I have one very simple philosophy on mornings. Employers and schools with ridiculous ideas like starting classes at eight in the morning need to be shot. Morning people? Let me tell you, some of my best friends are morning people. I've never understood the insanity that drives them to bounce out of bed before the alarm goes off.
And these are genes I've handed off to my children. You almost have to feel sorry for them.
Kids who refuse to admit that the crack of dawn exists are a blessing when you're caught in a never ending cycle of bottles, diapers, animal crackers and dirty laundry. They'll drive you nuts when the time comes to boot them out the door and onto a school bus. Did you know that the average school day starts between seven and eight o'clock in the morning? It doesn't seem to matter how much research they're doing on later start times, the school bus still rolls past my door at 7:45.
Mornings can get…interesting when you're trying to roll your kids out of bed and out the door that early. Dressing themselves? Forget it. Feeding themselves? Not a chance. You're lucky if their eyes are open enough to get out the door without having to ride piggyback to the bus stop! (Believe me, mine have tried.)
Keeping that in mind, I went digging around for some fun and creative ways to make your kids actually want to get up in the morning. Here's what I found.
Fluffy, Fluffy, He's Our Man, If He Can't Do It, No One Can!
Every cat has a morning routine to get a head start on a long day of sleeping, napping and chasing dust bunnies. It usually involves playing patty-cake with your bed head until you get up and make him breakfast! Encourage your child to take over the care and feeding of the family pet. You'll go through the day without smelling like cat food, they'll move their morning entertainment to your child's bedroom and your kids will enjoy waking up to the piteous yowling and prostration of a malnourished, starving fuzzball every morning.
All thirteen pounds of him.
The Moon, The Bear and the Big Blue House are Waiting for You to Come and Play!
Once upon a time, waking your child up by softly crooning children's songs in his ear was adorable. Mom and Dad acting like oversized bears or wacky rabbits was awesome! Let me tell you my friend, those days are long gone. If you roll into your children's rooms and break out your best Donald Duck imitation, burst into song and spin around their room like a princess, they'll get up just for the sheer, unmitigated pleasure of making you shut-up.
Works for me.
A Cold Shower Starts the Day Off Right
An invigorating splash of cold water is the best way to chase that early morning glaze from your eyes. Imagine what a full body treatment can do! The next time you're renovating your home, set their room on a separate sprinkler system. In the morning, just kick it on and listen to the delightful hum of them bellowing in the shower.
Pro Tip: Toss some laundry detergent in the mix and you can multi-task! Who said you weren't efficient?
Scream, "Oh My God, It's Hannah Montana!" at the Top of Your Lungs
If you have a tween in the house, this requires no further explanation. If you don't, don't worry. Your day will come. Oh yes, your day will come…
Why Use One Alarm Clock When Twenty Will Do?
This is my personal favorite. The person who invented this ingenious method of rolling their children out of bed deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. Or a court martial for cruel and unusual punishment. It could go both ways.
This is both inexpensive and easy to do. Go to your local dollar store and pick up ten or twelve battery operated alarm clocks. Figure out what time you need your child to get up and set one to that time. Then, set the other eleven alarm clocks at preceding two minute intervals.
For example, let's say you need your child out of bed by 6:45.
1) Set alarm clock number one for 6:45.
2) Set alarm clock number two for 6:43.
3) Set alarm clock number three for 6:41.
4) Set alarm clock number four for 6:39.
5) Set alarm clock number five for 6:37.
6) Set alarm clock number six for 6:35.
7) Set alarm clock number seven for 6:33.
8) Set alarm clock number eight for 6:31.
9) Set alarm clock number nine for 6:29.
10) Set alarm clock number ten for 6:27.
11) Set alarm clock number eleven for 6:25.
12) Set alarm clock number twelve for 6:23.
Once all the alarm clocks are set, sneak into their room and hide them. Preferably far away from the bed, and nowhere near each other. You don't want them to find two at a time, after all! They'll love having a scavenger hunt to start their day, and they'll be bright eyed and bushy tailed when it's time to get on the bus.