Yellow Mornings

Two-year-old granddaughter Emma is the owner of a “Tot Clock.”  

Oh the conveniences of modern parenthood!  This clock is designed to eliminate bedtime battles.  It can be set to glow blue when a child is supposed to stay in bed and yellow when they can get up in the morning. It has cards that can be inserted that read stories or sing songs either before bedtime or as a wake up in the morning.  It also has options for red “time outs” and green “rewards.” 

I stayed with my daughter, Katie, Emma and baby brother Nolan this week while son-in-law Chris was at a pastor’s conference and got to “experience” the Tot Clock.  Katie told me in no uncertain terms that they were trying to strictly enforce the Tot Clock rules.  So if Emma got up and tried to get into bed with me before daylight, I needed to ask her what color the clock was and send her back to her bed.  

Yesterday morning, Emma came into my room well before daylight.  

“Gwandma, I can’t sweep.” 

“What color is your clock, Emma?”

“Bwoo,” she answered, hanging her head and shuffling to the door.  “I know.  Back to bed.” 

I tucked her in her bed, sang her a short song and told her I would see her soon.  Less than an hour later, as sunlight began filtering into my east-facing window, Emma was back, curls bouncing, hands clapping, feet dancing.  

“Gwandma!  Yewwo!  Yewwo!  The cwock is yewwo.”

We snuck downstairs and had an enjoyable breakfast together while mommy slept in.  I was glad to give my daughter the rare gift of sleep, proud of Emma and proud of myself for honoring the house rules.  It’s hard to be a grandma and keep the rules, especially when your favorite toddler is looking at you with big brown eyes and a pout.

This morning, Emma was back.  

“Gwandma.  I can’t sweep.  The cwock is bwoo, but yo woom is yewwo.  Wook at the window!”

She was right.  It was 7:20 and there was a sliver of sunlight creeping in through the shades.  By my estimate, we only had to be quiet for 10 minutes or less before the clock would turn yellow, too.  

I took her by the hand and led her back to her room, hoping we could cuddle quietly.  She darted for the light switch, but I told her we had to leave the light off.  We compromised and I let her turn on a small electric “aquarium” light in the corner. 

“Wook, the Nemo quawium makes my woom yewwo!”

I explained to her that the clock had to be yellow, not her room, and that if she was very quiet, the clock would turn very soon.  If she wasn’t, Mommy would come in and send us both to bed.  She nodded solemnly and put her finger on her lips.  “Shhhhhhh!”

So we sat on the edge of the bed and she whispered to me a morning story (as opposed to the bedtime story I told her the night before) about Princess Emma and her “knight in shining awmow” who would “wescue” her. (Thanks to the marketers at Disney, they sure learn this princess stuff early!)  And then…

“Gwanma!  Wook!  The Tot Cwock is yewwo. We did it!  We did it!”

So, down to breakfast we went. And what a breakfast it was!  Blueberries and “line noodles” (penne pasta), precooked, unseasoned and unsauced and right out of the refrigerator.  Yum!

Katie came down about 8:45, apologizing for having fallen back asleep and letting Emma sneak out of her (Katie’s) bed and into mine.

Back asleep?” I asked.  “Snuck out of your bed?”  Wait a minute here!  I thought you had rules!

I get it and she’s right.  If she had given me an inch, I’d have taken a mile.  Who can resist sad brown eyes and toddler hugs?         

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