Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Tale of Two Mornings

While I have normally taken on the task of getting the Supergirl ready for school in the mornings, there are days that Hubs elects to do it. This morning, I sat back and allowed him to control the morning rhythm. For your consideration, here is a snapshot of our two very different mornings.
6:00 – He stumbles out of bed, wandering to the restroom, then to walk the visiting dog. 
6:15 – I get up because I have not heard the sounds of a child or even his voice commanding her to get up yet. I jolt out of the bed, sprint down the hall to her room to find him sitting on her bed, lights off, holding her, still sleeping, head wedged into the nook between his neck and shoulder. I leave the room with an eyeroll and collect her clothes. 
6:20 – They have moved into the bathroom, or rather he has. She is now face down on our bed, still asleep, feet dangling off of the side. I leave to gather the towels that he always forgets. 
6:25 – She is in the shower now, somehow. Sitting on the floor, playing with rubber duckies. I give her conditioner and a hairbrush. 
6:32 – She is ready to get out. He wraps her in a towel and leaves the room. Neither has spoken yet. 
6:36 – She is sitting, still wrapped in a towel on the couch. The clothes that I got for her are still sitting next to her. He silently hands them to her and she gets dressed. He hands her socks and her shoes. 
6:40 – He pulls her hair into a ponytail. 
6:45 – She sits at the table in front of a bowl of cereal. She stares into space in that place between waking up and going back to sleep. 
6:50 – Her food has disappeared even though I have not seen her move and was almost certain that she was asleep with her eyes open. 
6:55 – He hands her folders, her lunch box. She kisses me goodbye and I know that she will fall asleep in the car on the way to school.
7:00 - They are backing out of the driveway. I stand on the porch, amazed at the silent dance of my two night owls.
My mornings are a bit lot different.
6:00 AM – The clock is ticking, always ticking. We’re gonna be late, I know we are gonna be late, the mantra beats against my skull from the moment I wake up. 
6:03 – I turn on the lights in her room, strip the comforter off of her little body. “Rise and shine, my little porcupine.”  She squeals, groans against my constant diatribe. “Get up now and you won’t have to eat in the car, get up now and you won’t be late, get up NOW before I get really angry.” 
Tick tock, tick tock. That clock is not going to stop. 
“Time to shower. Hurry, hurry.” 
“Get dressed. Hurry, hurry.” 
The mood is tense, urgent, deliberate. 
Time check. 6:20. 
“Brush your hair. Brush your teeth” 
“Where are your shoes? Where are your socks? Are you packing your lunch today, or do you want me to? What cereal do you want this morning? How do you want me to do your hair? Hurry, hurry. We have to move a little quicker.” 
Late, late, you’re gonna be late. Time check. Shit, more to do, more to do. What else do we need to do? I click off items on my mental checklist. 
“Where is your homework? Where is your folder? These things are your responsibility, you have to keep track of them.” 
Time Check. 6:40 
My commands get louder, more insistent. “Eat. Do. Go. Hurry.” 
She eats her cereal, as I continue clicking items on the checklist. I do the hair, I slip on the socks, the shoes. I make sure that the earrings that she decided on last night are in her ears, I pack the lunch.
Tick tock, tick tock, that bleeping clock is getting louder, more insistent as are my commands.
Time check. 6:55 AM. She kisses her dad, grabs her things and heads for the door. I am speaking still calling out orders. "Don't climb over my seat, use your door. Buckle up, buckle up. Come on let's go, are you ready?"
At 7 we are pulling out of the driveway, she talks to me the entire way to school about the things on the radio, the things outside the window, the little things that she just remembered that she wanted to ask me about. She bounces out of her seat when we get to the school ready to begin her day, ready to learn, to grow, to socialize. 
In the last five years, the differences between the Hubs and I have become more and more glaringly obvious. The one thing that I have learned, that I have decided to take to heart is that just because what he does is different, just because it is not the way that I would do it, doesn't mean that he is wrong or not doing it the right way. He has been a parent just as long as I have and as long as his way works and gets her there on time, I am not going to complain. 

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