It is a random Saturday morning, Fall 2012. Pick any random Saturday morning, or Sunday morning for that matter (this will all still apply). I am cranky and pissed off on this random Saturday morning because my eight and a half-year old child woke me up before 6 o’clock in the morning, yet again. On this random Saturday morning, what I should be doing is sleeping at least until a civilized and much more manageable 7 o’clock (8’clock would be just downright greedy). Despite the fact that I have made it abundantly clear that under no circumstances are those children of mine to wake me up before 6 o’clock in the morning unless there are exigent circumstances (i.e. bleeding from the head –and the bleeding must be profuse requiring an airlift to a nearby trauma center, or limb-on-fire due to spontaneous combustion), they do not seem to care. This rule does not seem to register with them as one they should heed at all. Invariably one, if not both of them will wake me (and it is usually me; the hunky husband manages to be passed over for this honor) up for no good reason whatsoever and it is really starting to grate on my nerves.The interesting thing to note is that I am actually a morning person, I like the morning, I love the quiet of morning, I do, but I really like to be able to wake up on my own terms. What I have to endure is more a kin to a prison wake up. There is a difference.
You may recall that at one point in the not too distant past I spent thousands of words describing in excruciating detail the thousands of minutes invested (or should I say more appropriately, wasted) lying on the floor, begging these people to just go the f**k to sleep. And for the most part, now they do, go the f**k to sleep. But like that carnival game “Whack-a-Mole,” a new development has popped up in the void left behind by the easier bedtime, and that somewhere else has taken the form of those people who I gave birth to waking me up before 6 o’clock in the morning. Pretty much ALL THE TIME. What a kick in the head, bed time now runs smoothly for the most part; it’s the weekend morning time that now completely sucks.
Either the third grader barges into my room under the guise of a having had bad dream or having to pee, or some such nonsense, and will proceed to mercilessly fling open my bedroom door with a loud bang, stomp into my bathroom, throw open the toilet with a clank that clearly says “fuck you, wake up,” and do his business with the bathroom door wide open. And his morning pee noise sounds eerily similar to that of a fire hose during a three alarm fire. Subtle and discrete and, oh, considerate, this kid is not. Then after he is done putting out fires in my toilet, he will just stand at my bedside staring at me, willing me awake with his cute little eyeballs, while I try to feign sleeping (thinking he’d get the hint and skulk away). I will then have to unglue my eyelids and meet his gaze, and say “What is your problem this morning, dude?” and he will look me square in the face, unflinching and say “nothing” or even worse, “I’m hungry.” (Hunger is worse because I know he can actually do something about this, but prefers that the something -e.g. toasting a waffle or making a bowl of cereal- be done exclusively by me.) Some days instead of the brutal eyeball-burning technique or the “I will starve to death without you” strategy, he will torture me with a tactic I call the snort n’ sniffle. He will lie down on the floor next to my side of the bed and proceed to snort, sniff and scratch himself incessantly and, I am not sure how he does it, but he snorts, sniffs and scratches himself at a decibel that doesn’t seem possible given the nature of the activity. And I again will lie there feigning sleep, all the while seething and suppressing my burning desire to pick him up and chuck him back into his room.
Other days it is the four-year old’s turn at predawn torture. This child, whose bedtime routine has miraculously turned into a lovely, easy breezy kiss n’ go, will, at about 5:20 a.m. scream from her bed like she is actually on fire the millisecond she wakes up. Screaming bloody murder for me to get up and gather all her things (purple pillow pet, green pillow pet, princess blankie, small stuffed fish, large stuffed fish, and baby Ariel-because you see, we all work for her majesty) to be carried into the den where she will sit and wait until she can watch television.
And so I get up against my will, because I cannot just lie there and try to go back to sleep, not when I have been woken up so cruelly, not when I sense the sun has risen and I can hear those fucking birds cheerfully chirping outside my window. So I drag myself out of bed, and start the day off, supremely cranky and not ready to face the rest of what is in store. Oh well, only ten more years till college.