Good morning. He says it like no one else I know. Mr. 3 because I’m 3 has a way of uttering these two words in a way that races leaps and bounds ahead of happy. He is not just delighted and delightful when he greets me at 6:30 or 7:00 am, he is downright enchanting in his exuberance.
It’s kind of like a bouncy happy face traveling at light speed over the rainbow, ricocheting between red, orange and blue and then dancing with indigo and violet. When he is finished, he gives me a pot-of-gold grin and delightfully informs me that the sun is up and we should be too.
I haul the covers off my resistant body and resurrect my still sleeping form from the warm. Some mornings he helps me by removing the covers for me, leaving me with little choice but to rise and attempt to shine. There are a few mornings when he will crawl under the covers and give me five more minutes in my sleeping cave.
Most mornings he leads me down the hallway. I am riding on the coattails of his early morning enthusiasm. The mornings are challenging for me. I am, by nature, a morning person, but I like to have this time to wake up to the world with leisure and calm; my house at this hour is anything but. Ten months ago, the mornings were a tiresome balancing act: newborn in the crook of my arm, 2.5 at my robe’s end. All of us hungry and all of us wanting our needs met immediately.
Over time we have fallen into a routine: Corbin can get his own bowl and spoon for cereal, Loch feeds Hamish, I make us coffee, eat my own breakfast and make Corbin’s lunch. The scales are not tipping dramatically in either direction.
Yesterday morning, though, was wee Hamish’s second day at daycare. I’m now in rehearsal for the back-to-work big performance. And, while I have over a month to fine-tune our routine, I still find myself waking to have my thoughts focused first on coffee, and very shortly thereafter panic. I have to remind myself that I have reached the tail end of my lavish Mat leave.
The next month plus two weeks are almost exclusively mine. It’s the reward and recovery for nearly 11 months of not sleeping through the night, breastfeeding my son to a glorious 16 pounds before giving him solid food, and being the primary caregiver to two very different but equally demanding little angels.
I have to remind myself because even though I know that I have the whole day to finish unpacking my house and to write, I still feel as though I am being robbed of my peaceful and serene morning. It’s one of those parts of my old, pre-children life that I had to give up.
Wee Hamish is usually up too, and so after waking me up, Mr. 3 because I’m 3 insists that we go to Hamish. He greets his brother in the same manner he has greeted me. Yesterday morning, Hamish was happy to see us as usual, but I could read his mind. He was jonesing for his bottle as desperately as I was for my coffee.
I like to have his bottle ready so as to ward off his disappointment. But, that morning I was empty-handed. I picked him up and gave him his sucky. Then, I went to change his diaper. He bucked and yelled at me until I found Birthday Thomas, whose shiny metal wheels sedated him while I cleaned him up.
In the kitchen, he straightened his legs and let out an angry yelp as I tried to put him on the floor. We struggled momentarily and then he collapsed on the floor, head in hands, bum in the air, and proceeded to wail.
I tried to ignore the hairline fractures in my sanity and hurried to make his bottle. Corbin came in the kitchen and said, “He’s crying sooo hard, Mom.” Then, he got down on all fours and rubbed Hamish’s back. “It’s OK, Binoo. Mama’s just getting your milk now. Would you like to come with me and do something fun while we wait?” He continued to stroke his baby brother’s back and his dulcet tones even took the edge off me.
Bottle fed, caffeine injected and eating. We are all happy. I’m making Mr. 3 because I’m 3′s lunch when he walks up to me then stops mid question to say, “Mama, you look really pretty in that dress.”
I am savoring, saving, devouring and cherishing these moments because I know that it will be tomorrow soon. And tomorrow, they’ll be all grown up and I will have my good mornings back.
“Bubbling Morning Love” RicanGreek @ Flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.
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