Back in the day, I hated mornings. I’ve always been a night person, so that makes sense. I’d hit the snooze button 800 times, often sleeping through the alarm. I’d wake up late and be totally rushed to get wherever I was going. I’d get ready as fast as I could and swish out the door, late as always and irritated, partly because I was late and partly because I was in a hurry and partly because why couldn’t I ever just get my shit together and do anything on time ever?
This is the weirdest, most random thing, but I love mornings now. Aside from having to actually go to work, mornings I go into the office are kind of the best. It might be the result of getting older (things I’ve noticed about old people is that they’re always cold, they don’t eat a ton, and they don’t sleep as much or as well as young people), but now I actually wake up when my alarm goes off. I hit the snooze button twice (maybe three times if I’m being crazy) and then get out of bed. It’s not an exaggeration to tell you that for me, that’s kind of groundbreaking. I even get up earlier than I need to get up to make it to the office at a reasonable time.
I make coffee, get ready, get in Ben’s way in our one tiny bathroom, and even have time to check the internet. (Ben, for the record, gets up a little later than I do and leaves way earlier than I do. I make coffee and the bed and he feeds the animals.)
Sometime between when I wake up and am ready to walk out the door, Soren wakes up. (He usually gets up anywhere from 7:00 to 9:00.) He’s almost always in a good mood in the morning. He asks for milk (or “bilk” as he usually says, although not as often any more), gets a diaper change, and hangs out entertaining himself with toys or the animals or whatever.
Before we leave, I get him dressed for the day. Although he’s a relatively opinionated 2-year-old (aren’t they all), he could give a, well, poop, about what he wears (I’m sure this will change). Usually this is when we talk about the day ahead — I like to talk to him about things he’s about to experience (“Are you looking forward to doing ____ and seeing ____?”) or things he just experienced (“Did you have fun at school today? Did you see your friends Bob and Audrey [not their real names]?”). His response to many of these conversations is simply, “Sophie!” Sophie [not her real name] is Soren’s classmate and as best I can tell, he is completely in toddler love with her. He talks about her all the time. I was worried it was a one-way thing until the day I dropped him off and she said, “I want to sit by Soren!” Oh my goodness.
That’s about it in terms of toddler maintenance in the mornings. Sometimes you have to wipe boogers, but usually it’s not all that much work.
I don’t even mind loading up my car (there’s a lot you have to bring every day when you use cloth diapers) and driving totally out of my way to take Soren to daycare. I have to navigate the building security system and wait for Soren to hug the woman who is usually sitting at the front desk (so cute). We walk down the hallway to his classroom and usually (we arrive on the late side) the kids are in the middle of breakfast and, this is the dorkiest thing ever, but it’s just so nice to see everybody in the morning. In the morning, everybody is fresh and relatively clean. The kids are all — well, I was about to say “rosy-cheeked and hopeful,” but fucked if that kind of shit doesn’t make me want to vomit. I think you get the point.
Soren is usually happy to see everyone and happy to have the opportunity to eat the world. Sometimes he’s sad and sometimes he doesn’t want me to leave, but his teacher almost always knows how to distract him and make him happy. I like my job and like going to the office, but most of the time as I’m standing there realizing I should go, I totally don’t want to leave.
I’m going to do all I can to keep mornings awesome for as long as possible. I know it’ll get much harder to do as Soren gets older and mornings become more complicated and chaotic, but getting the day off to a good start is fantastic, so I’m going to try.
Disclosure: The awesomeness of my mornings must be credited at least in part to two important factors: (1) I have a low-maintenance child (so far); and (2) no part of my morning commute (home to daycare or daycare to the office) is more than 3 miles and traffic, even downtown, just isn’t that bad.
I’m telling you this stuff not because I think I’m special simply as a result of spawning or because I think being a parent is some sort of magical thing that makes everything superfantasticawesome. I’m telling you this because I think it’s cool the way parenthood does this thing where it makes you like stuff you didn’t used to like or see things in new ways. The good parts of being a parent kind of sneak up on you in unexpected, quiet ways. I love that.
In other news, if you were unfortunate enough to read my smug fantasy football posts earlier this season, you will be happy to know I lost this week. I lost to, of all people, my husband. I almost won. Aaron Hernandez scored a touchdown during the last minutes of the MNF game, but it was taken away because some New England asshole got a penalty. I was all “YESSSS!” and then I was all “NOOOOOO!” I could’ve won, if I played Cam Newton instead of Tony Romo or BenJarvus Green-Ellis instead of — okay, I’ll shut up. Oh well, it had to happen eventually. I’m 10-1. I’m still in first place and will make the playoffs, so it’s all good. More or less.