When We Stop Being Excited to Wake Up
by Rachel E. Bledsoe
The clock reads 4:42 a.m. and the booming screams flood our hallway. I don’t need an alarm clock anymore.
“Mama! Daddy! Wake up! I’m up!” the toddler yells, over and over and over again.
He’s right, he is up. Along with Daddy, our two cats and me, everyone is up. I begrudgingly get out of bed and take him to sit on his plastic potty throne. I remind him to fake flush. I throw away last night’s underpants and grab a fresh morning pair.
We put on the new, drier pull-up undies when he decides he wants the ones with Mickey Mouse. Because Lightning McQueen and Mater are unacceptable to possibly pee in. He almost skips down our stairs. The hands on my clocks haven’t struck the 5 a.m. hour yet.
Before his tiny foot is off the last step, he announces what is going to happen next. There will be Thomas the Train, “Minion-Juice” which is what he calls all juice, and he must have toast. I’ve barely rubbed the gritty sleep from the corner of my eyes before I am met with a toddler’s morning must-have list.
He wants to see Grandma and Grandpa today. He wants to see the school bus, or as he calls them: the big yellow ‘boom’ buses. He wants to go outside because when the school buses pass at his grandparents’ house, they honk at him. I break his heart and tell him “It’s Sunday, the school buses don’t work today.”
I huff and puff my way into the kitchen for my relief, the only that is on my morning must-have list. My mind keeps replaying the same four words while I try to drown out his demands: I MUST HAVE COFEE. I fill the coffee pot up to level ten; it is definitely a ten cup, extra strong coffee day. I hit start and the machine beeps allowing me to know that “help is on the way.” I’m groggy, unaware and am facing the toddler inquisition, he has more demands.
My child comes into the kitchen with his bright, wild eyes looking up to me and states, “I want cheese. I want cookies. Mama make pancakes?” I immediately deny cheese and cookies for breakfast, but agree to make the pancakes in an hour.
Just let me get some of that sweet ever-loving caffeine concoction down my throat and I will begin breakfast. I truly don’t know how to make a small breakfast. Since having my son, my kitchen is a home within our home. I spend a lot of my time in this room making food. By the time I actually finish making the food, my child has already decided he doesn’t want to eat it.
He will grab a pancake, take two bites and run back to his trains. I know the outcome every time I put a pan on the stove and turn on the oven, but I keep trying anyways. I try all different shapes of pancakes: Mickey Mouse ones, star shaped, Christmas tree shaped.
The coffee is finally done and as I take the first few sips, we make our way back to the living room. He looks up at me and asks “Dark outside?” I tell him to look out the window and see.
He climbs onto the light blue couch cushions, and then makes his way onto the back of the couch where he pulls back the curtains to our large front window. “Mama it’s dark. The moon? The stars?” I tell him it’s dark because he got up too early, and yes the stars and moon are still out. He is excited and screams a few love words at the moon.
I get excited about things. I love margaritas on a sunny summer evening. I adore dancing in the privacy of my home to happy music. I love vacations and the way every beach smells. I love big dinners with laughter and a few friends. I love Christmas Eve. I don’t love any of these things enough to wake up at 4:42 a.m. to see.
There’s only one thing that makes me excited to wake up at such an obscene hour, and even then I’m never going to jump up and down on my bed from excitement. But, this one thing does make waking up a little easier. It makes me smile, no matter how much I don’t want to pull my bum out from under those warm, cozy covers and let my feet hit the ice cold hardwood floor.
It’s a little boy with blonde hair and eyes that shimmer as soon they open. He’s full of energy and begins bouncing off the walls as soon as he climbs out of bed. He loves toast, Mickey Mouse, his grandparents, cheese, cookies, and the moon and stars.
I’m not exactly sure when we stop waking up eager to go about our day. The night owl who lives inside of me makes me abhor mornings, but I see a little boy who is joyful for only one reason: He opened his eyes today.
About the Author: Rachel E. Bledsoe is an Appalachian Mama and Misfit. She writes about her adventures, heartaches, and details her life’s journey on the blog, The Misfits of a Mountain Mama. She also enjoys long walks on the beach, puppies, and Marie Antoinette biographies. Be sure to follow her by visiting The Misfits of a Mountain Mama’s Facebook page or join her on Twitter.