Waking up easy
If only every family morning could start slow and loving, wishes Karin Schimke.
By 6.20am lunches are made, email is checked and breakfast table is laid. I have 10 minutes to spare before the kids must be up. I go to wake them. They are both in my bed and I wonder where I slept between this explosion of limbs in the night, and how I didn’t wake up when they crawled over me to get into the kingsize.

I nuzzle my son’s cheek. His first reaction is to stretch his arms above his head. This is the sign for ‘tickle my armpits’. I scratch and tickle his (thankfully hairless) armpits and he does his slow waking up groans. I lean over him and kiss my daughter’s stomach. She turns towards me, opens her eyes and says ‘How did you get into the factory?’ I say, ‘Through the door.’ She turns around and goes back to sleep and my son and I have a giggle about her. We chat a bit. She starts waking and turns towards us. After a while, consciousness arrives fully and she says: ‘I had SUCH a nice dream.’

She proceeds to tell us that she dreamt she owned a chocolate factory.

‘But everything was made out of chocolate, not just the chocolate. The machines and the building and even the security guards outside the door.’

If the factory had security guards, no wonder she was puzzled about how I could enter it with such ease.

We lie a little longer, remember funny things we’ve said or done in our sleep. Discuss what he should have for breakfast – always an issue - and that she and I will have ‘our usual’. Talk about what’s going  to be good about today. Then it’s time to get up and they pull and wrestle me to get me to stay in bed with them.

I wish they could all begin like this. I wish there was time each morning for tickling and laughing and dream discussion.

Until I became a miserable teenager and would throw things at the door when someone came to wake me for school, my mother woke me each morning by kissing me all over my face.

Today there is enough time for everything including the calm retrieval of ‘lost’ ties and swimming caps. We are all on time. We all say goodbye in a good mood.

I make a mental note to try and start each day like this, but the next morning, there’s only the rude alarm to wake me up and it’s too close to throw a shoe at. No-one is kissing my face, or tickling my arm or coo-ing the wake up song in my ear (if lullabies are for going to sleep, what is the name for wake-up songs thought out newly by non-musical mothers each morning).

It’s delicious to be a child. It’s delicious to start the day like we did that day. I’m going to aim for slow wake-ups at least once a month. It’s do-able. It should be statutory.

Do you find it hard to stay calm and loving in the morning?

Read more by Karin Schimke

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