Parents from around the world have different parenting tricks up their sleeves. Tricks that have been honed to perfection, through repeated testing on their offspring.
One of the most successful parenting tricks is the one that gets kids out of bed in the morning. I have heard many stories about parents in the tropics, who would switch off the fan or the aircon, and then allow the intense humidity to engulf the sleeping- innocents and jolt them awake. Parents in cold climes would probably snatch the blanket to get the kids to wake up.
My Dad was a strict disciplinarian, and when we would hear his footsteps approaching, we would usually know that it was time to wake up. He would say ‘Wakey, wakey’, in a cheerful voice, and we would groan, ‘Morning Dad’ and wish that he would leave the room, so that we could sneak in some more shut eye.
Only when I became a mom of school-going children did I realize that every parent needs to have a strong ‘waking-the-kids-up-skill-set’ – an arsenal of various tricks – good and mean, cheerful and stern, loving and angry. And on any particular day, the parent has to use the best mix to goad the children out of bed.
This morning, when it is time to wake the kids up, I decide on a cheerful morning wake up call. I decide to whistle like a bird, interspersed with wake up, wake up in the same tone. My daughter groans and buries herself into her pillow. My son is woken by this musical bird sound and looks really irritated. He says, “Mom, can you stop that sound, please? It is really loud.” And then my ever-considerate son looks at me with half open eyes, and feels maybe that he has hurt his mom, and says, “It was quite melodious actually, only that it was loud.” I laugh and give him a bear hug.
Without skipping a beat, he says, “What’s for breakfast mom? I am famished.” I head to the kitchen to start my work. Another day begins. It is business as usual.