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Suburban Island

Egg Timer
Thursday, Apr. 03, 2003, 12:12 a.m.

Question: Where is the egg timer?

What I Learned: Just roll over and go back to sleep.

12:30 a.m. Ė Tired mother finds note on floor by bedroom door on lined notebook paper. The notebook paper means the note is from one of her kids. The husband writes on back of envelopes or work notebooks that wife accidentally leaves open on desk in study - causing later annoyance in workplace as it is scrawled on sheet with other important information and cannot be torn out.

The note-writing teenager has probably stayed up past midnight doing homework while intermittently addressing requisite social duties. The tired mother is glad she got the maxed-out cell phone family plan with unlimited evening minutes as it is a strong possibility that the teenager has been on the cell phone until after midnight even though teenager swore that they were heading straight for bed an hour before.

The note says Ė Mom (or perhaps Dad) Ė Please wake me up @ 6:15 so I can - fill in the blank:

  • Get a coffee on my way to school
  • Do something with my hair
  • Finish schoolwork
  • Accomplish some other necessary chore that just canít be done before heading off to bed

Note that the key phrase here is ďplease wake me up.Ē The given here is that a parent must get up to get up the kid. It might also be noted that Daddy is likely already up so he is not traumatized as much by this note as good old mom.

At 6:15 a.m., duty calls. I find myself fighting back yawns and may make a sad attempt to call out for the kid. Itís fruitless, as you might imagine. Nothing will do but that I drag myself from the comforts of a bed not slept in long enough to really wake up this kid. When I get to the bedroom door I steel myself. The response is invariably: Can I sleep another 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes? I know I shouldnít be taken in so easily in the first place and being constantly sleep deprived myself I am a sucker for those who beg for a few more minutes sleep.

On bad days, I canít find the egg timer which makes for a very cranky groggy mother because I donít dare go back to sleep. On good days, the timer and I cuddle up together. On the days in between, the already awake husband chimes in chirpily with wake up calls just as Iím getting those few extra zzzs - egg timer still lovingly cupped in my hands like an egg about to hatch.

Thatís how life is Ė one minute you are holding an egg timer like itís a little blue speckled egg and the next moment it is squawking in your hand in the most obnoxious manner. I know it might seem that an alarm clock might do the trick here but for some reason in our house it doesnít work. Besides, what would I tell the egg timer?

Iím going to bed now and if there is a little note on the floor by the door to my room, I am going to just step right over it like I didnít see it at all. I'm sure the egg timer will understand. Tomorrow, I'm getting 5 more minutes of sleep.

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