Becoming a Mom Did Not Change That
I wake up slowly and becoming a mom did not change that. Please do not ask me to use electronic devices or respond intelligently until I have been awake for half an hour and had a cup of coffee. There have been many interesting mishaps in the mornings. Like oatmeal exploding in the microwave, pouring milk and missing the bowl, things like that. Waking up slowly is not a good quality in a Mom, or a Nana.
Early Morning Special Time Tradition
Early Morning, is however, a very special time for grandchildren and grandparents. It is a time-honored tradition for children to think that their parents don’t know they sneak into Nana and PopPops’ room early in the morning. What the children don’t know, is Mom and Dad are fully aware of where their children are and are thrilled to be getting a little extra sleep. For grandparents, it is the best way to start the day.
I hear a squeak as the girls slowly open the door. They are as quiet as two little girls, who are excited about sneaking into Nana and PopPops’ room, can be. I pretend to be asleep.
“Nana?” They whisper, giggle.
I slowly open my eyes, smile and lift the covers up so the girls can climb in. “Shush. PopPop is still asleep. Come here. Cuddle quietly for a minute, or two.” I whisper.
The girls try to lay quietly beside me. I start to collect my thoughts. I know what is coming next.
“Nana, can you tell us a story about Daddy, when he was a boy. Please?”
That’s OK with me. I don’t have to be upright yet. It is a quiet wonderful way to start the day. It is our special time together. I must treasure every minute. I know how quickly they will outgrow this phase.
By our next visit, our grandchildren will have reached the age where they get up on weekend mornings, turn on the TV and entertain themselves for a bit, while Mom and Dad catch a few more winks. Trying to extend our early morning special time tradition, I get up early too. I go downstairs and find them cuddled under a blanket, on the sofa, watching a cartoon. They look so warm and cute. I can’t wait to join them.
“Come sit with us Nana.”
“I’ll be right there. Just got to get a cup of coffee. Do you girls need anything?”
Together We Figured It Out
“Coming right up.” I say. But I’m looking at their coffee maker. It’s one of those one-cup-at-time things. I like to set my coffee maker the night before so the coffee’s brewed when I come downstairs. I am looking for the k-cups and trying to figure out which buttons to push. This is a ‘catch twenty-two’. I needed a cup of coffee before dealing with electronic gadgets. Even ones I use every day. But this was totally foreign to me. I must have been talking to my self because when I turned to ask the girls if they knew how to turn on the coffee maker, they were hiding giggles behind the blanket.
I must have looked a sight in my robe, slippers, bed head, talking to myself. They had asked for cheerios several minutes ago and this adult couldn’t even make a cup of coffee. Together we figured things out. They showed me where the K-cups were, what button to push to start the coffee brewing, and got their own cheerios, while I stood there trying to think. Soon I had my coffee and”” we were all cuddling under the blanket on the sofa.
Did I ever Tell You About the Great Flushing Fiasco?
“Did I ever tell you about the great flushing fiasco?”
“The what?” The girls are looking at the TV and half listening.
“About the time I tried to flush your Daddy?” I ask nonchalantly.
“No! What happened? You did what?” The TV was forgotten. I had their attention.
“Well,” I began. “Your Daddy was two, maybe two and a half years old. We had just moved to a different city. Your Daddy wasn’t wearing diapers anymore, but he was still sleeping in a crib. We were going to get him a “big boy” bed once we were settled in our new house. Anyway, one night, sometime after midnight, something woke me up. I don’t know what caused me to wake up but when I rolled over and opened my eyes there was a face staring at me. Just silently standing there. A face in my face.”
“What did you do? Who was it?”
“I screamed. I mean, isn’t that what people do when they wake to find a face staring at them?”
My granddaughters, wide eyed, nodded.
“It was your Daddy. My screaming scared him, and he started to cry. I felt so bad. I picked him up and apologized for screaming. I was so surprised to find your Daddy standing by our bed in the middle of the night. He had never done that before. I couldn’t understand why he had gotten up. The only thing that made any sense to me was he needed to go to the bathroom. So, I take your Daddy to the rest room. He is mumbling something between sniffles. It might have been no, but I was on a mission.
We get to the bathroom. I don’t turn any lights on. The moon was shining through the window. I thought I could see just fine. Your Daddy’s saying, ‘I don’t have to go potty’. I’m half awake and pulling his pajama bottoms down. He’s protesting louder, ‘Mommy, I don’t have to go potty’. But I’m not listening. I pick up your Daddy and set him on the toilet. That’s when I hear your Daddy screaming, Daddy! Come save me!”
The girls were giggling. “What happened?”
Your PopPop came in and flipped on the lights. That’s when I see your Daddy standing, standing in the toilet, pajama bottom, soaking wet, around his ankles.”
The girls were out-right belly laughing. “What did you do, Nana?”
“I looked at PopPop. Threw my hands up and said, ‘it’s your problem now’, and went back to bed.”
“I’m a slow waker upper girls. I need a cup of coffee and a half hour to wake up. Don’t ask me to do anything very difficult first thing in the morning.”
“We noticed.” They replied.
“I did sit down with your Daddy the morning after the ‘great flushing fiasco’. I apologized and tried to explain that I don’t wake up very quickly. I suggested that the next time he needed something in the middle of the night he should stay in his bed and call for me. I explained that walking to his room would give me time to wake up.”
“Did Daddy come into your room at night ever again?”
“No, he never did. He took to standing at the door and whispering, ‘Mom, Mom are you awake?’ Now isn’t that silly? He wanted me to wake up. So why was he whispering?”
We were all having a good laugh when my son walked in. “You all seem happy this morning.”
“Nana just told us how she tried to flush you down the toilet, Daddy!”
“Yes, she did that! If you need something in the night don’t wake her up! All you’ll get is traumatized.” He said smiling.
I worried for years that I might have scarred my son for life. But his response and smile told me he had forgiven me long ago. I looked up at my adult son and smiled back. “So, what wacky things has your Daddy done in the middle of the night?” I asked the girls.
“Oh boy! Here we go. Now I need a cup of coffee.” My son replied.