I do not like 5 am.
I was not created to be a morning person and the only time that I will intentionally wake up at 5 am is when that is the only time during the day that I have any chance of being alone. And the only times I’ve had to do that is when I’m on mission trips in third-world countries and I’ve wanted to wake up to see how the world around me is rubbing their eyes and embracing the new day.
I do not embrace the world at 5:00 am at my house. In fact, I’m not even embracing my own boys. I am generally, thoroughly, shockingly, surprisingly angry. Deep down angry that they have the gall to make any noise or heaven-forbid to say “hi, Mommy.” And I’m even angrier if they decide to say hello to a brother and thereby have more than one child awake when the birds haven’t even gotten in tune yet.
Naturally, the first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have a problem. I have a problem. I do not like the person I am when I growl at my innocent, bright-eyed bouncy children in the morning. It’s just not pretty when I try to push a 70 -ound Micah off the bed because he won’t be quiet and won’t stop poking me.
I tell myself stupidly unhelpful things like – you know, if you went to be at 10pm (it’s 11:43 pm right now) instead of midnight or 1 o’clock, you wouldn’t be so tired and grumpy in the morning. It doesn’t work. I’m a night-owl, my children are early birds. And the Great Horned Owl is known to eat over 50 species of birds, including ducks, herons, Canadian geese and hawks. I’m just saying – don’t mess with me at 5:00 am. You will face the dragon.
I have, in my own head, for the past few years thought of myself as “Dragon Mommy.” (In fact, the folder on my laptop which stores my writings is titled Dragon Mommy.) This description is based purely on my emotional state. I don’t know, the dragons in children’s books always look pretty benign….until of course, they are disturbed. Then the faces turn red and they spew fire and burn up castles and forests and trees (eg, “The Paperbag Princess” by Robert Munsch). It can get pretty nasty….and that is what I can become. In fact, just this evening, Micah said “let’s play where you’re the dragon and you capture me and throw me into the tickle jail” – a great game which gives me fantastic exercise, but really – am I the dragon a lot?
So when Micah previously woke up at the respectable hour of 5:47, I would go against my conscience and hand him my cellphone for Netflix at 6:00 am….but not until “6-zero-zero, Micah” so that he doesn’t want to wake up earlier and earlier just to watch it. But after a few days of 5:02 and 5:08, I have totally compromised my morals. This morning when I was stuffed between Micah on one side, Noah pressing in on the other side, and Seth reaching up his hands and mumbling through the binky and toothless grin “up please” – I handed Micah the phone, convinced Noah to go back to sleep and sent Seth off to “find Auntie” – gosh, I’m really bad a 5:00am. Please just let me sleep until 6:20 – that’s all I ask.
Maybe tomorrow morning I’ll work on a strategy to settle the dragon….maybe….
Maybe check in later in the week….and we’ll see.
…… It’s Friday….my sister comments, “wow, I can’t wait until tomorrow when I can sleep in!” I sigh – “wish I could….but my lovely little ones will have me up by 5:10.” Yes, no change, no resolution….except that I have succumbed to it and got myself to bed a little earlier last night. Seth probably thinks that I’m the meanest mommy in the world, because even at 5:38, I’ll bark “get back in bed – it’s nigh-night time!”