Morning Routine


me and my mugYou may have seen this photo of me and my spouse on Facebook. That’s him on the left. Although he is mostly obscured by my coffee mug that is inscribed with morning instructions to him and the kids, I assure you he is smiling.

I didn’t marry him thinking that I could change him. I didn’t marry him hoping that he could change me. Despite our essential differences—he is a morning person with a predictable routine, and I think it’s fair to say that I am not—we have managed to stay married for more than twenty years.

I married my spouse thinking he would be an excellent parent who would establish sensible routines for our children. I married him hoping that he would cover for me in the mornings.

I admit that I’m utterly dependent upon my spouse to ensure that our children wake up, get dressed and eat breakfast before school. Most days, I’m running fifteen minutes late.

Mornings have been particularly fraught in our house lately, now that our son has reached adolescence and has been staying up later than his father. Like his mother, he has a tendency to hit the snooze button or, even worse, turn off the alarm completely. He is, of course, 100% sure that he is awake, just before he drifts back to sleep, dreaming that he is dressed and ready for school.

screen shot 2Yesterday, having snoozed the alarm more than once, I forced myself from the comfort of my bed and I listened for movement down the hall. No shower running. No spitting of toothpaste. Through half-closed eyes, I grabbed the bossy phone and sent a bossy text message to my spouse, who had already finished reading the newspaper and drinking his first cup of coffee.

I probably have unrealistic expectations of my spouse because my own father—a morning person with a predictable routine—diligently checked on me every morning. He would wake me multiple times, alternating between using his stern voice and holding a glass of cold water at a precarious angle, just inches above my forehead. I recall one or two occasions when he tilted the glass and allowed gravity to assist him. But I never once missed the bus.

I admit that I’m cranky in the morning. Able to carry out parental duties of making sandwiches and pouring water bottles, I remain incapable of making pleasant conversation until my brain has adjusted to the shock that my body is upright. My son reads quietly at the kitchen table while I drain my mug to the “now you may speak” line. I’m grateful that we have an established routine, though my spouse might argue that it’s not entirely sensible.


Comments (2)

I need me one of those cups ….

This post made me smile. Yay for teamwork in marriage! (and yay for spouses who get up and start the morning routine for us!).

Yes, on our best days it is teamwork…and I wish I’d had one of these mugs when I was teaching high school. Those were some early mornings for me, on which I had to speak pleasantly to other people’s teenagers!

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