I’m normally an early riser. During the standard working week, I’m usually up at 5am on the dot, 6 days a week. I actually enjoy it, it gives me time to write and time to exercise before the rest of the day begins.
But I’m on Holidays…
While we’ve been in Japan, however, my strict 5am wakeup time has slipped, just a little (a lot). There are several reasons for this, not least of which is that I’m holidays and part of the reason for a good holiday is to have a break from routine.
The other main reason for not getting up at 5am is that I now share a room with a toddler.
DON’T WAKE THE BABY
The last thing I want to do is set my 5am alarm, then wake up Emma and Hannah when it rings. That would in many ways defeat the purpose of my 5am start – the early-morning solitude before the day properly begins. So I haven’t.
Instead, I have used a different type of alarm clock these holidays – a cheerful toddler.
Every morning so far this trip, the start of the day has been decided by Hannah. Some days we have started around 6.30am (Hannah’s usual wake-up time). Some days we have started as late as 8am (that cot must be extremely comfortable, to be able to pull off a 12hr + sleep).
Dare not move
Some mornings I have woken before Hannah, but I have either lay in bed awake, or gone back to sleep. I haven’t dared try and get up, for fear of waking the sleeping toddler. For while Hannah consistently sleeps through the night, she also has the hearing of the greater wax moth.
Nijo Castle may have its famous nightingale floors, but had Hannah been a shogun, she wouldn’t have needed a fancy floor to tell if someone was sneaking around.
Like a Ninja
Our trips is near its end, so I figured it is time to reinstate some basic parts of my routine. That way, returning to work doesn’t hit me like a sledgehammer to the face.
I didn’t set the 5am alarm, but I did decide that I would get up as soon as I was awake. This morning that was about 6 o’clock. Of course, I still had the issue of the toddler asleep at the foot of my bed.
No worries, I thought. I’m in The Land of The Rising Sun after all. The home of the ninja! Surely I can channel something of the famous shinobi (the sneaking bit… not the dishonourable mercenary bit…).
I lay in bed, wide awake and listening intently. I could hear the steady breathing of the infant, which let me know that she was fast asleep. There was no fussing, no rolling about to indicate that she was ready to stir from her slumber.
Emma rolled over. Her thick doona rustled loudly, yet still Hannah slept peacefully.
Now was my opportunity. I slipped out of bed silently. My feet touched the floor with as much noise as a solitary feather. I was a ninja in Japan and it felt bloody good!
I took a step. The floorboard creaked. I panicked and ran for the door.
I woke the baby
The cry was loud, and it was specific. Hannah called me out as a ninja fraud almost immediately.
I had made it out the door, but at what cost? Hannah was now yelling my name at the top of her lungs. Not only has she heard me try to sneak, but she had also been 100% sure it was me who was trying to pull of the feat, and not her mum.
I stood and listened. I was convinced that I had ruined sleep for everyone. However, Hannah began to settle. The loud dad-siren had dulled to a quiet babble. Perhaps she would just go back to sleep and forget about the whole ordeal? Surely Emma was also awake (and alert to my failed attempt at ninja-ing), but perhaps she too would be able to get a little more sleep…
It is now 45 minutes since I tried to emulate the bygone days of the shinobi. Hannah is still in her portable cot, but she isn’t asleep. She has spent that time happily entertaining herself through a mixture of babbles and singing. It’s delightful, but not in any way conducive to Emma’s sleep. She has now begun yelling “MUMMA” at the top of her voice.