About oversleeping, hockey practice and alarm clocks

Last Saturday, for the first time in seven years of minor hockey, we all overslept past a practice.

Well, theoretically, the boy still made it to practice, but the point is, the usual Saturday morning routine was completely disrupted. Instead of a full-fledged high-protein breakfast I threw a half toast and microwaved-poached egg sandwich at both the boy and his dad, along with a nut bar in a package, and some OJ and said…’buy something at the snack bar between practices’ because of course that Saturday the coach had two back-to-back ice rentals booked.

We rarely have two practices in one day. And now, we missed part of the first practice.

The question was, why did we sleep in?

Well, I know my reason. I don’t go to practice since I’m not a coach and my partner is, so he usually handles the Saturday morning hockey. I also don’t cook for them unless I am up already because he has his own ideas of what he wants to eat prior to hockey. It’s his preference, not mine, really.

Fine by me. Saturday is the only day I can sleep a little longer than usual and not make breakfast and lunches for school and work. Kind of nice to not have to think upon waking.

Also, we were still on holiday break. School didn’t start back up until the following week…

Which leads to the question what happened to his alarm.

Did he set it and not hear it?

Or did he forget to set it completely?

He uses his phone as an alarm, and up until that fateful Saturday, it hadn’t been an issue. But since that morning, there has been a little more awareness of alarm clocks. Or lack of alarm clocks.

We gave the digital clock radios to the kids. They don’t have cell phones, and if they did, they would not have them in their rooms at night. Thing is, they don’t really use the clock radios, so don’t ask me why they have them in their rooms.

There are no manual alarm clocks anywhere in this house either. I used to have one, but the ringing sound was irritating first thing in the morning, and I don’t know what I did with it. I’d rather wake to soothing music, but, we have our gadgets now…

So, that Saturday morning while we were all in a panic, my partner was running around getting the van packed up with the gear. My boy was standing there half asleep, gulping down some OJ. I said:

“Did you set your own alarm clock?”


I waited until the next day to broach the subject again with my tween. The conversation went fairly well, and I believe the message was received. At least for the short term. This is what I said to him:

“Hockey is your sport. You are responsible for a bunch of things, which means you have to take charge of these things. When daddy and I overslept, you should have woken up because you remembered to set your own alarm, and then you could have woken us up. Right? It’s good to have a backup so these things don’t happen.”

Being in a competitive sport, and particularly with hockey in this country, the coach had long ago decided that players who do not show up for practice will miss a period during the next game. This is not desirable and we as a hockey family have reached out to one another when someone is unable to chauffeur their kid to the rink. It takes a village, kinda thing, when it comes to kids in sports…

But the point does remain that our tween boy could, theoretically, start to pitch in a little more when it comes to early morning practices. Setting his own alarm clock, for example, would be a great first step…

In the meantime, crisis was averted when the coach proved to be very understanding. Never has this happened to us before, and now that it has, we’re taking steps to eliminate future wake-up issues.

Which brings me back to alarm clocks: yesterday, he bought a digital clock radio and installed it on his bedside table. Thing is, the clock radio came with its own powerbar.

And the stupid powerbar has a really bright blue light emitting from both sides.

So there I was, in my bed, trying to sleep. Except, there was a blue light shining all through the lower half of the bedroom. No amount of covering it dimmed the light. I saw it every time I open my eyes, and because I knew it was there, I kept opening my eyes.

He finally placed a piece of cardboard in front of the very bright numbers on the clock, and tucked the powerbar under the bed.

It was not helpful, but we eventually went to sleep anyway.

What is it with these low level lights on the digital gadgets today? When it’s dark in the room they appear to be very bright indeed…

I spent several minutes trying to come up with a better solution to this problem today. I finally realized the extension cord was long enough to put the irritating blue light in the closet next to his side of the bed. Perhaps tonight, we can sleep without any light in the bedroom.

As far as the boy is concerned, he set his alarm clock on the first day back to school. Progress!


3 thoughts on “About oversleeping, hockey practice and alarm clocks

  1. This is becoming an ongoing struggle for us too – not just getting up in the morning (but yes, that!), but also trying to figure out how to make our tweens more responsible. I’m constantly torn between “sink or swim” – i.e. letting them fail, or miss out on something as a learning experience – and trying to over-interfere with helping them schedule and set alarms and have memory charms and so on.

    I keep telling myself that they will eventually grow into functional adults but right now that seems almost impossible!


    1. So much like me. I want to trust them, watch them fail, support them when they do, and then…? I jump in to prevent the fail because it has a trickle effect on so many other things.


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