My free time is evaporating as the holidays approach. It's not like I was swanning around before, filing my nails and staring into space......but now I roll out of bed like I've been shot from a gun.
Part of the reason is that I stay IN bed as long as possible. I am not - to put it kindly - a morning person. If you call my house before 8am.....well, just don't. You can be sure I don't want to talk to you.
Ever, ever again.
Each morning you will find me in bed trying not to make any noise, because I don't want to alert anyone to the fact that I am indeed awake. There is good reason for this. As soon as I have woken up it's all hands on deck (aka mommy's bed). The moment anyone gets any sort of indication that I may not be sleeping, my room is filled with "Max just took my book!' "She's lying!" "I'm hungry!" "I can't find my jeans!" and my favorite:
(Yeah, I still get that fucking question every morning. They are always shocked to learn that he is, indeed, gainfully employed, and has already left for work. And when I remind them that he's at work, they whine about how they miss him, and wish he didn't have to work. They do it at night, too, when I have left for work. But I think dealing with it at 7am might be slightly more difficult then at 7pm, at the end of the day, after a glass of wine and with bedtime in sight. When it starts as soon as you open your eyes, I can assure you: it is an awesome way to start the day - improved only when Lucy bursts into tears - and usually ends with me muttering things like "I wish he was here too, trust me.")
I have no idea why they haven't learned by now that it does no one any good to get me up before I am damn good and ready. They might *think* they want me to wake up and get their breakfast....but when they actually enter my darkened bedroom and wake me up, and then have to deal with the aftermath.....well, they realize that they should have just eaten cereal and left me out of it. But in the heat of the moment, at dawn's early light, when they can't find a clean bowl or they need someone to wipe their ass, they forget how much they don't want *me* to do it. Until they burst into my room and start hammering me with requests and questions and reports and complaints. Then - and only then - do I rise up from my bed and meet their demands with a frosty glare that seems to stop them in their tracks. They back out of the room saying things like "I'll just have that cereal whenever your ready, mommy." and "I am going to go look for those jeans in my drawer - maybe they're in there." And we are all very sorry that I got out of bed that early.
Which is why I maintain a monastic silence in my room until I have checked my email and cruised facebook for a few minutes. It's a public service. I stay in my cave until I can greet the day - and my children - with a smile and maybe some pancakes or something.
The problem is, we live in a house with no insulation at about 2000 feet elevation, and even on Maui it can get chilly at night. So its cold in my room when I wake up. So cold that I have to type one-handed. Because I have to hide the other hand under the blankets.
I alternate hands for a while - keeping one arm and shoulder under the comforter, balancing the laptop through the covers as I type with the other hand - switching every few minutes until one of my limbs falls asleep or my fingers start to turn kind of blue, either from lack of circulation or the cold temperature of my bedroom. Once I have exhausted all attempts to stay warm and type at the same time, I take that as a hint that it's time to get off the computer and get out of bed. The children come running as soon as my feet hit the floor, so before I leave the comfort of my little nest, I take inventory. Bathrobe? check. Underwear? check. Pants? Over rated. Anything inappropriate for children next to the bed?
Don't judge me.
I get everything in a child-friendly condition and take one last slug of water from the bottle next to my bed. Then - and only then - am I ready to greet my adoring offspring. In green flannel. With lobsters. Hold the pants.
9 hours ago