My Darling Doodle is not a morning person. Never has been. I doubt he ever will be. Many have told me "that will change once he has children." But his parents still stay up on weekend nights well past midnight, and sleep in when they can. They wake up early when it is necessary. But they are not "morning people."
These thoughts cross my mind as I am lying in bed, wide awake, at 7:15am. His half of the bed is cool to the touch.
I listen to the soft clinking of silverware hitting bowls as he prepares breakfast for our energetic Tigger. I hear his soft muted whisper, "Would you like cream cheese?" and Tigger's eager (and louder!) response, "Ehs!" I watch with my mind's eye as I hear Doodle lift our 2 year-old into the high-chair, help him find the buckles to click together, say grace, then push the breakfast plate toward his chest.
Looking down, I see that Ninna is still attached to me, sucking deliberately. I force myself to breathe deeply, softly, slowly. Resisting the urge to break away, I will myself to remain calm so that she'll drift back to sleep.
Finally, at 7:45am, I enter the kitchen. Tigger is dressed for the day, already playing with his toy firetruck in the living room. Doodle is searching the bottom drawer of the fridge for fruit to add to his lunch. I rub his back as I walk by on my way to turn on the coffee machine.
"I've been awake for a while," I say apologetically, "but Ninna wouldn't let me get out of bed."
"That's okay," he replies, always understanding. "I have to be up anyway."
A few months ago, I awoke with him early in the morning. I made Tigger's breakfast, prepared and packed Doodle's breakfast and lunch, emptied the dishwasher, and started prepping the kitchen for whatever projects were planned that day. Meanwhile, he was able to ease into his day: sip his tea, listen to the radio, look through his favorite news blogs, make last-minute edits to his meeting notes, ...
But we've moved into a different phase. Now there's this beautiful baby girl who doesn't like me to leave her alone in bed. I, the morning person, now stare bright-eyed at the ceiling while my dear husband wearily autopilots bread in and out of the toaster for our son.
This man who used to never fall asleep during the day has figured out how to synchronize the two little ones' naps so that he, too, can nap for an hour on weekend afternoons.
My daily run with the dog has shifted from early mornings to late nights--because it's easier for the baby to handle my absence when she is tending toward more sleepy, rather than more awake.
We follow the waves of need and our household routine looks different from one season to the next. But I believe that some things will never change. I imagine that someday, when our children are older, I will wake up early and go to bed before my Doodle. Once again, he will slowly sip his tea in the morning and be able to ease into the day.
Until then, I'm getting used to running down the street at 10pm.