5 Things Not To Say To POERs (Parents Of Early Risers)
It’s time to listen up POSIs (Parents of Sleeper-Inner-ers), or perhaps I should say: it’s time to shut up POSIs. We POERs (Parents of Early Risers) do not want or need your advice. Your advice is not only as wrong as a King Kong but we are sick of hearing it. Yes I may sound a little bitter, but I have officially seen 2200 more sunrises than I ever wanted to see. Sunrises are bright and hurtful and feel like someone is pouring lemon juice on your freshly cut and bleeding eyes. Perhaps they would be breathtaking from the top of a tall mountain full of light air and pure silence, perhaps. But definitely not if they are suddenly seen through thrust open curtains and accompanied by:
‘it’s a lovely day and the sun is up, it’s sunny, super sunny, they both start with the same letter! S! and we want to play fairies and frisbee and dinosaurs and it is going to be so much fun and you can be the fairy queen and we are going to get married and we need some music put on for the dancing, can you put some music on now? and then the dinosaurs are going to come in and the Wackosaurus is going to kill everyone but Spider-man will fly through the window because he can use his webs to do it and he will trap all the T-Rex’s and the fairy queen will say it’s time to have a party so we will need some balloons and a sign and some invitations so I will get some paper and pipecleaners and glitter glue and you can get a purple texta and is it Friday or Tuesday? and I can hop like a kangaroo’
So POSIs, for all the tips you have given me over the years to try and convert my children into late sleepers (including the sleep workshops I went to in case some other Psychologist had cracked the code), here are some tips for you...
It is time to stop saying:
‘Just keep them up later at night.’ Guess what happens if you keep early risers up late? They get less sleep! It’s crazy. My favourite is when this suggestion is followed by ‘just keep doing it, they will eventually adjust.’ When my eldest was little, we tried this for many months and she just kept waking up BOING! at 5am every morning. She behaved more and more like a miniature-she-devil but never slept later. We recently spent more than a week in a different time zone where the kids were going to bed consistently late. We were told by a well meaning POSI ‘there is absolutely no reason why your kids won’t sleep in.’ And yet there they were, smiling and staring at us from the end of the bed at 6am every morning (which was 3am our time). Needless to say, by the end of the week they were 21 hours short of sleep and our 4 year old responded by crying for 21 hours in a row.
‘Just put them back to bed, they will eventually go back to sleep.’ You should know that another difference between an early riser and a sleeper innerer beside the time they wake up, is how they wake up. I’ve seen sleeper innerers wake up, hell I used to be one (ah golden memories). There is quite a bit of groaning and rolling and re-snoozing before they eventually swing their legs sideways and place their feet toward the floor, sometimes even staying like that for a minute or two before making the next move. If they are woken up before they are ready there is all sorts of whinging and clinging and general wahing. Not early risers, oh no, no, no. They hear the first bird of dawn and spring out of bed like a hyperactive farmer ready to milk the sheep and shear the cows. It sounds cute, it’s not. And there is certainly no going back to sleep, unless you kept putting them back to bed for 14 hours.
‘Use sunblock curtains, they will never know it is morning.’ We do, and they do. We try and block out any morning-related noises too, but somehow they just feeeeeeeeeel it. We have great clocks (Groclocks) that turn yellow when they are allowed to get out of bed, which has bought us an hour more of morning peace, but they still just wake up early and wait for it to turn.
‘It must be great to have early risers, you would never be late in the morning and could get so many things done in the day.’ Only an early riser would say some stupid shit like that. I just taser them in the throat and walk away.
‘You should just drug them’. This was a true suggestion. At the moment I can’t see any problem with it.
I hope this has been helpful for all POSIs. If you continue to give us POERs this kind of sage advice, you can look forward to me coming to your house every morning to wake you and your children up at 5am. I am sure you will adjust.