Thursday, April 24, 2014

The early bird catches hell. It's not that I want him to go hungry. Well. Maybe a little.

This morning, Ella and I were awake at 5:13am.

Neither of us was very happy about it.

She appears to be going through a growth spurt which leaves her feeling peckish in the early morning hours - hours that she is usually (blissfully) asleep. But for the past few mornings, Sam has been making more noise than usual getting ready for work, and it's been waking her up, and reminding her that she would like to eat sooner rather than later.

I would like to stuff in some earplugs and continue with regularly scheduled programming - namely, those last two hours of sleep I planned on - but that is not possible. Ella is up, and she slurps loudly on her fist while fussing, politely signaling that breakfast time is nigh. And so, I stagger out of bed and fix her a bottle as Sam pulls out of the driveway. When I climb back into bed Ella grins broadly and happily begins her day as I stare at the wall in the dark and try not to nod off during the feeding.

I blame the croissants.

It all started when I bought a dozen croissants. I never do this sort of thing. I don't buy donuts or croissants or bagels in quantity for two reasons: first of all, the quality of baked goods here is variable. Extremely variable. No one seems to understand what a bagel should taste like, and once you have had the amazing donuts of Top Pot or Voodoo, well..... it's hard to go back. There is a french bakery that makes croissants, and they are amazing. Unfortunately it would cost $30 for a dozen, so I'm not gong to be doing that either.

But in a moment of weakness before Easter, I got these croissants at the grocery. What can I say? I have no excuse, it was croissants or a 5 pound bag of chocolate. Now I am rethinking my decision.

These croissants are the type that really need a little time under the broiler to get even close to where they should be. And every morning this week, Sam has done exactly that. He used to just get dressed and slip quietly out the door under the cover of darkness while we slept on. Now he is making himself gourmet breakfast sandwiches at 5am, and there is nothing quiet about it. He's cooking eggs, finishing the croissant, melting cheese, sauteeing sausages and god knows what else. The oven is opening and closing, the fridge light is on and off, the microwave is beeping......and I lie there, listening to Ella thrash around and thinking mean thoughts about throwing that sandwich in the dog bowl.

But what am I going to say? Fist of all, the man gets up at 5am to go to work, and has for as long as I have known him. I've had jobs that required that sort of schedule before, and I can tell you without hesitation: it sucks. It sucks long and hard. I have a lot of empathy, and gratitude. God knows I'm not going to be doing that ever again. Second, he's gotta eat. What the hell am I going to do, march out there and tell him to stop eating and get out already so I can get back to sleep?


I want to, and I am thinking it deep down inside with every beep of that fucking microwave, but no. I will not. Just like I do not say anything about his fumbling in the dark for his keys, or the toilet flushing 10 feet away from my used-to-be-sleeping head, or the front door slamming shut, or the squealing brakes as he backs out of the driveway. (Okay, that's a lie. I did mention the brakes for the entire neighborhood's benefit. He took it really well.)

I know he doesn't want to be awake at 5am. I have watched that man sleep until noon if no one disturbs him. (But someone always disturbs him.) He keeps this schedule because he has to, and he hates it. The only naturally early bird in our house is Max. I know this is true because at the last sleepover he attended, he woke up the hostess at 5am playing Kendamaoutside her bedroom. Clunk. Clunk. Clunk. Clunk. If I had been her, that thing would have been broken three different ways in under a minute, then thrown in the driveway along with the kid. But to her credit she handed him an iPad and told him to play Minecraft until a more civilized hour.

That technique is not going to work with Sam.

However, I can assure you will will not be purchasing croissants ever, ever again.
Or buying him a kendama.

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