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Waking Shreya up

Shreya turned 13 about a month ago.

She’s a good child. Does a lot of things well.

Including sleeping in :).

When that happens on holidays, I tell myself: “She’s a child. She’ll get better.”

When that happens on schooldays, I’m less peaceful.

We’ve split chores between Janaki and me. And it’s my task to wake up the not-so-little-one on schooldays.

The drama in the mornings is addictive.

Shreya is in this never-ending obsession to optimize for every additional second of sleep she can squeeze out of her mornings.

After repeated (frantic) wake up calls from me, she opens one eye to look at the clock.

She then does some statistical analysis to figure out the probability of NOT missing her school bus if she were to sleep a bit more.

This process repeats every few seconds. It goes on for a nail-biting-period of time (in dad’s universe) and for a heavenly-nidra-period of time (in Shreya’s universe).

Finally, she relents..but only at the point when dad has pumped up his BP to a record high.

The next 30min are even more interesting. She saunters through her chores in slow-motion and with such bliss, while her dad continues chewing beyond his non-existent fingernails.

The moment of truth then arrives..she decides it’s now time to get up and leave the house.

I’m certain that she waits until we have an exact probability of 0.5 that we’ll get the bus. What better way to pump up the adrenaline for her father even more?

Within the next few seconds, I get into my Schumacher avatar and take the wheel, while she sits majestically like a princess in the backseat.

The best days in her opinion, are NOT when we reach the bus stop on time.

It’s when we don’t.

You see..only then can she maximize the morning’s adventure quotient by getting me to drive like a maniac in an attempt to catch the bus at the next stop, or the one after that, or the one after that…or…

“10 minutes early” means I can live 10 years longer – Mahatria

I certainly want to live longer 🙂

After numerous vain attempts at figuring out how to wake up my darling daughter on time, I think we may have finally figured it out, together.

It’s a very simple solution: We just setup her favorite Spotify playlist as her alarm. It on shuffle mode, so, her mornings start with an element of pleasant surprise as well.

(It’s very easy to set this up using Google’s free “Clock” app ).

Here’s why I think this idea works better than the other things we’ve tried:

  1.  There’s a significant element of “freedom of choice”. It’s her playlist. The songs she’s chosen herself, rather than having been imposed on her by someone else. For a 13-year-old, this is important.
  2. Waking up is still not pleasant. But her favorite music makes it more pleasant than it used to be.
  3. I think her favorite songs evoke a sense of enthusiasm and happiness in her. And it could be reminding her of her responsibilities, but in a gentle way.
  4. Most of all, she and I collaborated on figuring out this solution together. This means that she’d already accepted the reality that there’s no escaping the need to wake up on time. This is probably the most important reason. Acceptance is the first step toward growth.

Is the challenge solved for ever?

Does she leap out of bed before the first few lines of the first song are done?

No :).

But it’s a step forward.

My BP is now better managed. And pedestrians are now safer on the roads in the mornings 🙂

Am I starting to miss those adrenaline rushing, gushing mornings?

I didn’t think I would actually feel this way, but yes. I think I’m missing the drama, already.

Shreya is now moving into a new phase of her life. She’s growing up.

On the one hand, I’m eagerly looking forward to the wonderful person she’s shaping up to become.

On the other hand, those “adventurous” mornings will remain fond memories for me, of her more innocent years.

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