To wake, or not to wake

Here we are, nearly at the end of Benjamin’s second year of preschool, and I still don’t really have a strategy for mornings like this one.  In order to get B to school at his regular time (Dan usually takes him in if he needs to be there early), I have to be up by 7:15, so I can get the boys up by 7:30, so we can leave the house by 8:15 and arrive at school by 9:00.  Usually, this poses no problem, because the kids almost never sleep past 7:00 in the morning.  Before this morning, I can’t remember the last time I woke up to my alarm clock rather than my kids.  And that’s fine — we usually get up a bit early, have time to enjoy breakfast and the kids even get to play a bit before it’s time to get dressed and get out the door.

And then there are days like today, and I don’t know what to do.

Today, my alarm went off at 7:15, and I actually hit snooze (which I never do) so I didn’t get up until 7:20.  At 7:30, it was time to get the boys up, so I went into their room turned on the decorative star lights, left the door open and went in the kitchen to make coffee (which is pretty noisy).  On the very rare occasion that they’re still asleep at 7:30, this always does the trick — at least one of them wakes up, who then typically wakes the other one up, and we get up and go about our morning.

Not today, though.  All of my light turning on, door opening and coffee making yielded no response from the children.  Nothing.  I went in the living room to drink my coffee, and figured that at worst, we’d be a few minutes late to school.  At 7:45, I went back in, got their clothes for the day together (opened and closed drawers and such).  I wasn’t quiet about it.  Still, nothing.

Waking up sleeping children goes against pretty much all of my motherly instincts, so I wanted to let them sleep.  On the other hand, rushing groggy kids through a morning routine, only to be late, doesn’t sound like a good plan, either.  At 8:00, I finally gave in and went in to wake B.

He was not happy.  He was tired, he was crying, he wanted to be held (so that’s what I did).  Since he was so unhappy, and I was holding him, we still weren’t making any progress towards getting to school.  Liam still wasn’t up (even though B was making plenty of noise).  I vowed never to wake B up again to get him to school, unless it was really important (in the fall, he’ll be limited to how many absences he can have, but right now, it doesn’t matter too much).

And that’s when I got really uncertain — should I wake Liam?  Go through the same unhappiness from him?  Should I just let B skip a day of school?  Maybe Dan could come home and take B in to school?  But wasn’t that kind of silly?  Probably, Liam would be up in a few minutes, anyway.  I knew that this was not a life-changing decision — we would all be ok whatever I decided, but I couldn’t let go of my angst about making the right choice.  I became completely stuck.  At this point, we were going to be late no matter what.  B was unhappy.  Liam was obviously tired.  It was raining and windy out.  I went back & forth in my head, again and again, and couldn’t figure out what to do.  I felt paralyzed.  B kept saying he wanted to stay home.  He also kept saying how much he likes school.  I had no clue what the right decision was.

By 8:45, I’d gotten Benjamin dressed for school, but Liam *still* wasn’t up.  I gave up.  I decided to keep B home for the day.  I went back in their room, turned off the lights, closed the bedroom door, and let Liam sleep a bit longer.

I have no idea why I got so stuck over such a (relatively) small decision.  I don’t know why I became so paralyzed about doing the “right” thing — really, whatever decision I made, there would be positives and negatives, and none of them earth-shattering.  But I just couldn’t make a choice.  Sitting here, hours later, thinking about it, it seems so silly.  As it was, we had a fine day.  Liam slept until 10:00 (which is pretty shocking — he must have really needed the sleep) and we had a nice day at home.

Tomorrow, B will go to school.  He only has 15 days left this year, and I don’t want him to miss out on anything fun.  Starting in July, both boys will be home with me each day, so they can get up whenever they want . . . which will, of course, probably mean 6:00 every morning.  (Why doesn’t this “sleep until 10:00” thing ever happen on a Sunday when we have nowhere to go?!?)

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