The Morning Routine

One of my pet peeves from my childhood was being woken up too abruptly, and then being told (a little too happily) to “Wake up, Sleepyhead.”  I can’t tell you how much that irked me.  And I would stay irked for hours.

So now, as a parent, I strive to wake my children up on the right side of the bed.  I’ll tiptoe into my daughter’s room, and slowly and quietly draw the shades open to let more natural light enter the room.  Then I’d sit on her bed, gently caress her and ease her into the morning by whispering “Good morning.”  When she comes to, Maddie seems ready to take on the day, and she usually asks me what the plan is.  (Is there school?  Are there swimming or soccer lessons?  What’s after that?)

My wife wakes the two-year-old boy up while I’m waking Maddie up.  She uses a similar gentle technique, but he responds differently.  None of this “‘Morning” or “Mommy!” or other sweet-nothing out of him.  He’s all business.  Here are the first five words Lillian hears:

Nai-nai.  Cereal.  TV.  Kangaroo.  Video.

That’s a laundry list of his morning demands:  He wants his milk and cereal, and he wants to watch TV.  On TV, he wants to watch the DVD with the Kangaroo on it.  Different mornings, different videos, but you get the idea.

This is a boy who knows what he wants, and there’s no time to waste.  Time stops for no baby.  He’s the kind of kid who just can’t let the morning go to waste lying in bed.  The kind of kid who’ll grow into a father who’ll watch his kids sleep in a little too late, shake them and say, “Wake up, Sleepyhead.”