Monday, December 17, 2007

A higher authority

G and I have spent the last few months locked in a battle of wills over what time I should get up on weekend mornings. So far, I am not winning.

On Saturday, she appeared at my bedside at 6-something a.m. and announced that she was hungry, to which I suggested, without opening my eyes, that she go downstairs and have something to eat. She said she didn't want to do that, and proceeded to sit on my bed and harass me until I got up and grumpily poured her a bowl of cereal.

That night, I thought I would be very clever and head her off at the pass the next morning, so I baked blueberry muffins, put three of them in a Ziploc bag, and left them on my bedside table. When she turned up (again before 7), I directed her to the muffins and went back to what I thought was going to be an uninterrupted sleep. And it was uninterrupted ... for the 15 minutes it took her to eat. After that, she gave me updates on the time every few minutes ("It's 7:17, Mom. It's 7:28. It's 7:36.") until I finally dragged myself out of bed, feeling cross and un-rested.

Honestly, all I want to do is sleep until at least 8 on weekends. I'm not asking to be left there until noon while everything falls into chaos around my unconscious body; I just want one more hour of sleep than I get during the week. I don't think that's unreasonable, and I know she can occupy herself in the morning, because she's done it in the past. But she's refusing to do it now, and without P to back me up, I'm starting to have fantasies about taking the case to arbitration. Can you imagine?

My lawyer: My client gets up early every weekday to get herself and the plaintiff dressed for work and school. She is requesting that on weekends, she be granted a stay until 8 a.m. I'm sure the court will see what a reasonable request this is and find in her favor.

G's lawyer: Well, my client's position is that she wakes up starving at 6:45 a.m. on weekends, and needs to eat within five minutes or she might gnaw her own arm off from hunger.

My lawyer: Is it not true that during the week, my client has to drag your client out of bed at 7:15 and instruct -- no, order -- her to eat her cereal so she won't be late for school?

(G and her lawyer whisper to each other)

G's lawyer: Yes, that is true. My client doesn't know why weekends are different, but they are, and she feels that the defendant's insistence on an extra hour in bed is preventing her basic needs from being met.

My lawyer: Mr. ____, tell the court how old your client is.

G's lawyer: She'll be nine on January 26.

My lawyer (jumping up): Aha! Nine years old! Your Honor, I move that a nine-year-old is old enough to either wait an hour for breakfast, or to go to the kitchen and get herself something to eat.

G's lawyer: My client isn't allowed to use the toaster or microwave without permission!

My lawyer: I'm sure she's allowed to peel a banana and open a cereal box. (To me) Is she?

Me: Yes, she is.

My lawyer: Just as I thought. Your Honor, let it be noted that if the plaintiff chooses not to eat the food that is freely available to her, and is hungry as a result, then it's no one's fault but her own.

G's lawyer: My client says the cereal only tastes good when Mom pours it.

My lawyer: Well, that's just silly.

Judge: That's enough, gentlemen. I've heard sufficient evidence to make a decision. This court rules that if the plaintiff wakes up early on a Saturday or Sunday morning, she is to help herself to an approved breakfast food, and then read, watch TV or play quietly until 8 a.m. She is strictly prohibited from standing over the defendant's bed and reporting that she's hungry, as well as from giving updates on the time at 10-minute intervals from 7 a.m. onward. If she chooses to wait, then the defendant will get up no later than 8 and prepare a meal for her without complaint or recrimination. *bangs gavel* We're adjourned. Mr. Bailiff, I'll be waiting for my lunch in my chambers.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?


All Adither said...

I just came here from Finslippy. This post is super funny. I'm going to forward it to my mom. Thanks for the laugh.


Stephanie said...


Humincat said...

I think the toaster and microwave are ok to use. I have never allowed Cateyes to use the stove or oven, but the microwave?? And the toaster only goes up and down. But yeah, it won't help anyways. I had to threaten Cateyes with NO TV for a week if she woke me up again. I am always up by 8 too, and I laughed at the forcing her up and eating on the weekdays, since that is what we have here too. Good post.

Jenny said...

LOL, you must give up too easily because my 6 year old is now trained to not only help himself to a yogurt or an apple, but to help his sister to one too. Bwahahahaha. Now if only the baby could get his own milk and change his own diaper without waking me. Hmmmm....

Space Mom said...

Thank you! I needed this laugh!

Annie said...

That is so my daughter. I leave food for her too which only held her at bay until it was eaten. Finally she was told that she needed to eat and then play quietly until someone got up to turn on cartoons for her and if she came knocking before that it would be no cartoons at all. It's not fool-proof but we've gotten a little more shut-eye.

pgvet2 said...

When my youngest son was a toddler, we would tell him "Sun's up! Time to get up!" to get him out of bed during the week. That worked great until he started coming in our room at 6:30am on the weekend and saying the same thing.

Very clever exchange with the lawyers by the way. It was a good laugh. Take care.

Pixilated Mum said...

That's hysterical. I was rooooolling.

But seriously, I second what Jenny said. Don't give up. I get up at 5 a.m. during the week (seriously), and then sleep in on Fridays for fun. And the kids?

The 7-year-old and 5 year-old can get themselves breakfast. And if the 2 year-old fusses, the 7-year-old will change his diaper as the 5-year-old gets him a fresh bottle of milk. (We've got the living room gated off from the Dangerous Kitchen, so the baby can't wander in there.)

I rarely sleep in, but when I do, the above all happens. I'm unapologetic about it, though, because, honestly? Sometimes, I cannot drag myself out of bed (medical reasons) until later.

Don't give up, girl. G can *totally* do it.

suedaz said...

Here's my 2 cents:
I don't think it's about brekkie.
I think she just wants to know that you are indeed waking up again this particular morning.

She may not be able to put that surely subconcious fear to work and have a chat about it, but I think it may be something to discuss.

If she says all is well-then tell her she can have X for brekkie and a music download/reward for every hour she lets you sleep in.

Rewards-they're the things that make everyone get up in the morning and go to work, LOL

Rayne of Terror said...

About your daughter being late to school. So there are no consequences for her being late to school - what if you turn it around and say she's leaving the house whether she's ready or not. So the consequence of not getting ready is she is sent to school in pajamas and unbrushed hair - or whatever it is that's slowing her down. She seems old enough that one day of that kind of embarassment every so often would show her the reasons to get ready on time.