I’m not a morning person, never have been. Usually waking up in a grumpy fog, my arms tend to flail around for my coffee cup before I stagger at the bathroom sink to splash cold water on my face.
Children, on the other hand, LOVE getting up early, leaping out of bed with all the energy of prancing chihuahuas who are high on PCP. Once you have children, your days of sleeping in are over. Even on weekends.
Not that I haven’t tried. Last week, my three-year-old daughter Brontë woke up at the crack of dawn to pull me out of bed. The conversation went like this:
Brontë: You up, mommy?
Me (half-asleep): Mommy is asleep. Let mom sleep a little longer… Go play
Brontë: I want to play with you, mommy
Me: It’s still dark outside, Brontë
Brontë (singing to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”): Mommy and me, we like to play… I love to be with my mooooommmmyyyy….
Me (sighing): Fine, I’m up, you charismatic mastermind
Staying firm is so much easier when she’s throwing at fit, but dang it, she threw down the “I love you” card. Game over. How can you reject a kid like that?
And she pulled it off again this morning.
I had gone to bed late and the first rays of gray light were just breaking through the window blinds when a little voice cried out, “Draw me a fairy princess, mommy!”
Confused, I wrenched my eyelids open to find my three-year-old standing by the bed, a pen in one hand and little pad of lined paper in the other.
“Why don’t you draw a fairy princess?” I asked her. “You can show me when you’re done.”
“Noooooooooooo…. I want you to draw a fairy princess. Please, mommy? Please? Draw me a fairy princess?”
“I’m asleep, Brontë.”
“OKAY,” I finally said, too tired to keep arguing. Grabbing the paper, I leaned over the bedside table to hammer out a 30-second princess doodle…
It looked like this:
Knowing my audience, I included puffy sleeves, ballet slippers, a unicorn, and one of those princess cone-hats with a dangly scarf, because that’s the kind of thing I would’ve liked when I was a three-year-old girl.
I had been in a coma about thirty seconds before I knocked it out, but I still hoped it would at least be enough to convince her I was playing along.
I offered her my scribble…
Taking it, she stared at it openmouthed for a few minutes before asking me, “You MADE this!?” She said it with all the incredulity you would expect, had I just yanked a sheet off of Michelangelo’s David.
Holding the paper above her head with both arms, Brontë started jumping up and down, screaming, “THIS IS THE BEST, BEST, MOST PERFECT FAIRY PRINCESS I HAVE EVER SEEN! I WANT TO PUT THIS ON THE WALL NEXT TO MY BED SO I CAN SEE THIS PERFECT FAIRY PRINCESS EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.”
See, to us, it’s a barely-coherent scribble, but through my daughter’s eyes, it looked something like this:
Ah, kids. They may be easily impressed, but they make you feel so dang accomplished sometimes.