I have been trying hard to wake up at the crack of dawn with the teenager. It’s hard to get up at the crack of dawn when it seems that you’ve just fallen asleep. It makes for a tired mama. I have reverted to taking a nap a few times a week to compensate for the lack of sleep. I am learning that I am treasuring the few minutes alone with her. The tv and computer aren’t on to distract us. No one is texting her because they are all busy getting ready for school. There are no younger siblings demanding my attention. It’s sweet uninterrupted small piece of the day we can share together. I find that the days that I sleep in and miss her, I really do miss her.
Every morning Nathaniel stumbles into the main part of the house, rubs his eyes and in a sleepy voice says, “Good Morning.” Usually this is followed by a dramatic run to the bathroom. What makes me laugh is that he passes the bathroom to come say good morning. This is also terribly contradictory to all of his other brothers whom I have to say good morning to about a dozen times before I am able to elicit an intelligible response.
He’s always the first to child to wake up on his own. He is always in a sweet and chatty mood and hungry. By the time the last person is up, he’s had second and third and fourth breakfast. The whole time with a non-stop barrage of happy chatter.
Maybe, like me, he cherishes the moments of quiet and solitude in an otherwise noisy home. Maybe, he enjoys the one on one attention with whoever else is up with him. Or maybe, he’s figured out that the best jobs are had by the kid who wakes up first. He gets to lick the beaters all to himself on the mornings I make muffins and breads. He gets to help decide what breakfast will be if he’s early enough. If he preemptively feeds the bunny and cat, it’s less likely I’ll force him to brave the chilly morning and feed the chickens.
While Nathaniel wakes up happy and cheerful first, Jacob could not be farther from the opposite. He is definitely not a morning person. More often than not, he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. I frequently tell him to go back and see if he can wake up on a better side of the bed.
Jake: But I only have one side of the bed!
Me: Then maybe you could lay on your bed upside down and try that!
He is also usually the last to awake. It usually involves crying. On the mornings that I find him in my bed, if I lovingly prod him, he will open his eyes and say, “I’m not ready to be up yet. I just need to cuddle a little bit longer.” I have learned that a minute of cuddling to fill up an empty love tank will prevent a terrible melt down later in the day. On the busy days I will roll him closer to Dave and escape the bed like a ninja. I have become rather adept at sneaking out of the middle of two boys.
Most mornings Jake stumbles out of his room, clutching both of his special blankies, rubbing his eyes and looks around. Almost every morning he cries, “Am I last again! Why do you start the morning without me!” He then demands that I stop whatever I’m doing and hug him some more. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing, he will wait patiently for me to pick him up and hold him for a minute. If I’m in the restroom, he’ll wait by the door talking to me.
Jake: I’m awake mama, can you hold me?
Me: Jake, I’m in the restroom. I don’t talk to children when I’m in the restroom.
Jake: I know, but I’m awake. Can you hold me?
I think what would make him happiest would be if he could spend all morning laying on my lap rocking back and forth. In the inconvenient rush of the morning, I try to tell myself that this will only last so long. He won’t want to be held by his mama forever.