I put an alarm clock in Ann's room a while ago just because it was around and she seems interested in 1) the time and 2) the weather forecast.  (Not that the clock I put in her room would help with the latter, but she has several ways of getting that on her own now.  I think that's because she kept asking me about the day's temperatures and got tired of my "beats me" response—I don't pay much attention to forecasts, but did begrudgingly explain some way to look up things on the computer with the caveat that "they may be wrong.")

When this school year started, Ann got interested in setting the alarm on her clock.  She figured it out on her own.  She may have missed the switch to actually turn on the alarm at first, but I didn't give that to her—selfishly savoring those moments of stroking her head and whispering to "wake up, hon", or, if she didn't respond favorably, bouncing on her bed warning that I'd tickle her if she ignored me.  She figured it out, though.

The independence is awesome to see, but is also tough.  Since she figured out the alarm switch, she's been waking up 15 minutes before me because, (I think), she wants some extra time to do her hair.  It's weird to get up, do my morning routine thinking no one else was up, then finding a daughter not only already awake but ready to go.

I give the kids tasks that I know they're able to handle to hopefully give them self-confidence.  For example: their previous school morning routine was to pack their water bottle, set the table, brush their teeth after breakfast, and get all their gear in the car when we went to school.  This year I upped things by adding putting a juice box and freezer pack in their lunch bag.  They seemed to want more, though, so I added packing their snack and lunch vegetable.  I'll still cut it up if they decide on something like an apple or bell pepper, (I'm letting Ann use a knife sometimes when she wants to help cook, but I don't like it—no chance for William yet, though!)

But Ann, tween as she is, just destroyed that.

This morning when I went out she was up, ready, and playing Minecraft.  I asked what she wanted for breakfast (eggs) and headed downstairs to start the morning routine.  She followed me a few seconds later without asking.  As it turned out, she had not only packed her water bottle and snack for school, but had made her *entire* lunch.  On top of that, she wanted to help make breakfast.

I can't explain what it's like to cook with the kids; I just can't.  Both of them have *wanted* to share that with me and it's awesome.  Right now, they still think of themselves as a Souse-Chef.