Well guys, anyone who knows me, knows that I hate one thing, possibly more than anything else in the whole world. Okay, not that bad, but it's at least in my top twenty. I hate to wake up. If I wanted to create a Hell for someone, and I really wanted them to suffer, I would give them an eternity of them being in the most warm, most comfortable, most amazing bed, while outside of them was a house made cold by winter, and I'd have them get woken up and forced to step onto tile. Yep, I'm that evil.
What made me think about it was my wife waking me up this morning. Every morning she wakes me up to make her breakfast because she really doesn't have time and because we want her to get a good breakfast for the baby. We also don't want her throwing up while on her way to work with her carpool. And as soon as I heard the words, "Paul, it's time to wake up." My stomach turned. I kid you not readers, I got physically ill.
This really should come as no surprise, I've been traumatized by being woken up. My family moved from Arizona to Utah when I was about five. I still vividly remember being woken up for my first day of Kindergarten. I remember green and white linoleum flooring (the kind that is supposed to look like tile), an off-white counter top beneath those yellow lights, and my parents, one holding on to two of my limbs, the other holding the other two, and them throwing me into the bathtub. Now, I will note that this was not child abuse. I'm sure that my parents tried to use their sweetest voice in waking me up. They probably told me that it was my first day of Kindergarten, and that I didn't want to be late, but it seems that from the womb I didn't like waking up and they were eventually forced to physically pull me from my bed or not get me to my first day of real school on time.
Apart from the physical forcing when I was five, I think that I've been traumatized in the same way that all of you have. Again, you're laying there in a wonderful bed, dreaming of whatever your mind can think up to make you the happiest, and in comes someone to wake you up. This well meaning individual is trying to be a chipper as possible, but little do they know, that's the worst thing they can be. Let's be honest, getting woken up puts us in a bad mood, and the last thing we want to hear is some sing-songy voice telling us that sleeping time is over. I can imagine them trying and I feel the rage boil, "Wake up sunshine, the world is waiting for your bright, shining face!"
I think some people understands that happy, sunshine is not what people want first thing in the morning. My Great Great Great Grandpa, from Denmark, knew this all too well, and I have a Great Great Uncle who feels about the same about waking up early as I do. So, my GGG Grandpa would yell, "Jensey, Jensey, stop resting your head, only whores make money in bed!" It's a hilarious story, so I think my dad thought that this would somehow make me happier to wake up. He tried it, and I can say that he was wrong. Humor, like super happy fun voice, really only pisses you off further.
But my traumatizing continued. When I was in Junior High and High School we owned a dog. Not just any dog. We owned an over-weight, very well trained, black lab. My dad had this dog trained to the nines. The dog knew where he was supposed to be, when he was supposed to be there, and if my dad wanted that changed it only took him saying so once. Our dog knew that, in the morning, he was not supposed to be in my room, but I know that he relished in the times that my dad would command him to "Go get Paul!" And in came the black lab, all seventy pounds of him (I'm totally guessing, all I know is that he was big), jumping on my bed and licking my face to the music of my dad's cackle, and then my dad being like, "What Paul? Why are you so mad?" These were often Saturday mornings too, when I had nothing to wake up for.
During that same time, I got an alarm clock. It woke me up fine, but pissed me off too. It sounded like a cat being killed in rhythm and increasing volume by a digital monster. This noise makes me physically ill as well. I debated getting a clock that played music, but I suspect it would have turned out like "A Clockwork Orange"* and I would have wanted to jump out the window each time I heard some of my favorite songs.
Along with each of these atrocities, I've heard of people singing Happy Birthday to wake someone up on their birthday (I can imagine how that would go over if it happened to me). I know people who scare people awake. If my feet were out of the bed my mom would often tickle them to wake me up. All of these seem horrible.
So, I've been thinking about my own children, as I often do. Now, I'm sure that whatever method we use to wake them up will traumatize them in some way, but I'm debating if I want to use the least traumatic, or the one that is the most fun for me. What do you guys think? What would be the least traumatic, and what would be the most fun? I was thinking that the least traumatic would be me being pissed myself. No happy sunshine, no sing-songy voice, just simply, "I hate this as much as you do, but it's a fact of life, now wake up." Anyway, let me know what you think.
*A Clockwork Orange is a film my Stanley Kubrick, in which, a young man loves music by Bach, and also commits atrocities (such as rape, and savage beatings). He goes to jail and they torture him to music by Bach. Afterward, whenever he hears Bach he wants to get away from it by any means necessary, including jumping out a window.