One Morning

I’m all about routine and structure so it brings me great joy that our weekday mornings follow a pretty standard routine. When the alarm goes off, Matt eventually smashes the right button to turn it off. Depending how awake he is, the beeping may stay at a single volume or increase up another notch. I’m usually the first one out of bed, carefully sliding out of our too-high bed.

I head downstairs, use the restroom, and get Squrims’s bottles. One gets put on the coffee table – that’s the one she’ll drink before we leave the house – and another three put in a brightly-colored reusable shopping bag and hung on the back of the front door. If she hasn’t made any noise yet, I get my lunch and Matt’s sodas together. Two more reusable bags, these ones by the door.

This is about when she starts to make noise – haven been awoken either by the sound of alarm or the sound of Matt taking a shower down the hall. So, back upstairs where I grab her from her crib. I walk back down to the couch, where I pull a blanket around us – do other people have a blanket that lives on their couch, particuraly in the winter? – and give her the bottle. At this point, neither of us is very awake so we just sort of sit and relax until she’s somewhere between halfway and two-thirds done with her bottle. I usually have a chance to check my email, Facebook, etc as she eats.

Then, she’ll stop eating and look up at me and, assuming she’s not having a bad morning, smile at me. Like she’s just noticed that I’m there. I start to talk to her then, thanking her for sleeping well (or asking what was wrong such that she didn’t sleep well). I also tell her about anything specific that’ll make that day exciting – staying later at daycare because we need to run an errand, going to the doctor, having homemade pasta for dinner.

She’ll either finish the rest of her bottle at this point, still with me under the blanket, or slither down to the floor so she can play with her toys or a nearby magazine or whatever. Eventually, she’ll let me walk away enough that I can grab clothes for the day.

The highlight of her morning, though, is when Matt comes downstairs after his shower. If she’s on my lap, she’ll about bounce herself off. If she’s on the floor, she’ll crawl over to him with a giant smile on her face. This leaves me free to grab him a soda and breakfast then I sneak away to do my morning routine and get dressed.

After a bit of Squirms wrangling while Matt finishes his breakfast and makes up his lunch, one of us puts her jacket and socks on and gets her into her carseat. We both put our socks and shoes and jackets on and he grabs her to put her in the car. I grab the three reusable bags with our lunches and hers plus my purse and follow him out. Lock the door, throw everything and myself in the car, and we’re off.

Matt takes her into daycare and I take her bag, putting little booties over my shoes if they’re not slip on (you have to either have no shoes or covered shoes if you’re in the infant room) before I walk into her room. He gets her out of her carseat, fills out her information form, and says his goodbyes. I put the bottles in the fridge in her labeled spot and shove the empty bag into her drawer. Then it’s chitchat with her teacher, greetings to whatever kids and/or parents arrived earlier, and final goodbyes.

And it’s off to work where we get to play the dance of who gets the stuff out of the car – it’s located behind him but I’m faster about getting out the car, so I usually wind up blocking him from being able to walk past the open door. Walk to the building and over to our work area (yeah, the same work area). Say our goodbyes as we put our lunches in the fridge and I grab a cold soda. Then we go our separate ways.

(Thanks to the ever-inspiring Natalie Goldberg for the idea of writing about mornings.)

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