Saturday, January 19, 2008

Less alarming alarms

I'm the waker-upper in our house. My wife could sleep the clock around so it's up to me to get everyone up. Usually this is not a problem, but I have been known to be a little behind schedule in the wakeup calls, especially if the papers bear particularly engrossing news in the morning and I forget that I have a family to wake. Once, a few weeks back, I even slept in, and MK was late for school as a result.

As a fan of routine, rules and order, MK has voiced his dissatisfaction, at various times about my slipshod performance. But when we have suggested that he get an alarm clock he has always refused and retracted all his complaints. Last week we pushed him on the subject and he let us know that the reason he did not want an alarm clock is that they are -- oh, yeah -- alarming. He has a point. If it's hard to integrate sensory stuff like that when awake, how much more shocking would it be to have a buzzer go off when you are asleep, unsuspecting and unprepared.

With a little hunting we found a technological work around -- an alarm clock that plays sound effects instead of buzzing a buzzer. MK opted for the birdsong sound effect. It was a bit loud in his opinion, so we taped cardboard over the speaker (reminding me of how I would have to dismantle all of this toys when he was a tot, so as to find and snip the speaker wires) and the end result is suitably subtle.

I guess this would count as adaptive technology of the very lowest order but now, at least, MK no longer has to rely on the vagaries of his father's coffee and newspaper routine.

6 comments:

Marla said...

Great idea! I can't stand having to wake up to an alarm clock. I guess that is part of life though! If I want to actually be anywhere on time that is.

Maizie does have her own blog. She has been blogging for quite a while. She dictates and I type. If you want membership just e mail me!

Niksmom said...

Have you looked in to one of those "alarm" devices that are actually lights? They gradually come up from darkness to a bright, bright sunshine light and allow the sleeper to waken more naturally. I've seen them advertised in things like the airline magazines and the Parade magazines...

Marla said...

Tag! You are it!

Steve D said...

Hi -
We just got an alarm clock for Jason - it is a Billboard with overhead lamps in a Cars theme. Jason just absolutely loves it! He carries it around all morning and keeps checking the time. Very cool.

Joeymom said...

Joey loves Grandma's clock. You can adjust the volume, and it has birds and "meadow" and even ocean sounds. The ocean sound bothered him at first- too much like static, which he hates. When we explained it was the ocean water, he at least doesn't scream if he accidentally hits the "ocean" button.

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