For most aptly named household appliance--the alarm clock. If there is anything more alarming than a clock that makes a horrifying droning noise at 4:40 in the morning, I sure as crap don't want to know what it is.
Because the entertainment of living with three teenage boys and a pre-teen daughter isn't quite enough, we also babysit an almost four-year-old boy who's been coming to our house since he was six weeks old. Most of the time that we've been taking care of him, his parents were both on second shift, but this summer they've both been on first shift at a plant where they work four ten-hour days as opposed to five eight-hour ones. This means Other Kid gets dropped off every morning at around 4:45. He is (sensibly, I think) almost always asleep at that hour but one of us has to get up just in case, hence the alarming alarm.
Much to his saintly credit, Hubby is usually the one who does the getting up while I stay in bed fiddling in the dark to reset the alarm for the (slightly) more humane hour at which I actually have to get out of bed. To pay Hubby back, I get Other Kid ready for Montessori while also trying to get me ready for the Day Job. Other Kid has gotten old enough that he can do most of the getting ready on his own with just a little bit of supervision. The other morning, though, he was having a hard time getting his pajama shirt off and he said, "I can't get my shirt off because my muscles are too big!"
I guess that's the kind of thing that makes the alarm a little less alarming every morning.
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