Dawn of the Living Dead

Or, “trying to get everyone at our house up and functioning in the morning.” It’s a constant struggle, this whole “morning” phenomenon.

I am not a morning person (she said, stating the painfully obvious). I have always been a person who functions better in the evening and at night. Even as a very little girl, it was hard for me to wake up in the morning. I would wake up early to go downstairs and have breakfast with my father, and every morning I would go and get an hug and put my head on his shoulder and say, “Daddy, I am so tired”. He would come back with something, usually funny and sarcastic like, “NO! Really? I’m surprised!” but occasionally very sweet, just comforting and letting me wake up slowly. (When I moved away from home, it was the one thing he said he really missed about having me at home, that morning routine. So I’d call him sometimes from university or Japan or wherever, just to say I was tired.)

Nowadays, I struggle to haul my ass out of bed to feed the girls, and pack BDH’s lunch, and, if I am feeling particularly lucid, tidy up the kitchen. Mostly I just struggle to get the girls fed and the lunch made, invariably forgetting something. Routines are very important to me in the morning, or else I wouldn’t be able to function. I make a big pot of coffee and try to get my bearings and then make sure BDH gets up to get ready for work. When I was working, it usually wasn’t until 10 or 10:30 in the morning when I felt like I had woken up, and cleared the fuzz out of my brain.

BDH was always a morning person. He was always one of those people who wakes up happy, and liked to get up early and get things done. Well, maybe he didn’t LIKE to get up early, but he was never able to sleep late. But over 10 years with me has changed him — he’s been infected by the Living Dead virus. He stays up late and struggles to wake up. Weekends, he could sleep well past noon.

Even Opus is not a morning person. She wakes up — well, the only way I can describe it is “sweetly crabby” — demanding food and then attention. She needs a routine too — a big bowl of breakfast and a nice cuddle to start her day, and no deviation from the routine. Even if she’s not hungry, the routine must not vary. But, unlike me, she doesn’t need to clear the cobwebs out of her head. She can just lie down and nap after breakfast. The other two — well, they are morning people, so they just stay out of my way.

I’ve always said, if 9 am would just happen at noon, I’d be fine. And it’s true. When I lived in Japan, the workday clock was shifted to suit my internal clock — I worked from noon until 9 pm, so I woke up at 9:30 or so. It was the only time in my life I can ever remember getting up and feeling “normal”, not cotton-headed or exhausted. But most jobs, most lifestyles, don’t work that way, and so our morning struggle to wake up continues to be the Sisyphean task around here.

But I tell you, if reincarnation happens, I am SO coming back as a cat.