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Friday, January 29, 2010

Two Tales from the Crib

Not a Morning Person

Today went a little something like this:

(Small blue tire thrown from seat at kitchen counter into the dining room)

E: Can you get my tire?

Hubby: You can get your tire.

E: But I CAN’T!  Can you get it?

Hubby: I’ll help you down off the chair to go get it.

E: BUT I CAN’T.  I’m a grumpy guy!

(Titters and giggles from the audience)

What else can I do?  I’m a grump in the mornings.  My husband can be a grump guy and the little one is, on occasion, a grumpy girl.  But my son and I?  We are NOT morning people.
My son is actually the dreaded combination of a child who naturally wakes up early but doesn’t like mornings.  And I, as a parent, am forced to wake up early and don’t like mornings.  Together we are MISERABLE.

My mom told me (because I have blocked out all morning experiences of my youth) that I would only grunt as I got dressed and ate breakfast before leaving for school. (We had to be there by 7:35 a.m...  It’s like they HATED me at my high school.)  And she (being one of those awful morning people) chattered away.  And I grunted back.  So what can I say when E refuses to participate in life at 7 a.m.?

I like to think that parenting has forced me to grow in this area.  With both early to bed, early to rise children AND husband, I don’t have much choice.  This lack of choice has clearly addled my brain.  I consider 8 a.m. “sleeping-in.”  Seriously.

Let me take you back ten years (or so): In college, I chose all my classes based on time -- any earlier than 10 a.m. and I was NOT interested.  So when second semester Organic Chemistry was slotted for 9 a.m., I nearly died.  And nearly failed.

Most mornings, my son and I stare into space while eating cereal next to each other.  And hope someone else will pick up our tires.  And our plates.  And maybe bring us coffee. 
There has got to be ONE plus in marrying a morning person and perpetuating his genes onto the next generation.

Rookie mistake

My daughter is a yawner.  

Yawner: (def) one who yawns but is not actually going to fall asleep.

About two hours after N wakes up in the morning, she yawns.  A telltale sign of sleepiness.  Ask all the books and doctors.  And for the first six months, she took a morning nap about 30 minutes post-yawn. Not EXACTLY a cue, but I’ll take it.  And run with it.

Because, oh by the way, she got BIGGER and AWAK-ER (not a word). 

Yet here I go, watching (willing?) her to yawn because our day is scheduled around her 9 a.m. nap.  Because I forget she’s nine-months-old.  Because I like my schedule.  Because she YAWNED.

Instead she plays and cries and fusses in her crib.  And the minutes go by and by.  Now it’s time to leave for music class.  And I have to give up.  My son, my exhausted daughter, and I sing and dance with the best of them.  

After class, she falls asleep in the car.  At 11:30.  And my ENTIRE DAY IS RUINED.  (Because that’s how anal-retentive I am.)

I look back at my three-year-old son and think: I should know better.  Your cues were like trying to decipher hieroglyphics without the Rosetta stone.  No Babywise or any those hundreds of sleep-books held clues to your sleep patterns. You rubbed your eyes when you woke up and ran in circles when you were tired.  What a rookie mistake falling for the ol’ yawn-when-playing-contently move by your sister.  You have taught her well my son.

This post is written by Alex Iwashyna, a happily married (seriously!) mom with a BA in Philosophy and a Medical Degree and the drive to become neither.  She is hopeful this writing thing will pan out.  Follow her rants on and on but be prepared for baby poop and liberal bias.

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