After some trial and error, we discovered that we can scale back the intensity of the morning tantrums by putting her in front of the TV when she gets dressed. (Don't give me that look - it's not like we leave her there all day.)
First: waking her up. I'm reminded of that joke, "Some days I wake up grumpy, some days I just let him sleep."
Second: I lift her out of her bed and carry her out to the couch. I can lift her now but I am not sure how long this is going to work. Let me tell you, I have no upper body strength. That's why I transitioned her out of her infant carrier when she was only four months old. I was too much of a pussy to carry a baby and a hunk of plastic. Anyway, I keep picturing me trying to carry a high school freshman down the hall in about ten years.
I turn on PBS. Curious George is on at 6 a.m., followed by Sid the Science Kid at 6:30. I actually like Sid the Science Kid, which is produced by the Hensons. Have you ever noticed that Sid's family is bi-racial? My daughter is bi-racial so maybe that's why I focus on that sort of thing. Sid is sort of yellowish and his mom is vaguely orange (she comes across, albeit loosely, as being African-American).
In order to give the kid some sort of incentive to get dressed, I take off her pajamas (and undies) and then leave her with the clothes for the day. You'd think she'd feel a bit awkward about sitting on the couch completely naked watching Curious George. But you'd be wrong if you think that. She lays there quite comfortably, scratching whatever may itch. I give her two or three chances to get herself dressed before I start in with the threats (turning off the TV, sending her off to school naked, etc.)
When she's finally dressed, I do my best to tame her curls. Then we tackle breakfast.
After some intense negotiations, she agreed to eat breakfast. But, she made it clear that she was NOT happy.
Then, at the end of the day . . . my reward. A little girl who runs out of the school yelling, "Mommy!" And for a little while, that other kid, the morning one, doesn't seem quite so unruly.