Ever since the kids started preschool in January, I feel like I have been sleep deprived due to Emma's and Andrew's erratic sleeping habits. Between 11pm and 3am, Emma has the habit of running into our room crying, collapsing on the floor, and pleading for us to carry her back to bed. And then between 4am and 7am, Andrew has the habit of crying in bed and shouting "CHECK ON ME!" until either Lisa or I checks on him or Emma smothers him with a pillow.
Feeling exhausted and desperate, I came upon this alarm clock at Amazon as I was searching for a new wall clock for the kids' room. It's called the OK to Wake child alarm clock. This little friendly globe glows a soothing orange when used as a night light and turns green when it is time to wake up. With quite a number of glowing (Oh! I love puns!) reviews, I figured I'd give this alarm clock a shot and gave it an OK to Buy (Oh! My wit!).
When the clock arrived, I opened it up with in front of the kids and made it into a big deal. I let them help me put the batteries in and showed them how it worked. At bedtime, I told Emma and Andrew that they were to stay in bed until the clock turned green. And when it turns green that means it is okay to get out of bed. They seemed excited about their new clock, and I was excited that I might be able to get a solid seven hours of sleep and once again look like a young Sandra Ho.
I can tell you after using the clock for a few weeks, it has been an unqualified success. But only if you define success as a wife telling her husband, "I told you it was going to be a waste of thirty dollars, dumbass."
For the first few days of using the clock, the kids actually stayed in bed at night. But soon, there was a problem in the morning: Emma did not like it when the clock turned green. Emma would begin screaming when the clock turned green. At first, she wouldn't tell me why she was crying, and I actually didn't care because I was getting a solid seven hours of sleep. But eventually she explained to me that she thought if the green light turned off, she would not be able to get out of bed.
The solution was easy enough. I wrapped masking tape around Emma's eyes at night. But since removing the tape added an additional ten minutes to the morning, I stopped doing it. Instead, I continued to use the alarm clock, but never activated it to turn green in the morning. When it was time to wake up, I would just go into their room, put the clock away, and wake the kids up.
Then a week later, Andrew had a different problem with the alarm clock: he wanted it green when he went to sleep. I explained to him that the clock only turns green when it was time to wake up. But he demanded that I make the clock green NOW. This made Emma anxious again because she did not want the clock to turn green at all. She began screaming "No green! No green!" And Andrew shouted "Green! Green!" Crap...it's not easy being green.
So cut to this week. The kids are still occasionally crying and screaming in the middle of the night. The alarm clock is on a shelf collecting dust. I am out of thirty dollars. And each night when we tuck the kids into bed, Lisa stares at me and mouths, "Dumbass."