Rude awak­en­ings

Nine things only par­ents of early ris­ers will know

Western Times - - FAMILY LIFE - BEK DAY

I’LL ad­mit it, when my eightweek-old new­born started sleep­ing through the night, I was smug.

I held my breath for the dreaded four-month sleep re­gres­sion, hav­ing heard all about the hor­rors, but it didn’t come.

Ditto for the 10-month sleep re­gres­sion ev­ery­one warned us about – but noth­ing.

My cham­pion sleeper just snoozed on through the night, ris­ing be­tween 6.30 and 7 each morn­ing.

Then came his first birth­day.

I was well and truly wrapped in my false sense of se­cu­rity by this stage, which is why when my sweet child be­gan ris­ing at 5am on the dot, I as­sumed it must be teething.

It con­tin­ued into the fol­low­ing week, and I wor­ried it might be sick­ness.

He’s now 18 months old, and he’s con­tin­ued wak­ing at a go­daw­ful hour ever since that fate­ful birth­day.

I have be­come reac­quainted with hours of the day I’d for­got­ten since my univer­sity par­ty­ing days.

When I see other par­ents en­ter­tain­ing their chil­dren at the park in the wee hours of dawn, we share a know­ing glance, and I feel like I’ve been in­ducted into a club I never wanted to join.

It is in that sense of sol­i­dar­ity that I put to­gether this list ...

Things you will only know if your child is an early riser:

1. That sink­ing feel­ing of dread when you roll over and no­tice the clock has a five in front of the time ... or even a four.

2. The in­ter­nal tur­moil you have try­ing to de­cide whether to leave them to try and set­tle, or whether to just get up and start your day.

3. The fu­tile hope you have when it sud­denly goes silent for a minute, and you dare to dream that your lit­tle one might ac­tu­ally have drifted back off again.

4. The dev­as­ta­tion that stings even worse when you hear them cackle a minute later, louder than be­fore and most def­i­nitely awake.

5. The re­al­i­sa­tion that your day has gone to crap be­cause while they’re all smiles now, they’ll be grumpy, tired and feral within a mat­ter of hours, well be­fore it’s time for their nap.

6. The pure des­per­a­tion that leads to your ‘Hail Mary’ predawn mis­sion, driv­ing around the streets in the hope they’ll fall back asleep in the car so you can pull over and have an­other 40 min­utes of shut-eye.

7. The rage that strikes your heart when you hear a child­free friend talk about get­ting up to go to the gym at 5am, and you just want to shake them and beg them not to waste their re­main­ing sleep-filled morn­ings on some­thing so silly.

8. The dis­ap­point­ment when you try yet an­other black­out blind/bed­time/Gro-egg/feed­ing sched­ule that some­one rec­om­mended, only to re­alise it was a fail­ure.

9. Think­ing just how lucky they are that they’re the cutest kid in the world when you fi­nally go in to get them up for a cud­dle. For more, visit www.kidspot.com.au.

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

IF YOU DON’T LAUGH, YOU’LL CRY: Not many moth­ers start the day this happy af­ter be­ing wo­ken by an early riser.

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