Early Mornings

The last few mornings have all started the same.

Whhsh-THUNK. The sound of Connor’s door opening, scraping against the carpet and hitting the doorstop with all the subtlety of a three-year-old.

I open my eyes, not moving. There’s the slightest hint of blue light coming in the blinds. Must be somewhere around 7am.

A stage whisper reaches me from across the hall: “Mommy! It’s time to get up!”

I open my eyes and pick up my head, looking straight out our bedroom door to his. He’s standing at the gate to his room. With my glasses off, I can only imagine that he’s staring insistently into our darkened bedroom as he repeats himself.

“Mommy! Get up, please! Now!”

(I can’t fault him for the “now” part — he’s just copying what I say to him when he needs to get up. If anything, it’s a reminder that maybe I should be more loving and patient.)

I turn my head and push down the edge of my pillow to see the clock. This morning, it was 6:54am. Over the weekend, it was around 7:20am both days. Perfectly appropriate for a weekday. Not so welcome on a weekend.

I sit up and fetch my iPhone from under my pillow, swiping off the alarm and unplugging the cord and turning the phone back off in a well-rehearsed sequence. My clothes are ready for me by the closet, whether it’s a weekday or weekend — I don’t want to turn on the light and wake up my third-shift husband — so I scoop them up and head toward the door.

The stage whisper gets louder as he sees me coming. “I need to come in the bathroom with you!”

This is a relatively new development, him wanting to join me in the bathroom while I get ready. I’m OK with it, though, especially since his dentist said that he needs to start brushing his teeth twice a day instead of just at night.

It’s a new routine: I unlock his gate and let him come out into the hallway, then he turns on the bathroom light. I use the bathroom, weigh myself, and get ready for the day, he plays around with the covered rubber bands I use on my hair, and we brush our teeth together. He doesn’t have much interest in using his potty in the mornings, but he’s been kind of hot and cold on the potty-training tip lately. Give it time.

(If it’s a day when I need to shower — usually every other or every third day — I let him come in for a few minutes, then I ask him to play in his room while I shower. But I remove the wipes and the diaper pail into the hallway, even if it’s only for a ten-minute shower. A lot of destruction can happen in ten minutes.)

I could really do without the early-morning wake-up calls, but something tells me that I’ll look back on these chilly pre-dawn mornings someday when I’m remembering what it was like to have a three-year-old.

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