For the past two days - and earlier before his school closed for the Christmas holidays - my son has been insisting that I wake him up.
Normally, I'm in the kitchen, frantically trying to finish the cooking before I can give him a bath and get him ready for school. So it's my husband - who has been on a sabbatical for over a year - who wakes him up and packs the little fellow off to the bathroom to brush his teeth. Besides, Papa's always been his favorite because Papa's not as strict as I am. And I tend to yell when we're running behind schedule. In fact, the biggest fights my husband and I have had have been over my strictness and getting our son ready for school on time. Things got so bad that my husband told me point blank: "Whenever you wake him up, you make him cry. So leave him to me!" (Talk about making sweeping statements!! Grrr....) So that's what I did. And after that, I've been accused of "drifting away" from the two of them by "trying too hard" - whatever that last bit means. But that's another story.
Waking him up means I lose 5-10 minutes from a very tight schedule but it's always a pleasure so I look forward to it. I hug him, I cuddle him, tease him, play little games, talk about whatever he wants to talk about and then he's up and about. Getting him to brush his teeth is a different matter altogether, but at least I get him out of bed soon enough.
His bath is also a rushed affair. Today, there was no hot water because the geyser was accidentally switched off. So I gave him a really quick hose down with the hair & body wash I reserve to shampoo his hair. I was cleaning his neck when he suddenly asked me: "Mamma, why do you wake me up so nicely?" For a second, I didn't get what he was saying. So I said, "That's how little children need to be woken up. How else can you wake up a child?"
"Well, every day it's 'wake up, wake up, wake up,' that's all," replied the little tyke with a matter-of-fact look on his face.
My heart went out to him. And I felt guilty. I really should have continued waking him up that way. I'm so busy in the kitchen that I have no idea how he's woken up every day. After all, almost a year had passed since those terrible early morning fights. And the little fellow was growing up, becoming more aware.
I gave him a quick peck on the cheek and told him not to worry, I would wake him up like that every day if he wanted. "Yes, I'd like you to wake me up," he said solemnly.
The sad part is, I can't do it on my own, not without risking those when-you-wake-him-up-you-make-him-cry accusations. So I'm going to wait for him to ask for me. This morning, too, I could sense the anger in my husband when he told me that the little monkey had asked for me. When I took around 3 minutes to just wrap up a few things on the stove, he came back: "What happened? Isn't he waking up?" I told him I hadn't gone yet and he stalked off to Orkut some more.
For all I know, it's a passing phase and the next time we're short of time, the little angel will throw a tantrum and say that I make him cry all the time. It's his favourite emotional blackmail weapon! But for now, my day is made! And I owe it to the little rascal. Once again, thank you, sweetheart!