One of my children was so loud this morning. Soooo LOUD. She seemed to be bouncing up and down and bobbing about in circles – and no matter where I went, that bobbing and bouncing and voice turned to “high” was always directly in front of me.
“Mom!” she was shouting. “Watch me jump into these pillows!”
“Mom!” – bouncing bouncing – “I need a drink of water!”
“Mom! Where’s my swimsuit?”
All the while I was “shhh”ing and shushing the whirring-to-near-dizzying image of girl and disheveled three-day old braids.
“Shhh. Quieter, Pen. It’s too early in the morning. . . . Shhh, Pen. You’re going to wake Anders. . . . Shhh, Penny. That’s too loud. . . . Shhh, hush, Honey. Abe is asleep right there on the couch. . . . Shhhhh (holding my head). Too loud. Too early. Too loud.”
“Perhaps,” I thought to myself, “I shouldn’t have let her have that white-bread jelly sandwich she requested for breakfast.”
Only, no, she hadn’t even eaten it yet. In fact I was blindly spreading jelly at the very moment.
I paused. Quit spreading and handed her the sandwich. It clearly wasn’t to blame.
I stumbled back toward my bedroom wondering if this was what a hangover felt like (vowing never to drink just in case). “Mornings should be peaceful,” I thought, and nodded agreeingly with my wise self. “Mornings should be . . . quiet. Yes. Quiet. So quiet.”
“Mom!!! Can I come with you to drop Goldie off at swimming lessons? Mom! Can I go outside? Mom! Mom? Mom!”
Swimming lessons? Did she just say swimming lessons? What had possessed me to sign kids up for 9:00 am swimming lessons anyway?? (Perhaps that decision was made back before summer rolled into town; back when 9:00 am was a perfectly reasonable time to be somewhere.)
I walked past a half-asleep Abe – face down in our living room couch and wrapped hotdog-like in a blanket. “I’m sooo tired,” came his muffled moan.
Here was a sensible child. A child who knew what mornings should be like. We should all be tired – and appropriately subdued because of it.
Only . . . “Why are you down here?” I questioned.
“I set my alarm.”
“Why would you . . . ?”
“I don’t want to sleep in!” (Followed by a groan of exhaustion.)
What? No like-minded morning sense found with him after all.
Luckily I managed to pull things together – swimsuits were put on, braids were re-done, and some kids were even given reasonable breakfasts. I recalibrated my sound sense – adjusting my perception of ear-splittingly loud to near normal. (And none too soon either – as the nearly asleep Abe suddenly rallied and began playing chopsticks with all his might on the piano. CHOPSTICKS! In the morning!) And we stepped forward into the day. It wasn’t so hard. I just had to tell myself the same lie I tell myself most mornings to convince myself to get out of bed. “You can always take a nap later,” I say. It’s the oldest trick in the book, but I’m a sucker.