Monday, March 9, 2009

The Alarm Clock

If there is one thing worse than being woken up, it is being the Waker. Wakerhood in most households falls to the lot of the lady . The husband and children entrust her with alarming them out of sleep. Why does this have to be an unpleasant duty?

When the kids are babies you waaait for the little bawler's eyelids to droop and close, cover him and tiptoe out to get to your work or some sleep. So waking the child is the last thing you want to do. This instinct to let sleeping brats lie gets etched into your psyche. But as they grow up and need to be woken, it is a joyless duty that one does (ok, next to cooking.) For the child may be a brat all his waking hours, but in sleep he looks adorable, with the tip of his tongue sticking out a little and him curled up like a defenceless chick. Only a diabolic nature could enjoy snatching this little bundle from the arms of slumber.

There are those who would swear by the application of cold water on the sleep-warm visage. But my heart is not stone. It is made of nice soft cardiac muscles of low melting point. One invents ways to make the exercise endurable. In this regard I am quite an expert, having done diligent research and varied experiments. And I submit the findings for posterity.

A day begun in happiness is a happy one throughout. This premise has led me to create what I call the tune technique. In this you treat the sleeper as a musical instrument, select a peppy song, pretend that the keys are in all the ticklish areas of the specimen. Now begin playing the song. The music and laughter will wake without disrupting any body's mood. A word of warning: keep away from kicking distance. This works only with little children.

As the years go by you look for more sedate ways. The next method that I present is perhaps the most pleasurable. You cuddle down close to the sleeping child and stare at him , occasionally murmuring wake words. I swear the stare can physically penetrate sleep. The danger here is that you may yourself fall asleep. And then it is all your fault that the day goes awry.

My quest for novelty continued. And there was this phase of reading rousing poetry like 'Where the mind is without Fear...' or speeches like 'Awake, arise my countrymen'. This , while highly enlightening to the Waker is rather ineffective although one hopes that the words will filter into the sleeping head by some strange osmosis.

Time flies and the Board years are on you. Plans and timetables and tests and marks and tuitions and nerves invade the domestic scene. Sleep for your child is reduced to mere naps. And who else to do the needful? My latest method is to read out the Physics or chemistry that the offspring has planned to study that day. The reading should be bright or dramatic or irritating enough to get him out of bed. A monotone would push the fellow over the edge into the deepest slumber. Of course you risk being surveyed with irritation through most of the day but then you do learn some. How else would I know the delights of supercooled liquids and Huygen's principle?

Next month by this time my son and I will have seen the last of the exams and the last of my wake up calls. An alarm clock will take my place in the exams of his future. The thought comes with a strange pang. I won't be needed like I am now............................................................................

AHA! I spoke too soon. I've just got a message from my daughter from far away Hyderabad:Amma, do me a favr. I need 2 complete 3 asgnmnts & 2 prsntatns. Am taking a nap. cal me in an hr in case my alarm doesnt wake me.

Does anyone know any nice wake up messages??