Mornings

5:20am: Toddler shouts to be released from pack-n-play, I put her in my bed. She immediately begins to dance on my head and step on my hair.

5:22am: Place toddler on floor, lie prone as she retrieves and hands me every available object in bedroom. Collect on bed: iPad, dirty laundry, multiple pacifiers, diapers, giant bottle of lotion, hairbrushes and so on.

5:35am: Foot race to the bathroom. I win and so get to pee as fingers scrabble beneath the door.

5:36am: Hysterical sobbing as I change her diaper instead of proceed directly to getting her breakfast.

5:38am: Breakfast is ready, but she is now busy emptying all the dresser drawers into a small mountain in the bedroom, and taking some into the shower and others into the other rooms of the house according to some precise but unclear system of distribution.

5:50am: In high chair, flinging Cheerios. All other presented food is roundly rejected, only Cheerios are acceptable and they are mostly acceptable when airborne.

5:55am: Released from high chair, eating Cheerios off floor.

5:58am: Emptying the recycling, moving the high chair to the other side of the kitchen.

6:00am: All noise-making toys turned on for the day. Kitchen dancing and singing, Cheerios crushing into dust beneath her triumphant feet.

6:05am: I am sitting on the playroom floor and am now being handed everything else in the house: sippy cups of water and milk, multiple books, everyone’s shoes, my car keys, wallet, floor Cheerios, toys, items from the recycling. I begin to look like this:

6:10am: She is momentarily distracted, I hide on the couch. This works!

6:11am: It did not work, now she would like to be on the couch also.

6:12am: Frantic couch laps, hysterical laughter. Pride goes before a fall, and I warn her.

6:13am: She has fallen off the couch. Screaming beyond anything imaginable.

6:15am: She would like back on the couch again. I issue another warning.

6:16am: She has fallen off the couch again.

6:20am: Disappears into the bedroom, all is quiet.

6:25am: Too quiet.

6:26am: She has figured out how to open the tupperware drawers under the sink and is investigating a cardboard box of replacement razors.

6:30am: I am interrupted from shocked contemplation of my horrible parenting and the fragility of skin by her crawling sweetly into my lap and cuddling. Momentarily touched, then realize she has taken her epic morning shit.

6:31am: Attempt to change diaper while she flings herself about and grabs at her befouled diaper to throw it at the wall.

6:33am: Closet time. She would like to empty my dirty laundry from the bin and spread it throughout the house and she begins to scream because she cannot get it open. I oblige her.

6:40am: At some point I left my coffee cup sitting on the carpet, discover it now, a small lake.

6:41am: Sop coffee from carpet while being handed cups, shoes, keys, books, dirty laundry, clean laundry, recycling, chunks of fruit unearthed from somewhere, etc. Handing goes on and on, I retreat to various rooms, and am still handed things, eventually I wind up cowering in a corner pleading to not be handed anything else. My boundaries are not respected.

6:45am: She would like to be picked up and held at the window to suck on the blind chords. It takes us a lot of hot-and-cold screaming to establish that this is what she wants.

6:50-7:10am: Holding a 22 lb. toddler in my quavering arms as she blissfully sucks on the small knob at the end of the blind chord.

7:11am: She is suddenly starving, emergency! But now deeply hates every possible food, including Cheerios.

7:25am: Dancing and crowing atop my prone form.

7:45am: The nanny’s key turns in the door. Edith prances happily down the hall squealing in delight. I run into my office and shut the door firmly.

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