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??


AtomicGitten said...

Hey what better way to wake up ( if you have to go through that hateful process) than to your mother's voice. Droning, yelling or otherwise.:P

Ps: You forgot the gossiping method. :D
And the shoving-frozen-toes-on warm-calf-muscles one. :P

ThalassicReverie said...

That was cute !
His studies have sci-spiced your writing material . Worth the effort , I say.
" It is made of nice soft cardiac muscles of low melting point "

Materialmom said...


Ya rite.

Hmm yes a good earful of gossip wakes like nothing else.
And yes a body is the best thing to warm yourself with- just remember that

Materialmom said...

I too quite liked that line.

Anush said...

"It's a holiday!"

Johnson said...

Mental Note: Call up mom and dad and thank them for prying me off the bed tirelessly for 10 years.

Materialmom said...

Brilliant!........ as usual.
Why did u stop writing?

Yes, do that.
I wonder if you remember how Linda (Dias) woke you when you went for the BQC. :)

Johnson said...


She told you that?!

Im going to live under a rock.

Materialmom said...

Fear not; the secret is safe with me.

Johnson said...

I can only take your word for it.

Well, I dont blame her for trying unconventional methods. I slept soundly when my cell phone (kept next to my pillow) rang at 4am and woke up everyone else but me.

You've gotta admit though, shes got a wild imagination. Amazing person, enjoyed the entire one week trip with her. :)

Anush said...

image makeover. Maybe a different genre... a la sacha baron cohen

but will send u my writings as soon as i do write them... for correction :)

Materialmom said...

One in a million isn't a cliche when it comes to Linda.

While SBC changed from scandalous to more scandalous, you seem to heve transformed into The Cured Bugga. Kind of miss the old, irreverant cB.

anusha said...

aaah.... i see my mum doin th same for my lil sis ... but somehow none of the methods u mentioned works with her ... she has to be dragged to the loo ((hey ... she's just 8 :P )) ... boy ... mum's dont get the best deal , do they ???

Jan said...

Hahaha! Your daughter and I are quite similar ;) ;) I do the exact same thing... Message amma for a wake-up call!

My mother also took similar routes. She would first beging by calling our names in rising tones in the most irritating way possible and then when we're nice and irritated and AWAKE, she would start out on gossip/stories/interesting news.

Ah you mothers! :)

Jan said...

And oh, is it just me or does your blog attract more people with names beginning with "Anu" than most? ;)

Materialmom said...

On the contrary, mothers get a fantastic deal - the 'troubles' only add to the richness of the experience :)

Missed you.
You are right. We Mothers ROCK!

'people with names beginning with "Anu"'- very thoughtfully framed to avoid embarrassment I notice.

I suppose one atom attracts another
(wink wink)

SJ said...

strangely dad does it with absolute ease
it goes like this-"GET UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

AtomicGitten said...

Hmmm I'll remember that. But you wont like the consequences (hee hee hee)

Anamika said...

There is yet another very effective, simple way. Switch off the fan/A.C, pull off the covers, fold them neatly and keep at foot of bed. In the process of defolding and the switching on sleep says good bye. Tried tested and effective. I am the victim

Materialmom said...

Hi Anamika
hmmmm actually this particular method lapses into a tug of war,resulting in torn sheets if the waker persists :I