We have had to instigate a rule in the house that The Caterpillar not wake up before 6:30 am. An early riser myself, my tendency is to roll with kids' body clocks and let them wake up when they wake. But the problem with that strategy is The Caterpillar does this thing where if you let her get up fifteen minutes before her wake up time one day, then the next day she'll get up fifteen minutes before that. And then fifteen minutes earlier the next day. And the next day. And the next day. And before you know it, she's tip-toeing ever so quietly into your bedroom at o'dark thirty, an hour after you finally fell into a dead sleep, and stage whispering in your ear:
"CAN YOU MAKE ME A PANCAKE?"
So we finally bought her this clock - it lights up and the digital eyes open once a certain time has been achieved and it's okay to get out of bed - and made an edict in the house that she's not allowed to wake up "until your clock wakes up first." It's worked for the most part and on those occasions when she does wake up before her clock, she stays in her room and plays, thinking we don't know she's awake. Only when she plays, she's super imaginative and her toys have conversations and sing songs and they all talk to each other and have arguments... constantly. And she provides the voices for all of them... at approximately 95 dB. So she's not really pulling the wool over anyone's eyes.
Sometimes she simply can't amuse herself with merely thirty or forty small plastic friends though and she needs human validation for her antics. So all the characters in her world gather 'round and wait together for her clock to wake up. Either that, or they're worshiping the the timekeeper.
Ah, that Caterpillar, she's one of my favorites.