My 13-year-0ld daughter Leah is not what I’d call a “morning person.” I suppose very few teenagers are, but she’s the poster child for pre-dawn sluggishness. And guess who gets to wake her up every school day, at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m.? That’s right, her dear old dad. It’s somewhat akin to poking your bare hands into a rattlesnake den, or opening a hornet’s nest with a head-butt. If there’s a right side of the bed for her, we haven’t found it yet.
I try to wake her as gently as possibly, because I know that according to research, teens naturally need a later wake-up schedule. But we’re under the gun if she and her brother are going to catch the school bus at the end of our street at 6:32 (not 6:33… we’ve learned the hard way). Here’s how it usually goes:
6:00 a.m. “Leah, honey, it’s time to wake up…”
6:10 a.m. “Leah, it’s 6:10… I’m going to turn your light on now.”
6:15 a.m. “C’mon Leah, we have to get going.”
6:18 a.m. I stomp up the stairs from the kitchen, and that’s usually her signal to get up and shut her door in my face. I don’t care, because at least she’s up.
But now I have a secret weapon, a brand new musical alarm. It was inspired by my college buddy Vinnie, who used to wake up his teenage daughter Alana by playing the first 12 seconds of Carole King’s “Beautiful” on repeat until she got out of bed.
So I’ve put together my own little morning mashup medley for my precious only daughter, as a reminder that we need to catch the bus:
Yeah, it’s not as sweet and harmonious as a Carole King song, but it gets the job done. Better yet, it combines classic indie rock tunes from the fantastic Royal Crescent Mob and The Replacements (one of my all-time favorite bands) with a snippet from a new song called “Old Friends” from an up-and-coming band out of New Jersey called Pinegrove. (Check out their debut album here.)
Sure, Leah might be psychologically scarred for life, but at least she could turn out to be an indie rock fan!
Brilliant! Love the tunes, D2. And as the parent of two morning slugs, I appreciate the up-tempo…and more importantly, out-of-harm’s-way…approach to the traditional rise and shine. Now, put that bad boy on infinite loop and let ‘er rip! Have a good morning, my man!
Great idea (I’m a Replacements fan, too.) I have found using the dog as an alarm is a very safe method as well. Who can be mad at a loving lick on the face?
We got a dog 4 years ago at Christmas because Leah begged us for one. But the pooch now sleeps on every bed but Leah’s… even a dumb dog knows to stay away from a sleeping Leah.
You could always do what my dad did: He was always up first. And he would make breakfast. Loudly.
Drop a pan? Not a problem!
Banging lids together like cymbals? Sure thing!
We knew that if we missed the bus, my parents were not taking us to school because we’d be walking. And we lived in the country. So, we’d get up when the noisemaker started getting obnoxious. Even on the weekends!
I like your dad’s approach… he was ahead of his time, he basically came up with the idea for the Broadway show “Stomp.”
Poor Leah, a school bus that leaves at 6:32!
I’m a bad example of keeping up with the schedule, I hardly manage to get myself out of bed in the morning and even that is mostly from guilt because the dog needs a walk before I take the kids to school. Next year it’s the school bus for the oldest but even that one will leave at 7:30 so my son should consider himself lucky…
One day this week Andrew had to wake up Tina at 8:15… at least one parent is getting some sleep.