Ever since Samantha learned to open doors, I’ve been looking forward to, and dreading, her first foray into leaving her room on her own during the night. As you can see by my comment in the linked post, I decided to buy a digital clock so that Sam would know when it is ok to come out and when she should stay in her room and either sleep or play quietly.
While browsing clocks at Target, I noticed one that advertised changing colors. I thought, “What a perfect way to signal that it is morning – the clock changes color instead of sounding an audible alarm!” Upon closer inspection, however, this clock simply changed colors when you pushed a button, not as an alarm function. But once I had the idea, I knew somebody must have invented my dream clock.
Here it is! We got this cute little clock a couple of weeks ago. Besides having a color-change alarm clock, it also has a digital and analog display (well, the “analog” display is really a digital reproduction of an analog display) and a game you can play to help your child learn to tell time. It is super-versatile: you can adjust the volume, the brightness, the colors, whether the “child buttons” on the front do anything or not, and whether you want digital, analog, or both types of time displayed. All the important controls are in a latched panel in the back which I’m sure older children can open, but hopefully by the time they can do so they can also understand why they shouldn’t.
I set it up so that its backlight would turn green at 7:45am each morning and so that it displayed the digital time only, but I turned off everything else. Sam was very excited to have her own clock. She knows a little bit about time, clocks, and watches, and I explained how this clock would tell her when it is morning. She still hadn’t ventured out of her room at night, but I told her that when the clock is green, she could come out of her room. She listened without interest for a while, but at one point in my explanation she looked up, thinking. I paused, and after a moment she said, GO DOWNSHUSH, PLAY TOYS? I said, “Yes, when it turns green, you can open your door and go downstairs to play with your toys.” Her face lit up in understanding. The very next morning, I awoke to a sweet little face at my bedside. She said, TURNED GREEN, MOMMY! GO DOWNSHUSH?
Every morning since, Sam has waited until the clock turned green and then come out of her room on her own. She positively loves it! A couple of times she obviously woke up after it turned green and came right out, but many times she has turned up at my bedside right at 7:45, so I know she was waiting for the signal. Today she woke up screaming at 7:30 (she is not a happy-waker-upper), but didn’t come out until it turned green. With that one exception, our mornings have been so incredibly pleasant. Instead of waking up to someone yelling at me to come get her, I wake up to a sweet girl whom I can pick up and cuddle in bed with me for a few minutes before starting my day.
She hasn’t gone straight downstairs yet, but that day will come!