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}

Son: Can you get my tire?

Husband: You can get your tire.

Son: But I CAN’T!  Can you get it?

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

Son: BUT I CAN’T.  I’m a grumpy guy!

{Laughter from the audience}

What else can I do? My husband and the little one are, on occasion, grumpy.  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 my high school HATED me.)  And she (being one of those awful morning people) chattered away.  Grunt. Chat. Grunt. Chatchatchat. 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 an early-to-bed, early-to-rise husband and children, I don’t have much of a choice, and his 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.  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 plates.  And our blue tires.  And maybe bring us coffee.

This has to be the 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 6 months, she took a morning nap about 30 minutes post-yawn. Not EXACTLY on cue, but I’ll take it and run with it conveniently forgetting she gotten BIGGER and AWAK-ER (not a word).

Yet here I go, watching her to yawn because our day is scheduled around her 9 a.m. nap. Because I forget she’s9 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. I have to give up and drag my son, my exhausted daughter and I to sing and dance for 45 minutes.

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. None of  those heralded sleep books held clues to your 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. But me? I have learned nothing.


A version of this post originally appears on The Mommies Network.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

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