We really thought we were being smart. How many parents have thought the same thing at one time or another? It made sense to use our son’s natural precociousness to help overcome one of his biggest challenges. Since he has known his numbers from a very early age (counting, recognizing the number, reading and spelling the words) we brilliantly thought we’d try to get our painfully early riser to stay in bed until the clock reads “Six – Zero – Zero”.
Great idea, right? Bang! (that was the sound of it backfiring).
He is now obsessed with clocks reading six o’clock.
“Want it say six zero zero.”
“Well, you slept past six, honey. That’s a good thing.”
“Want it say six zero zero. Want it say six zero zero. Want it say six zero zero.” And that’s how our day starts unless he opens his eyes at EXACTLY six o’clock. And if he does, at 6:01 the chant begins again “Want it say six zero zero.”
Occasionally, he changes his tune to Five Zero Zero (dinner time) or Seven Zero Zero (time to go up for bath), but six is the most frequent and most annoying. We were at a neighbor’s yesterday baking cookies and he frowned when he looked at her clock, “Want it say six zero zero.”
I could change the clocks repeatedly, I could put stickers on them, I could unplug them. But, c’mon kid, even at 4 ½, I think you need to deal with the fact that time is not going to stop for you. I have compromised and he can change the clock on the coffee pot. I never use the timer feature anyway, so go for it.
But when the chanting begins, so do my fantasies of destroying EVERY clock in my house. It goes something like this:
The coffee pot – he can change it, so it is granted a stay of execution
The alarm clock in our bedroom – this one causes the least anxiety for him so – FLING! Out the window skipping down the street like a stone across a pond.
The oven and microwave – Despite the fact that I am pretty uncoordinated in most things and have horrid eye sight, I am actually a pretty decent shot. A few quick rounds from across the room with a Barrett M107 should do the trick. I am thinking smiley faces a la Lethal Weapon. Or maybe a heart. Ooo, ooo, a smiley face inside a heart…
The intercom base unit – a bit outdated (it holds a cassette tape!!!), the intercom doesn’t work anymore and the clock has always run fast. Hefting a 46 pound boy has developed my arm strength fairly well. So, this monster gets repeated poundings with a 12 pound sledgehammer (while wearing proper protective goggles to protect my eyes from hurtling plastic bits, of course). Then I could make a nice mosaic with the pieces – hey, waste not want not.
His alarm clock – now its sole purpose in life is to play white noise since we started covering it with a pillow every night once we discovered he sleeps better with NO ambient light whatsoever. You are the worst offender. I have something special planned for you my little friend.
Oh Jamie! Oh Adam! Can you help me out for a second, please?
I know, I know. This too shall pass, like most of his other obsessions. Until it does, I will just replay my fantasies in my own mind to keep me from completely losing it.