Welcome to my bleak and brutal existence. It's a world where alarm clocks are a redundant technology. A place where the first sound you hear (at sparrow's fart) every morning, is the not-so-sweet-sound of your baby crying.
Oh yes, it's a dark and cold world this one of early morning wake-ups. You see, our one-year-old daughter, Katie, wakes up every morning at around 5am - announcing the new day's arrival with a chorus of squeaks, squawks and the occasional full blown howl. It's been going on for so long, that our body clocks are now all in tune, and the entire family wakes up around the same time.
I know there are far more pressing problems to be addressed in this world, but doesn't everyone deserve a wee sleep-in, every now and again?
Katie's early-morning starts are not a recent occurrence. I haven't had a true sleep-in - you know, at least 8.30am - since our first daughter Mia was born four years ago. Even when we go out for a rare party or date night, there really is no such thing as a sleep in with kids around. Yes, the TV might tide Mia over until 7.30am, but someone's still got to get the breakfast on.
Also, it's not just about missing long, luxurious, morning sleep-ins either. Oh, for the golden age of a long, uninterrupted peaceful night's sleep, when I didn't have to deal with Mia popping in for a little hello, or Katie's cock-a-doodle-doo in the very early morning.
Yes, yes, I know there are crazy people out there who get up at 5am for the fun of it and go to the gym, or a run, or sit down and read the paper from cover to cover. But that's why they're called crazy.
And you're either a morning person or you're not. Luckily, considering my current state of wakefulness, I am a morning person. So, despite the moaning, I can handle waking up at anywhere between 5am and 5.30am. And I am handling it, thanks.
Complicating things a little in our household at the moment is the fact Mia and Katie are sleeping in the same room. We live in a three bedroom house and because of a string of grandparents' visits recently we needed a spare bedroom for them to stay in. So the girls moved in together and Mia especially loves sharing with her little sister. She says she doesn't even mind Katie's early morning noises, and sometimes she sleeps through them. My wife and I sure wish we could too.
The problem would be relieved a little if we had a bigger house. But that ain't going to happen unless we win the Lotto jackpot tomorrow. So we will be settling for a mix of tolerance and ignorance. Because ignoring Katie's squawks - for a wee bit at least - is our equivalent of a snooze button these days and I'm going to use it.