The kiddo started kindergarten this year. She went from complete freedom to getting up at dawn five mornings a week for a seven hour school day. It is my fortunate task on four of those mornings to help her on her way. Like many of the Pal clan, she is independent of thought, and rather stubborn; once she’s out of sorts, well, to paraphrase Colin Powell, you broke it, you buy it.
So I’ve developed a very careful morning routine, designed to ease us into our day as painlessly as possible. I’m a morning person, so I get up and take care of my ablutions before I get her up. Then I walk into her room, turn on a light, and rub her back. She rolls over and with eyes closed, lifts her arms up toward me. I pick her up and carry her downstairs, set her on the couch with the lights off, and let her watch some TV while I make breakfast. When it’s ready, we sit at the table together and have breakfast, and by then, she’s good to go. Her mood is bright, and I’m one happy daddy. After that, getting teeth brushed and clothes on is a breeze, and we’re out the door.
Unless the routine is violated. The other day I had an early patient and MrsPal had to get her up. I carefully and in a sufficiently detailed and condescending way described the best approach to the morning and the possible consequences of violating it.
She violated it. While DrPal is a morning person, MrsPal is a night owl, and made use of the Forbidden Snooze Button of Doom. This led to a whiny, screaming child who shared her misery generously with my lovely but nocturnal spouse. It. Was. Ugly.
Tomorrow is MrsPal’s day again. I’m thinking about making popcorn.