fifteen minutes in the morning

When Chicken was a baby, Ryan and I split the night at 2 am. He had the early shift and I had the late shift. It worked pretty well for us, because we each got a decent chunk of sleep, and neither one resented the other for getting more rest.

This time around, I'm taking nights solo. Ryan is sleeping out on the couch so the baby doesn't wake him up, and Buster and I "sleep" in the bedroom.

I am the one who wakes up with the baby at 3 am, 5 am, and then every 4 minutes from 5-7 am when he spits out his binky and then screams "WHO TOOK MY BINKY?!"

Yes, that is a shitty night of sleep. In fact, it's many, many shitty nights of sleep in a row.

But something happens at 7 am that makes up for all those lost hours. Ryan comes in and takes the baby.

If Ryan didn't take the baby, this is what 7:00-7:15 would look like:

1. Wake up to the sound of Buster crying
2. Immediately whip out my boob to feed him, or maneuver my body around him so I can drag myself out of bed and change his diaper

But instead, Ryan comes in, picks up Buster, changes him, straps him in the Ergo, and leaves the room.

So here's what I did from 7:00-7:15 this morning.

1. Rolled over in bed, stretched, yawned, wiggled, generally enjoyed being alone in the bed and not afraid of smothering Buster with my boobs or elbowing him in his mushy skull.
2. Got dressed, in actual clothes that I picked out because I felt like wearing them, not garments blindly ripped from hangers and put on inside-out
3. Took out the diaper trash
4. Changed the cover on the diaper changing pad
5. Ate breakfast
6. Drank 2 cups of coffee
7. Brushed my teeth
8. Put on blush and mascara (oh, the luxury!)
9. Put on deodorant (watch out now!)
10. Put in contacts
11. Started to write this blog post
12. Pooped

When a non-parent starts the day, he or she can stagger around like a zombie, take a shower, meander through the closet trying on outfits, eat breakfast, and read something on the internet while taking bites - actual bites - of breakfast.

A parent's day starts the moment a child needs something. Minute one of my day is dedicated to the needs of a pink-cheeked nonverbal succubus. I wake up and the first thing I do is attend to Buster, and for some reason, that first demand is the most draining and dehumanizing of the day.

The hilarious part about this whole baby thing - well, one of the hilarious parts - is the way it bends your days, lengthening some minutes into hours (every minute between 5 pm and 7 pm, for example) and chopping some hours into mere minutes (the hours that Chicken is napping, to name a few). And the relativity issue aside, every one of those hours and minutes is suddenly 100% spoken-for.

I know for a fact that if I didn't make time in the morning to dress myself and attend to some basic bathroom functions, somehow it would be 3:00 pm before I "had time" to put on deodorant. And when I finally did put on deodorant, it would have been one-handed, while I was pooping, and brushing my teeth, and jotting down notes for this blog post on my phone, because for God's sake I can't just do one thing at a time. It's not that I wouldn't have had 14 seconds to go to the bathroom, pull the cap off my deodorant, and run it under my arms; it's just that those 14 seconds would have come out of something that matters a lot more than whether or not I smell baby fresh.

(BABY FRESH, HUH. GOOD ONE, SECRET. There's a joke here about how not-fresh I am because I have a baby. I'm going to go ahead and need you to scrap together those parts and pretend my joke was hilarious because that's pretty much all I can give this morning. Rather than "a joke," I'm writing "the intention of a joke." Perhaps another cup of coffee is in order.)

So for that 15 minutes in the morning, I don't have to make sacrifices (dishes or deodorant, read a story or slap on some undereye makeup?) I don't have to multitask. I get to just do me. I get to be selfish.

For 15 minutes in the morning I get to be Katie, and that gives me the energy to be Mommy for all the other minutes in the day.

1 comment:

  1. I'm catching up in the blog and LOL-ing as usual. That statement about "de-humanizing"! Perfect way to say it. The other morning the kids woke me up with the new baseball bat in hand and begged to go play baseball at the park right away. I wanted to give up! It was Saturday, Adam had to work, and I had just had a terrible evening before with them at the park where all they did was fight over that dumb bat! Ugh!!! It set the tone for a frustrating day.

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