Mom had this really annoying song that she used to sing in the mornings when I was a kid: “Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory…” She’d bellow it loudly and cheerfully while switching on the bedroom lights and threatening to pull off our quilts until we promised to get up immediately. At that time in my life, I thought the only thing worse than getting woken up when you don’t want to be awake is getting woken up by a happy person singing. Now, I realize that there is something worse, and that is getting woken up by a screaming baby at 5 a.m., when it’s still dark outside and the rest of the sane world is still sleeping.
To think I used to take sleep for granted. I’d regularly intersperse studying and essay-writing with naps. I had pre-dinner naps and power naps to fuel me for a night on the town. I’d sleep in on weekends, but never past 10 a.m. Now, I catch sleep when I can. That’s one major perk about weekends, thanks to my hubby’s presence.
I sneak away after lunch for a half-hour nap. After all, I’ve already been up for over seven hours. (My sister, far away in Toronto, has probably been up for one hour, I think somewhat bitterly.) I close all doors separating me from the noise downstairs, walk upstairs, and crawl across the bed. It is piled high with laundry and there are Curious George stickers all over the place, incongruously stuck to the flannel sheets and duvet cover. I don’t even care. I climb under the laundry, on top of the stickers, and fall into a deep sleep until a cold, wet hand slaps me cheerfully in the face. The baby’s singsongy babble recalls me to consciousness and the look of delight in his eyes as he watches me wake makes me feel terribly guilty for wishing I could sleep longer. Alas, such luxury is unavailable to me.
“I need your help!” Jason hollers from the other room. “One’s on the toilet downstairs having a number two, the other one needs a change badly. Dibs on the one downstairs.”
I’m stuck with the diaper change. Oh well, it’s my turn anyways. My feet swing out of the warm bed into the cold bedroom and I quickly get dressed while the baby wails, slobbers, and reeks beside me.
Mom, if you ever want to come over and sing “rise and shine” to me again, you’re more than welcome, because at least it means that there’s one other person awake before me in the cold, morning darkness (besides the baby). I’m sorry I ever hated that song.