There’s nothing quite like waking up from a deep sleep to a cry of horror.
We have a system at my house in the morning (of course we do). My son’s awarded points for 1) being dressed and 2) having eaten breakfast (no prompts, he has to do it on his own). This means, in theory, that he’s ready to go to school by the time I wake up. Since he’s part rooster (no other explanation), he rises with the sun, while I most emphatically do not.
Anyway, he usually manages breakfast, being a hungry pre-teen, but getting dressed eludes him at times, depending on how absorbing his book-of-the-moment is. He’s not yet felt any urgent must-get-ready-for-school on his own.
This morning, as I shot out of bed to his cry of horror, he realized for the first time that everyone did actually have to be ready for school on time. Ready, and out the door.
He happened to glance at the clock a full hour after school had started, you see. No Mom had awakened to ask him about 1) being dressed and 2) having eaten breakfast. No Mom had mentioned putting the book down. No Mom had made his lunch, kept an eye on the clock, and gotten him to school on time.
It was a tragic moment. Fraught with horror and the awful realization that he could have woken me on time if he’d thought about it.
Which meant, of course, that it was a wonderful moment for me, the parent. So while my son is babbling about hurry-hurry-hurry, I’m delighted that he’s had a revelation. He’ll be a little late, but that’s not the end of the world. In fact, if he learns from the experience, it’s well worth it.
After dropping him off and watching him tear off for class (much calmer after the car ride), the receptionist and I exchanged amused glances. She’s seen it all, obviously, every permutation of late-for-school. Plus, her heart when out to him when he gabbled out that he could have woken me in time… but didn’t!
My son’s made another step toward individual responsibility.
I have no doubt that he’ll be up and ready tomorrow morning. I have no doubt that he’ll be quivering and ready to go on time, having already 1) gotten dressed and 2) eaten a good breakfast. He may even throw in extras like piling food on top of the lunchbag (like he did this morning while I got dressed) and gasp! combing his hair.
The question is: just how long will he let me sleep tomorrow? Will I be rising with the sun, or long, long before it?