Waking up an hour before anyone else has been fantastic. It gives me time to workout, to get my head on straight, to read and to journal or work on other writing. It is in essence the only time during the day that I can be completely and utterly alone with my thoughts.
I did this a lot when my first children were younger. The least amount of children we have had living with us at any given time was three (widowed husband—we began our life together with a nine, twelve and thirteen year old). When I had my first baby, we had four children. By the time the youngest of the first batch left home, I had given birth four times. Then we had three more. And now we have a dog who is like an eighth child.
When I would wake up before the rest of the house years ago, everyone stayed asleep and if they didn’t they were at the age where they would nurse and then lay there amusing themselves, crawl around and amuse themselves, or fall back asleep after nursing.
Now, I have two little girls whom I have noticed are rising earlier and earlier to “meet” me in the morning. I mean, I’m getting up at freaking 5:00am for crying out loud. It’s dark outside. One started getting up earlier. And earlier. And the other minion followed suit. And this morning, as I made my way past the stairs in the dark toward the kitchen, they tried to kill me. It’s pitch black, and I hear a hoarse whisper from the stairs tell me that they had been waiting for me. That’s creepy in the dark when you aren’t expecting it. I almost had a heart attack. Good thing I’d gotten up a couple of hours before to pee or I would have made a puddle.
One of the boys fell asleep on the couch last night so I just left him there. I could have a party in my living room at 5:00am and he wouldn’t stir, so he’s no big deal in light of my Quiet Time. But the creepy stair dwellers are. I know, as I’m typing this, exactly where I went wrong: I started letting one watch cartoons for a little bit while I finished a chapter. She is a chatty one. A loud, I-will-ask-for-breakfast-ten-thousand-times-in-the-span-of-two-minutes kind of chatty. In an I-will-wake-up-the-entire-house-while-asking kind of voice. So one day (silly me) I put on Treehouse really low to distract her for that last little span of time. Bad move, Mom. Now they’re stalking me. I think they start waking up at 4:00am to listen for me. I need a new tactic.
This is the only time during the day that nobody older monopolizes the TV if it’s too cold or icky to be outside. Unfortunately it overlaps with the only time in the day that I have silence and Head Space, as I call it. And today it outright coincided with it, which scares me because I function so much better with that little hour to myself in the morning.
They’ve got me. I have no idea what to do. Get up at 3:00am? I don’t bloody think so. You can’t tell a kid who isn’t tired to go back to bed. That’s just not nice, and it doesn’t make sense. Perhaps I’ll give them each a quadruple espresso with a triple shot of chocolate in it to keep them awake this evening and subsequently sleep longer tomorrow morning. I would therefore regain my Quiet Time and keep the Stair Stalkers at bay. Cheers to good parenting…