This morning, The Boy awoke at about 5:10am. As for me, I had not set my book down and turned off my light until midnight, so I was tired, and I knew my husband was, too. The Boy started talking at 5:10, so I went in and told him that it wasn't morning yet, so he needed to go back to sleep. I went to the bathroom and heard him talking again, so I went back to his room. He wanted his blankets fixed. I fixed them. I got back and bed and heard (horror!) The Girl, who was now awake, start talking to The Boy. Okay, both kids are awake. Code red. I went back in, feeling a bit panicked.
Me: "You just can't get up yet. It's not morning. You need to be quiet."
The Boy: "But I want to talk to [The Girl]. I hardly ever have the time to do that."
The Girl: "But I'm awake!"
Me [ignoring the claim that The Boy never gets the chance to talk to his sister]: "Okay, but I'm going to have to turn off the monitor in our room*, and we haven't done that before, and we won't be able to hear you call for us. So when it's light out, you'll have to come wake us up, come knock on our bedroom door, and I don't want to hear you screaming and calling for us. You'll need to come get us."**
The Boy and The Girl [somewhat weepy]: "Okay."
So I headed back to bed, fully expecting that I would never fall back to sleep and that I would hear them start arguing or screaming for Mommy or Daddy within four minutes.
Wonders of all wonders, I fell back asleep and woke up at 6:45 when I heard them making happy noises and gently knocking on the walls outside our door. I was stunned. I mean, it's difficult to express how amazed I was. My husband got up with them and asked what they had been doing. The Boy said, "Trying to figure out a way to avoid this happening again." Apparently, his solution involved strings, doorknobs, and other various contraptions. I'm not sure which part of the scenario he was trying to avoid or subvert.
Nevertheless, I was so impressed with their early a.m. independence. I think they actually stayed in their beds the whole time. Probably talking and staring out the window until they saw sunlight. I wonder if we can pull this off again the next time they wake up earlier than we would like. I doubt it.
But maybe a lot of children get up in the morning and play independently while their parents snooze. Could this be true? If so, we need to push this agenda.
*We still use monitors because, despite the fact that our house is small, it's fairly solid, and we can't hear them very well if they call to us in the night.
**Our kids are not in the habit of coming to get us in the morning. Rather they call us to them, and then we all go to the living room. This has the added bonus that they never come into our room at night. In fact, I can't really remember a time that either of them has, independently, gotten out of bed and come to knock on our door (many of you probably think this seems weird, and I don't know why it's this way, but this is just how it's all evolved). So this morning's activities were totally new for everyone, and I wasn't sure how it would all transpire. I really imagined that a lot of crying and screaming would ensue.