake over every now and then, just to remind yourself it’s a mistake, right? Sigh.

  2. I have a friend whose children get TV in the mornings, and end up having good behavior afterwards. That is NOT my children. At the very least, they require a decent breakfast before any sort of screen time. Never screen before school/daycare, but it works ok on Saturday mornings when we don’t have to go anywhere and they can have second breakfast at 10:00 am.

    We’ve instituted “coffee time” in our house. When we sit down with coffee in the morning, we are unavailable to read, play, feed children, etc until the coffee is gone. They check the level of coffee in my mug and walk away to play quietly. (Or loudly, somewhere I can’t hear them.) my 4 and 6 yo boys do quite well with this and are (mostly) trained not to bug us. If they do, I point to the coffee in my mug, and they leave me alone.

    We generally wake at 6:00, children wake 6:30-ish, and we don’t leave the house til 7:45 or 8:00.

  3. Morning TV makes any age child cranky pants, period. Heck, it makes me cranky too.

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