Thursday, December 12, 2013


One year at church camp (maybe the summer after fifth or sixth grade?), we had a particularly enthusiastic camp director.  She was a middle-aged woman who wore camp knee socks with khaki shorts.  I can't remember what she looked like, but when I try to picture her now, I picture one of the over-zealous Girl Guide leaders from Troop Beverly Hills.  Anyway, her thing was that first thing every morning we had to go down to this hut by the dam that was conveniently called The Dam Hut (as church campers, you'd better believe we got a huge kick out of saying that) and sing "Morning Has Broken."

It's a very pretty song, really.  "Morning has broken, like the first morning, blackbird has spoken, like the first bird..."  But at who knows what ungodly hour in the dampness that is early morning humidity in July in Missouri, before we'd even eaten breakfast, tramping to The Dam Hut to sing a song was NOT what we wanted to be doing.

I've never been a huge morning person.  Even as a kid, my mom had to drag me out of bed for kindergarten.  David is (of course) a morning person, and I've slowly made the adjustment.  There is no singing songs of praise first thing in the morning, but I can usually get myself and Zuzu together and out the door on time.

Confession:  I do get cranky on earlier-than-usual mornings and when something throws my routine out of whack.  I want to be able to get out of bed and go straight to the bathroom without anything diverting me.  I want to brush my teeth before I interact with any other humans.

This works just fine when Zuzu wakes up at her usual time of 7:15am.  But the last two mornings she was up for the day at 6am (I fear she may be a morning person like her father).  I am usually up for the day at 6:45am, which gives me half an hour to take a quick shower and throw on some clothes before getting Zuzu up and around.  An unexpected 6am wake up call puts me in a bit of a panic.  Sometimes I can turn on all the lights and open the door to her room and give her some books and she'll hang out in her crib and read quietly.  Other mornings (like yesterday) she'll scream her bloody head off.

This morning she was up just a little early (6:45am), which meant that when David left for work, I was in the shower and Zuzu and Cooper were in the bathroom with me.

Because why would she want to hang out in her room with toys and books when she could fling back the shower curtain and let in a rush of cold air while saying, "Hi!  Bye-bye!" over and over over again?

I'm not sure what else she and Cooper were doing as I finished up, but by the time I turned off the water and opened the curtain, Cooper was actively trying to get IN the tub with me and Zuzu had figured out how to open the cabinet where I store lotion and hairspray and whatnot.

It was kind of a crazy morning, especially for someone who does not tolerate much craziness before 8:30am.  Zuzu wandered around in her pajamas as I dried my hair and got dressed and then got her dressed (my favorite part of the morning is picking out her outfit for the day--getting her into the outfit is not always as easy, but today is was cooperative) and then got us both downstairs to get her snacks ready for the day (daycare gives them a snack every afternoon, but I always send a little something extra--today was string cheese and a little cutie).  She drinks milk and whines for me to pick her up while I pack her school bag and then we're off.  I load up her and her diaper bag and her school bag and then leave her hanging out in the carport as I run back in the house to give Cooper a treat and grab my water and my purse and lock the door.

To be honest, every morning--even the ones when she sleeps until 7:150--feels a little hectic.  Still, we almost always manage to get to school and work on time (leaving the house between 8:15 and 8:20 allows me to do daycare drop off without feeling rushed and still get to work a little before 9 if I don't get stopped by a train).  I left Zuzu at school eating Greek yogurt with applesauce.  She will kiss and hug me as we walk into school, but once she's with her friends, she cooly ignores me as she eats breakfast.  I kiss her anyway and tell her I love her and tell her bye-bye, and usually her friend Bea or Henry will take pity on me and offer me a cheerful "Bye-bye!" and a wave as I head for the door.

These are crazy, hectic mornings, and I don't always slow down enough to appreciate how glad I am that I have this little girl to wrangle into a coat and hat, how much I love it when she sees birds and squeals, how hilarious I think she sounds when she sees a Santa Claus and says "Ho-ho-ho!"  But these are really sweet mornings, too, with snuggles and squeezes to make up for the whining and snot-wiping-on-my-leggings.

I'm really looking forward to next week, though, when our mornings are all about staying in our pajamas and having breakfast at home and not having to rush around to load up and go bye-bye.

And as much as I love our stay-at-home days, I also know that by the time January rolls around, I'll be more than ready to get back to our typical routine...


  1. I hear ya. And I have snowsuits and -40C weather to contend with. Mornings ain't easy. Looking forward to a little hibernation in the upcoming weeks myself.

  2. Can you drag her high chair into the bathroom and have her nibble on Cheerios or something while you shower? I used to do that. Handy.

  3. I want no one to speak to me before I've brushed my teeth either. And been dressed and up for an hour, but that doesn't happen... so I'll settle for a teeth brushing.

    Zuzu is much better than B would be if he had access to me showering. He would insist on being inside the shower with me and then back out in a flash resulting in wet baby, unclean bodies and a whole wet mess in my bathroom. So I shower at night as soon as I put him in his bed. I love a good morning shower, but that's totally a sacrifice. Shower alone and enjoy it? Or have a kid at my feet interrupting the one sacred thing I have to myself? Hah.

    Love that she eats at daycare. How awesome is that!

    Oh, and dressing Benjamin? It requires bribery of some kind. For that and diaper changes. Rough.

  4. Man, I don't know how I'm going to do it alone with a toddler. I get up when Daniel gets up and have a cup of tea, use the restroom in peace and shower/brush my teeth all before he's out the door for the day. And on the days where I need to sleep a bit more, I have to get creative with Theos placements for my bathroom duties - Um, no pun intended. Sorry. And even then if its not timed right and he needs his morning nap, I can't put him anywhere and I'm dirty and uncomfortable while coaxing him down for his 2 h morning nap. I'm so spoiled that Daniel leaves (at times) for work a little late to let me get cleaned up for the day first.

    I'm doomed in the mornings when toddlerhood hits...

  5. Ugh. I hear you.

    Luke woke up at 4:54 am this morning. (Yes, 4!! For the day!! And I kept him up till 11 pm last night because he has been doing this a few days now. WTF?!)AND. He woke up Matthew by 5. So here we are, I'm reading your blog and both kids are playing in the living room at 5:44AM while you lucky thing are hopefully still sleeping. (We have a chiropractor appt. at 8 so I guess at least I don't have to worry about waking up in time?!)

    I am generally okay with letting the kids play together while I get ready but it's trickier with the toddler spawn because he can be really mean to his brother when we aren't watching so usually I try to put Matthew in his crib with some toys to keep him safe from getting smacked in the face /head/stomped on by his older brother.

    I am not a morning person! I think I'm definitely going to need a doughnut today.

    Hope your morning gets off to a better start than mine has!

  6. I almost need a support group for morning routines. I cannot understate how stressful, run around, chaotic and far too "crisis management" mornings can be. Matthew is out the door even before Lillian is awake. So it is me and her. Staring each other down... and there are days I do not win.

    In fact frequently I do not win.

  7. 5th grade Brooke had the coolest alarm clock of anyone I knew, yet woke up very cranky! :)