I’ve been experiencing some long, dark mornings this week. My husband has been traveling. The baby has been sleeping through the night, which I am grateful for, but the “night” ends somewhere in the 5s. 5:50 is doable. 5:05 is just hard. I’m tired, which is a rough state to be in for the subsequent 3 hours of constant newly-walking baby vigilance.
Here’s how I’ve been filling the time. I nurse the baby in bed and try to stay in there as long as possible. I can’t really sleep, but I don’t have to open my eyes. I can usually go until 5:45 or so that way. I go downstairs and make my coffee (and make sure Sassy the Elf remembered to visit Santa and return, if you get my drift). If the baby is amenable, I’ll put him in his high chair with snacks and make my breakfast. If he isn’t, I’ll just drink the coffee and go to the basement. That way the baby can play without waking the other kids up.
At least that’s the theory. The 8-year-old and 4-year-old have elected to sleep in the same room for the past week or so, and so I’ve been making sure the lights are out earlier for the 4-year-old’s sake. That’s meant the 8-year-old has in fact gone to bed earlier, but there’s a catch. He wakes up much earlier too. Sleep does not beget sleep in our house. He needs approximately 8.5 hours. So he’s up by 6:30/6:45 or so. I make whatever breakfast he wants while he plays with the baby. Chocolate chip pancakes get requested frequently. Sometimes the 4-year-old gets up around then too because she hears her brothers. Sometimes she sleeps, but everyone is stirring and eating by 7:15/7:30.
At this point I start to feel like I would really like a shower. I have been up for 2.5 hours! But this presents a dilemma: what to do with the baby? I attempted to wake up earlier than him to shower once this week, but that was a complete failure. My 8-year-old and 6-year-old can “watch” the baby while I cook but they are not reliable sitters if I’m not immediately available. So I’ve happened on the solution of putting the baby back in his crib and letting one of the kids get in there with him to entertain him. They seem to think this is great fun, and if the kid who is responsible for the baby elects to climb out and run off because he got distracted, well, the baby is still in the crib and safe. At least it buys me 10 minutes to shower and get dressed.
After this we’re pretty much coasting into our nanny’s 8 a.m. arrival. I’ll make the 6-year-old’s lunch, or play with the kids, or help the baby practice walking. I’m often on my third cup of coffee at this point. If I haven’t gotten to eat earlier, I’ll make my breakfast. If I’ve been up since 5 a.m., bacon is usually involved. And I put real cream in my coffee. We take our pleasures where we can.
How are mornings going for you these days?
In other news: I read “How Santa Got His Job” to a group of preschoolers yesterday. I highly recommend it — not only as a good kid Christmas story, but as a tale of how our various jobs help us figure out our personal brands over time. Santa combines his chimney prowess, package-delivering abilities, night owl tendencies, and love of reindeer and elves into the perfect job for him.
I spent some time yesterday working on a new version of my 50 time tips. If you sign up for my newsletter, one of the options you can choose is to get a weekly time tip emailed to you. So that will be changing soon. In the meantime, if you’re looking for 50 good time tips, check out my friend Paula Rizzo’s newsletter subscription freebie, “50 Ways To Get More Done.” Rizzo wrote the book Listful Thinking, on how to use lists to be more productive. Which I believe, since she found time to write the book in addition to her job as a TV producer.