I may have mentioned once or twice that I am not a morning person. I know there are people out there who happily pop out of bed before dawn and twirl through the house singing "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!" while greeting little birdies in the window and whipping up gourmet breakfasts for their friends and family...at least this is how I picture them. I've never been awake enough before dawn to really be sure. My morning routine is a little different. I'll spare you the ugly details. Suffice it to say that, even as a small child, I had a certain reputation. My older siblings used to argue over whose turn it was to wake me up for school. My college roommates learned fast to keep the noise to a bare whisper when arriving home in the wee hours, no matter how drunk they might be. And my husband...well, he's a brave man, and a cautious one.
So you can probably imagine that I was less than thrilled to learn that the bus to the middle school, where Older Son is required by law to go five days a week, picks up down the street a full hour earlier than I am accustomed to leaving the house to take the kids to school. Since I was already struggling to make it to the elementary school on time and sufficiently clothed to avoid a scandal, certain measures had to be taken. One of those measures is that my wonderful husband and I now take turns getting up in the morning. We are self-employed and work at home, which means that, barring an early meeting, neither of us needs to be up at a set time to race to an office and punch in. (It wasn't always this way; we deeply appreciate the luxury.) And so, while two mornings a week, I do get up before dawn to wake surly children, make breakfast, and sign homework before heading out the door to walk Older Son to the bus stop, only to head home and repeat the process with Younger Son, two blissful mornings a week, I hear the alarm clock go off and stick my head under a pillow to drift dreamily back to sleep while my husband gets up to face the music, as it were.
You may have noticed, though, that there are five school days in a week. What happens to the fifth day? Not to worry; we have a plan for that. As long as we've been married, we've had a system for dealing with disagreement. If it is a minor thing, like who has to change a diaper or go see who's crying, we play "Paper, Scissors, Rock". Loser goes, no argument, the sanctity of PSR is unbreakable. It's quick, simple, impartial. And it works beautifully. But it lacks a certain...drama. There's no skill. It's over too quickly. And there always the potential for manipulation. Delaying that half-second until you see what your beloved opponent is going to do. (Not that I would ever cheat. And contrary to what my dear husband believes, mind-reading is not cheating.) So for bigger issues, like who has to bathe the dog, who has to make dinner, or where the kids should go to college, we play Yahtzee. It saves tremendous time and energy. And really, when does arguing ever solve anything? Yahtzee, though...Yahtzee solves problems. (My husband and I are both lawyers. Can you imagine how much simpler life would be if people just played Yahtzee to decide legal disputes? Not to mention cheaper?)
For the fifth day, we play Yahtzee.
By mutual agreement, the fifth day is actually the first day of the week. Monday. Notorious Monday. Every Sunday night, after we get the kids to bed, we settle down for a deadly serious Yahtzee battle. One game, no do-overs, no double or nothing. Winner gets to sleep in; loser has to get up and wrangle Monday. As it turns out, my husband has gotten up every Monday this school year. (No, I do NOT cheat!) Until, I should clarify, today. Last night, I failed to perform up to my usual standards and actually lost at Yahtzee. So this morning, when the alarm went off, I dragged my half-sleeping carcass from the bed, whimpering all the way, found some clothes that may or may not have been clean--or mine--and woke Older Son. I staggered downstairs, scrambled eggs, toasted bagels, found clean clothes for him, put breakfast on the table, and started to clean the coffee pot in the feeble hope that caffeine might somehow make life worth living. Older Son bounded into the room (he is a morning person; imagine my joy), chattering a mile a minute, glanced at the clock, and stopped dead. "Mom, it's Monday!" he exclaimed. Yes, light of my life. I had noticed that very thing. "So?" I grunted. "But it's Monday!" he repeated insistently. "Yes, we've established that," I managed to get out without snarling. He looked at me, wide-eyed, perhaps noticing the dangerous look creeping into my eyes. "Mom," he carefully put the kitchen counter between us "it's late start day!"
Late start day. Right. Monday. School starts an hour and a half later on Monday. An hour and a half that I could have been sleeping. Which I might have remembered if it hadn't been so bloody dark out when I got up.
If anyone needs me, I'll be sobbing quietly in the corner. Bring coffee.