The Alarm Clocks
One life skill that has been mastered over the past year by our four Russian adoptees is using an alarm clock.Â This certainly beats me going around, room to room, chirping happily, â€œGood mor-ning!Â Howâ€™s everyone doing?â€, only to have each make a mad dash for the shower and all of the hot water be gone by the time I shed my burqa and hop in.
So I introduced the high-tech device around the summer, I think it was, when the mornings would be light and bright.
â€œOkay, kids, hereâ€™s the deal,â€ I enthused one day.Â â€œYouâ€™re all getting bigger.Â Weâ€™re so proud of how far youâ€™ve comeâ€¦.â€
They narrowed their eyes in suspicion.
I continued, â€œSo, weâ€™ve bought you alarm clocks.Â One for the boys, one for the girls.Â We thought you could take turns in the morning being first to get up.â€
My plan was to use the word â€œfirstâ€ which generally conjured up a stampede in whatever direction we were discussing.Â No such luck.Â They looked at the two, small, black alarm clocks as though these were devices that would suck their brains out of their head.
â€œDavai!â€ they shrugged in Russian.Â â€œLetâ€™s do it.â€
The girls, however, Iâ€™m trying to bring into the 21st century.
â€œWhat if we canâ€™t do it?â€
â€œWhat do you mean?Â Youâ€™re incapable?Â Youâ€™re only able to bring buckets of water to our tent?Â Thatâ€™s your role in life?â€
Narrow eyes again.
The next day, I heard the girlsâ€™ alarm go off first.Â That might have been intentional on my part, since few of them could â€œreallyâ€ tell time.Â It peeped for about a full three minutes, getting louder and LOUDER and LOOOUUUDER, until one finally got out of bed and smacked it off.Â (Naturally, I would not allow the alarms to be placed within armsâ€™ length of the bedâ€¦.)
Now our biggest problem is one of them â€œforgettingâ€ the alarm clock at the other house when we travel back and forth.Â But we roll with the punches.Â All are pretty proud that, should they ever become gainfully employed one day, they will be able to rise and make their way toward their chosen profession, be it flipping burgers, or Big Business.
And thatâ€™s pretty exciting.
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