Sunday, June 14, 2009

Five O'Clock Shadow Causes Me to Beat My Kids Up the Next Morning


Since free time is scarce around here, I tend to be pretty guarded with what moments I do have. Mornings have become those oases for me: a time to quiet myself before God, read the Bible and pray, collect my thoughts, get some exercise in, check my email, and even do a little blogging. If I've been a good boy the night before, in terms of avoiding the computer and strenuous administrative tasks and getting to bed at an early hour, that means I have from 4ish to 6 to myself, before the kids are up and I have to commence my juggling.

But this week, both Aaron and Jada have taken turns getting up early, waking as early as 4:30 and needing attention as early as 5. Even worse for me, when they're up that early, not only do I have to account for them, but because they are tired, they tend to be more clingy, less able to sit quietly and read a book or watch TV, and (on the unfortunate days when both are up that early) definitely not able to instigate with each other.

This phenomenon this week has given new meaning to the term, "five o'clock shadow" - it's five o'clock, and I've got one or two little rug rats shadowing me when I'm trying to tend to my things. We're trying different ways to get them to sleep longer, but any parent'll tell you none are fool-proof; kids are lovably unpredictable, and will go through phases when they pop up early no matter what you do.

So the only recourse that's in my control is to beat them up. And, no, I don't mean physically rough them up; although I'd be lying if I didn't, in my sleep-deprived and oasis-shattered state, entertain inappropriate methods of detaining my kids. I mean making sure that I wake up early enough to take care of my things before they start stirring.

Easier said than done, when I'm in need of more sleep and not less. But I know I'm even grouchier if I don't go this route. So now that you've read past the title to the end of this post, hopefully you're no longer thinking that I've turned into some kind of child-abusing werewolf.
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