Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mornings are the worst!

I am a night person. Always have been. It's kind of tough at times because I am married to a guy who couldn't be more of a morning person. I don't often get to bed before midnight, and he rarely sees 10:00 p.m. Even though he doesn't start work until 8:00, and we live about ten minutes from his office, he is up and at 'em and out the door around 7:00 a.m., while it takes me an hour from my first stirring to actually drag my sorry self out of bed so that I can get Adam off to school around 8:00.

The 30 minutes between me getting out of bed and Adam actually leaving for school are the worst 30 minutes of my entire day. I'm reallllllly tired still, and cranky. Adam is reallllllly hard in the mornings. Until he settles down an hour or so after he gets to school, he is the most annoying kid you've ever seen, and the person he likes to annoy the most is Noah, which in turn, makes me a crazy woman. Noah is reallllllly fragile in the morning, and between me being cranky and Adam being annoying, poor sensitive Noah doesn't stand a chance. Needless to say, there is a lot of yelling and crying and tantrums (from all three of us) every single day and by 8:15 I want nothing more than to go back to bed and huddle under a pillow for the rest of the day. This whole mom gig prevents me from doing that, so instead I stumble around for an hour or two until I finally manage to get myself into the shower where I take a few extra minutes to re-boot so that I can start the day all over again. Sometimes the rest of the day goes much better. Sometimes it doesn't.

A minor miracle happened yesterday. I like to think that I'm a relatively intelligent person who can solve everyday problems without too much difficulty. I'm going to blame my inability to solve this problem on my inability to reconcile my late nights with the early mornings that come with having children. I'm in a bit of a fog that time of day and not thinking very clearly so it's no wonder that this epiphany took so long to get to me. Phil has been telling me for years that I need to go to bed earlier, but I'm unwilling to give up my late night quiet time.

We had an exceptionally bad morning on Tuesday (after a 1:30 a.m. bedtime for me the night before). I felt really guilty all day long and vowed to go to bed earlier so that I would be better equipped to deal with the morning trauma the next day. An earlier bedtime wasn't the epiphany though - that's just common sense that I generally ignore. So, on Tuesday night I came home earlier than usual from my weekly volleyball night and immediately got ready for bed. I'm pretty sure that I was asleep by about 11:30, which is no small miracle for me. When I woke up yesterday morning to the usual sounds of Noah's screeching and Adam's cackling (because whatever he had done to cause the screeching had clearly pleased him) the cloud over me wasn't quite as heavy and that's when the epiphany hit. I got out of bed, calmly called for Noah to come upstairs, turned on the television in my room to SpongeBob*, and then closed the door behind me as I left the room. The result? Morning bliss. Adam was still really hard, but without Noah there to distract and amuse him with his crying, I didn't scream at all. Telling Adam 14 times to brush his teeth was manageable. Supervising Adam while he made his bed and got dressed was easier to handle, and I didn't turn into a demon because Adam refused to find his shoes and actually put them on. Once Adam left for school, I went back into my room and spent some quality time with Noah before I headed for the shower.

This morning we did the same thing. Once again, bliss. In fact, I was up and showered and dressed and completely ready for the day by the time Adam left for school, and I didn't yell at either of them even once. There was no screeching and there was no cackling. There was no crying - from anybody. I think Adam might be catching on though because he followed Noah upstairs when I called and wanted to watch SpongeBob with him. I know enough about my boys to know that when Adam says "I just want to be by Noah because he's my brother and I love him" he really means "But if Noah is in your room by himself and I'm out here by myself how in the heck can we make your head explode?"

This solution seems so simple that I'm still thinking it can't possibly work long term. I also can't believe that sequestering them didn't occur to me sooner. It's amazing how much clarity an extra 30-60 minutes of sleep can give a person.

*I love SpongeBob. He's A-W-E-S-O-M-E. I only pull him out when I need a big gun and he never lets me down. He entertains Noah like nothing else, but the key to his success is to use him sparingly.


Kristi said...

Wow Javien's main goal in life is to annoy everyone around him. He does it at home he does it on the bus, he does it at school...To make my mornings go better I made dollar bills with Javien's face on them and for every morning that he could get up and get totally ready without even talking to the other kids he got a dollar - and every evening that he got ready for bed and went to sleep without even talking to the other kids - he got a dollar. It's fake money that buys him DS time, tv time...etc from the bank of mom. If I had to tell him 14 times to brush his teeth - no dollar for you. Although probably at the 2nd time of me telling him I would say open up and I would do it for him as quickly as possible - he HATES that.

KJae said...

Wow. Those boys of yours!! Nothing like that EVER happens around here. How embarrassing for you. ; )

Ging said...

Kudos!! I hope it keeps on working for you


Heh heh heh. Gott love the tender moments.

Nathan said...

Maybe it's best I didn't have a sibling close to my age growing up. I definitely would have been the Adam in that relationship.

I hope it's still working.