It’s time to smile. I know a lot of things you’ve seen from me have been deeper, more serious stuff, so here’s something light for today.
I have a funny story for you guys to enjoy.
This morning, J and I were in a dead sleep. She was planning to be up early-ish this morning for a work thing, and I was also planning to be up so that I could get a head start on drinking a 32-oz bottle of water prior to having an ultrasound done at 11. Alarm was set for 8am.
That wasn’t what woke us, though.
Okay, so, there we are - we’re sleeping. Snoring, perhaps. Either way, we were OUT. And, in my sleep, I feel my back being pushed. I hear nothing, of course. I open my eyes a bit and see that sunlight has begun to seep into the bedroom through the blinds.
And I smell…something. Doesn’t smell bad, but it’s not something I’m used to smelling first thing in the morning. It was NOT the unmistakeable scent of freshly brewed coffee but it wasn’t entirely unpleasant, either. It was just plain unidentifiable given having just woke up.
I turn over (major belly sleeper here) and there is my daughter, with this cheshire cat grin. She’s holding a plate overflowing with scrambled eggs. Ahhh. Brain and nose made a connection right about there.
“I made you guys breakfast!” She’s proud of herself. “I texted you to tell you.”
“Huh? What did you do?” I jumped up out of bed. The first thoughts that ran through my mind were 1) What the hell time is it?? 2) Are we dreaming? And 3) Considering the daughter NEVER cooks unsupervised, what does my KITCHEN look like right now?
I checked my phone for the time. It read “5:49am.” Additionally, there was a text message from the daughter, sent 10 minutes earlier, letting me know that she was making us breakfast. J also got a text. However, neither of us was awake to receive these texts. And if you already know what my sleep habits are, you know as well as I do that 6am is still considered to be the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT for me.
I groaned. I’d JUST laid down at around 2:30am. Not blaming the daughter for my lack of sleep...I know that's entirely on me...but now I was posed with another question.
“Did YOU even go to sleep at all last night?”
I’d gone to say good night to her around 2am. She’d been face-timing with one of her school friends and I’d told her THEN to go to sleep. She waved me off, saying she would. But as it is summer vacation, I am not as strict about when she needs to go to bed. And so, I left her in her room and turned in….but, now, I’m thinking I should be a little more adamant on when her bedtime is - a little later in the summer, but still no later than eleven or twelve, the absolute latest. This staying up all night shit - that’s MY thing. Out of all the things I could ever inspire my child to do, I wouldn’t want that to be one of them.
“Nope!” She was a little too cheery. And again, she’s holding up this plate of food she’d just prepared.
“Oh, hell, no!” I said. I might have been prepared to unleash a string of obscenities along the lines of “You need to go to SLEEP when I tell you to go to sleep! You’re not supposed to be sitting up all night! (I know, I know, pot calling the kettle black!) What the fuck were you thinking, coming upstairs at this hour and cooking without help!? What if something had happened in the kitchen, what if you’d cut or burned yourself?…” And a whole bunch of other things that sleep deprivation would have certainly inspired.
But, instead, I quickly bit every corner of my tongue and stopped myself.
Ya see, she’s standing there holding the plate of (seven!) eggs. Smiling. She’s proud of herself. And, if I’ve learned anything about parenthood…it’s as follows.
When your child brings you something they hand-drawn or hand-made, you hang it up or display it, even if it looks like the equivalent of a two-year-old’s scribblings or something made with cracked, drying Play-Doh. If your child is ACTUALLY two, you’re to tell them it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen and you think it belongs on display in a museum.
When your child wrecks something accidentally, you stifle any and all of your feelings of sadness, anger, or that are otherwise unfavorable, and tell them with a smile so forced that it looks real, that it’s okay - it wasn’t as important to you and can be replaced. Even if it was passed down several generations and is truly lost. Kids are generally destructive and chances are it’s your own damn fault for leaving whatever it was within the kid’s reach in the first place.
And when your child makes you seven scrambled eggs at 5:45am, you get up and eat it. Even if you’re not hungry. Even if you’re slightly annoyed at the hour. Even if your kid makes you something that closely resembles animal vomit, you eat it and hope it tastes a hell of a lot better than it looks…you also hope they didn’t use anything that was on its way to spoiling because kids aren’t known to check the expiration date on the refrigerator contents when they’re in the mood to be creative.
And so, while J stifled her laughter into her pillow, I ate the eggs, trying to hide my “WTF” face in between forkfuls. J had a few bites, too. Several hours later, I’m happy to report that the eggs stayed down, they were actually cooked very well and that although this spontaneous meal resulted in us being super-tired today, it made a pre-teen genuinely happy.
She went to bed after we ate (at about six-thirty in the morning, she was apparently wide awake all night long but still overtired enough to drift off to sleep as soon as breakfast was served) and I first surveyed the kitchen to make sure nothing was on fire before putting the milk she’d left out on the counter away and then attempting to try and go back to sleep.
However, we were unable to do so and our day started at 7am.
And so, today, I’m tired. We both are, actually.
Tonight, the daughter goes to bed at 11. I have already informed her of this. Additionally, I told her that as much as we appreciated breakfast this morning (we otherwise would likely NOT have eaten anything at all before work/appointments) and as much as we LOVED that she wanted to surprise us, to please make 8am the earliest time breakfast is served. We are not morning people in this house.
On that note, I also gotta say that the kid who woke us up this morning is the same kid who REFUSES to wake up when she has to get ready for school. What the hell is that? I literally wake her for school at 6:10, which is LATER than the time she woke us this morning.
I usually start by walking into her room (with shoes on, of course, because if I’m not careful, I end up stepping on whatever she leaves on the floor the night before) and I’ll start pulling out and rearranging the pillows from underneath her head to the back of the bed. I pull down the blanket, thinking the fan being on will give her a chill and she’ll get up. Nope. She’ll instead pull the blanket back up. I’ll holler her name in 20-second intervals, followed by, “GET UP!” or “If you’re not up in five seconds, you’re losing your iPad.” Or “Okay, iPad belongs to me, now. Wanna lose your phone? Get UP!”
I’m not sure if it’s the frantic “YOU HAVE TEN MINUTES TO GET DRESSED, BRUSH YOUR HAIR AND GET OUT THE DOOR!” that does it, but she’s not missed her bus ONCE this past school year.
Yet, when I can get a few hours of extra sleep, she’s waking me up at 5:45 in the morning with scrambled eggs.
Hope everyone's having a blessed day.