Ah, Saturday mornings. That special time one day a week when responsibility waits until you’ve had a good long sleep until at least 9:00am. Your home is quiet, just the soft ticking of the clock on the wall while the kids remain drowsily in bed like the sweet princes and princesses they are. You are buried just deep enough amid your pillows to provide sweet comfort without smothering and your comforter presses upon you just heavily enough to achieve that sense of security and peace. There are no alarm clocks, only deep, easy breathing. There is no drool, only dreaming. You are at your leisure to wake naturally whenever your body decides to peacefully invite you to join the sun in its lazy climb along that soft, blankety blue sky of a Saturday morning.
Oh no wait, that’s the dream I had last Saturday at 6:32am, just 20 seconds before my morning bliss was violently kicked by bright and energetic kids, arguing over the merits of Strawberry Shortcake vs. Captain Underpants and whether he got to choose first last week or if she did. There is the argument, then the scuffle, then the whining and inevitably the crying and entering Mom and Dad’s room to demand mediation. Every Saturday I lay in my ironically comfortable bed and puzzle, how can this be? How can they possibly be so…alert? How is it that they care so much this early? How are they so bright eyed, and coherent enough to argue?
It seemed like only yesterday at this hour they were completely impossible to wake up for school. Didn’t I have to spray water on the boy-child to pull him out of the sandman’s clutches? Didn’t the girl one need her covers pulled back and blinds opened in order to get her eyes rolling? And I could have sworn that the toddler was sawing dreamy logs until at least 7:30am. Yes, yes it WAS just yesterday because yesterday was a school day and on school days they inexplicably cannot be woken anytime before…well, ever.
But Saturdays? Noooo problem Mom, we can get up on our own before the sun has even contemplated its Saturday morning hike. We’ll even start on our VACUUMING CHORES first thing, so we can be ready to play with friends before breakfast is even completely swallowed.
I can’t even blame the fact that they struggle so very thoroughly to rise during the weekdays on the time at which they go to bed. Because on Friday nights they all go to bed late because, well, Fri-yay! So it’s not a sleep issue. It can’t even be an issue of them just really not liking us as parents because I assure you I recognize that behavior anywhere, but that mostly involves socks on the table, Fun Dip on Valentine’s Day and tooth brushing anytime anywhere.No, the Saturday morning Routine of Perk has only one explanation, and that’s motivation. And that motivation is brought about by only one word: Netflix. If there’s Netflix, they will rise. I get it. I really do, I love some nice Netflixing time as much as the next person, but I love my sleep even more.
Honestly the Saturday morning thing wouldn’t be so teeth-clenchingly aggravating if they’d get up without a fuss during the week!
This is why I have begun to use the habit trackers in my LTTP for the kids to set some goals during the week. Everyday in the week they get up, ready and into the kitchen by 7:00am, they get to color in a square on the tracker. If they don’t, that square remains in its ghastly, empty state. On Friday we tally the number of colored squares and for each square/day they were on time they get some reward or other either to be delivered that day or on Saturday. We’re still trying out rewards but some ideas we’ve done are: 10-15 minutes of TV time per achieved day (to be used on Saturday morning), an ice cream topping per day (to be topped on Friday night), all five days could earn a movie of their choice or doughnuts on Saturday morning. Whatever works for your kids to keep them motivated.
This certainly won’t help with the early hour in which the kids arise on Saturday mornings, I’m not sure anything will, but when they’ve been getting themselves up and going during the week it definitely helps with my attitude towards them.
So good luck this Saturday, may you sleep longer than I do! Also, if you have ideas on how to get them to sleep in later please, impart your knowledge upon me!