Weekend mornings have turned into a silent power game. Pringles wakes up between 5:30 and 6:00 every day. Like Jim Dear and Darling from Lady and the Tramp we wish we could teach her about weekends, and yes, I just compared my daughter to a dog.
Odie and I both hear her. His breathing changes. He’s fooling nobody.
“Mom!” she stretches the word into three syllables, “I’m hungry!” An invitation to The Big Bed is parental stalling tactic one. She scurries under the covers and nestles her blonde head into the Pringles-sized nook of my neck and shoulder. This is nice, I think. Cuddles.
From here, she announces in a full-volume voice, “Mom? I’m hungry. Mom? I’m hungry. Mom? I’m hungry.” If she doesn’t say she’s hungry for the entire time that she is in fact hungry, then her needs will not be apparent to me and she will starve to death.
“Sssssh! Whisper!” I demonstrate, “Daddy and Viva are still sleeping. Cuddle with me for a minute.” I hope the offer of the ever desirable Mom cuddle time will distract her from her agenda to get everyone up to begin The Fetching of the Snacks.
Game on. Odie is still pretending to be asleep. He wants me to get up with Pringles. I want him to get up with Pringles. Odie can’t go back to sleep after he wakes up in the morning whereas I can go back to sleep under any circumstances. Having babies and breastfeeding gave me an on-call doctor’s napping skills. I can fall asleep in 5 minute increments. I can fall asleep quickly and go deeply into REM sleep. Odie can only sleep when all conditions are ideal. He cannot nap. Should he fall asleep during the day, he cannot recover from it. He will be groggy and useless for the remainder of the day or evening. That’s right, I said it. Useless. I can go from deep sleep to full consciousness to active parenting with very little transition time. I don’t like it. I don’t prefer it. But I can do it.
Odie and I wait each other out. Every Sunday, I plead with Pringles to go back to sleep. The triumph of hope over experience. She does not go back to sleep.
Odie won today. I got up with Pringles, settled her in front of the TV with a snack and then peeked in on him, hoping that he was just awake enough to be unable to go back to sleep. My plan was to deeply empathize and then deeply dive back under the still-warm covers.
The best-laid plans of wives and moms go awry.