Monday, October 20, 2014

When I Wake Up

At 6:15 on Saturday morning, I found myself losing at Monopoly to Indy. This is noteworthy not because I was getting trounced by a six-year-old, but rather because I was up, dressed, fed and already losing a board game at quarter past six.

Truth is, I had been up for two hours already.

I have never been a morning person. I leave Disease J to those better suited to it. Still, if you do a thing long enough, you get used to it. Between Indy, sailing, and living in the tropics, I have learned to scroll back my wake-up time. But I really thought that waking at 5:45am every morning - as required to get the kids to school on time in New Caledonia - was my low-water mark. I should have known I could count on my dear husband, The Envelope Pusher, to take a job that required him at work at by sunrise.

Erik wisely waited to present his schedule to me until we were already here.
"You're setting your alarm for when?"
"I need to get out of here by five at the latest so I have time to eat in the mess before I head to work."
Well, that was something, anyway. At least I wasn't going to have to produce breakfast in the middle of the night.
And I then I said it.
"Why don't I get up with you. We can have a cup of coffee before you go."
I heard the words leaving my lips, and I was like someone else was speaking them. Was I completely out of my mind? Get up at that time of day on purpose? Just to drink coffee with my crummy husband? Boy, I must like him more than I thought.
Erik gave me a skeptical look. He knows my views on the antemeridian hours. "Okay - if you want to. That would be really nice."

So I got up that first day. And we had a nice, quiet, undisturbed chat. (Not even Indy recognizes the hours before 6am). I got up again the next day. And the next. And now it is my routine. Get up, prepare & consume hot beverage, boot husband out the door, enjoy 60-105 minutes of quiet work time (Indy-dependent), shovel the girls out of bed, make breakfast, and get on with the day.

Mind you, this makes my evenings somewhat dicey. Indy is always ready to go to bed, but Stylish is a classic night owl. She now tucks me in from time to time, giving me massive flashbacks to kissing my own parents goodnight as my mother struggled to keep her eyes open past 8:00pm.

During the week my new routine isn't a problem: school nights mean everyone has to go to bed in a timely fashion. But on weekends, things actually happen in the evenings. On Saturday, we were invited to a party in the park across from our house. I looked at the invitation: 4 o'clock. Excellent, I thought. That won't go too late.

We went, we ate,we laughed, and everyone had a good time. Eventually, Indy slouched up to me. "Mom, I want to go home."
"Are you tired?"
She nodded.
"Okay." I made my goodbyes and walked her home, all the while thinking: Hot dog! It must be eleven o'clock; I'm ready for bed, too.

We had hardly made it inside the house when footsteps pounded up the stairs behind us.
"They're doing ice cream!" shouted a child's voice.
Indy, who had been walking slumped almost in half, straightened immediately. "Mom, can we go back?"
I pushed down the whine that formed in my throat. "Of course we can. Off you go." She raced back into the night.
I glanced at the microwave on my way out the door. 7:38pm. I shook my head. Clock must be broken.

Two cupcakes and an ice cream cone later Indy gave up for real. We were both tucked in bed by 10:00.

And the next morning? I slept in until six.


Anonymous said...

What goes around comes around. The early hours have such a lot to offer Amy. One gets to see the sun rise every day...Unfortunately as you have found out at the end of the day being a party animal is a challenge.
Love Mom

Little Red and the Wolf said...

Welcome to my world, although that is early even by my standards. Maybe we will convert you to the mornings.