What it’s Like in the Morning

6:57 am

At around 5:11 am, the stirring starts. A cough in the dark, followed by bed springs squeaking. Sometimes that’s it for about 45 minutes, and sometimes that’s how a party begins. In the event of a party, there are unreasonably cute sounds that make their way to my ears. The sounds that kind of make you think they’re pre-fabricated by a “Cute Baby Sounds!” studio. Coos and squeaks and hic-upish laughter reverberating and amplifying from baby to baby. And sometimes the sounds are wails, meditative mantras of “da-da-da-da-da-da-da-DA! DA! DA!” at which point I throw my right arm up over a pillow that has made its way to my head in an always futile attempt to try to block sound.

My message right then to the babies is: “The Nelson Calls do not wake up before 6 AM”. Reasonable, I think.

They disagree on occasion.

I go in at 6:00 to their room and Anson hands them to me. I nurse them at the same time, and it is always dark so I close my eyes and just play with their hair. I trace their ears and stroke their foreheads and wonder if these are touches that in the future will calm them without them knowing why. Usually Roan bursts out of his room around this time and tumbles in with his very messy hair and dreamy puffy eyes and hugs me and kisses me and then creeps into what only minutes ago was my spot next to Anson in bed. They talk about where they are on whichever collaborative video game they’re playing, and make a plan to get further. And when Smith finishes nursing (he always finishes first), he pulls away and sing-song’s “Da-Da!”

Anson comes in to get him and Sheppy and I readjust and melt a little more into each other for an extra 3 or 4 minutes, at which point he seems to be alarmed that he’s missing out on some Dad time, and squeals to get away from me, rambling back in to the place where Dad has set up his party.

I go brush my teeth, grab a baby in each arm, then follow Roan up the stairs. I change the little crazy baby diapers while Roan scoots into the corner of the couch and puts a show on TV to watch. Shep and Smith begin pulling toys out, choosing books to have read to them and sometimes sit with their big brother watching iCarly.

7:14 am, blueberries

I have about 45 seconds in the kitchen before the babies realize I’m gone, and put the coffee together as fast as I can. I put water on to make Roan some tea. Empty the dishwasher and take Sheppard off the dishwasher door. Then Smith. Then Sheppard. Next comes packing Roan’s lunch as I offer Smith utensil after utensil to make him forget that the oven door can be pulled open.

Anson comes upstairs after taking in his extra 15 minutes of sleep. These minutes are valuable to him, and add up to me getting to sleep in on the weekends. It’s a fair trade. I put breakfast together, usually cold cereal for Roan, and some oatmeal for the boys. I begin to feed the babies while Roan joins me at the table, and Anson pours his coffee.

Breakfast is full of conversation: what’s the day going to be like? Do you have your Strings class today? What photo shoot are you working on? Where should I go with the little dudes today?

7:16 am, blueberries

Breaking away from the table Roan and I run downstairs together and choose his clothes. We get beds made up and his teeth brushed and find the socks that will serve him best. Hopefully there is clean underwear available because that sets the tone for a happy day. On that, we agree.

Back upstairs, the floor is covered with a weeks-worth of activities and books, and Anson looks like the coffee may be kicking in. I pack up Roan’s bag, get the coats on the babies and on my big boy, and we all go outside to meet the crew that Anson and Roan walk to school with.

We divide as a family, Anson and Roan going their separate ways, and the babies ready for their first nap of the day. At 9:00 am, I sit on the couch and have my own breakfast, in silence and it is a most euphoric feeling to be surrounded by no activity and no noise. By 9:13 I’m done and kind of miss the babies already. At 10:00 am, they wake up and we’re off again.

This is not how I thought great mornings would play out when I was younger. Great mornings didn’t really start until noon back then. Amazing to me how we can change – and how we will continue to change. What are your mornings like?

7 thoughts on “What it’s Like in the Morning

  1. We start a little later in the morning, but it’s still too early. We have been traveling alot and Sara just went back to work so we are still working on getting a schedule going. It will be nice to normalize a little. I don’t think I could manage twins.

  2. 5:00 am: Hubby out the door or exercising for 1/2 hour
    5:30 am: 15 minutes on elliptical + 15 minutes pilates
    6:00 am: Greeted by Phin striding around the house naked. We climb back in bed and snuggle
    6:15 am: 5 minute shower and get dressed
    6:30 am: Throw Phin in the shower and then get him dressed
    6:45 am: Make either chocolate chip pancakes, oatmeal with apples, or some version of a grand-slam breakfast…or cereal if running late
    7:15 am: Teeth, hair, shoes, socks, coats
    7:30 am: Off to school

    Of course this is our “sleeping in” weekday. When my teen is added to this mix, bump everything up by 45 minutes so he can catch the bus. Weekends I sleep in 7, 8, or even 9 (to make up for the absurd earliness of my previous 5 days) TMI, but there you have it.

  3. I unfortunately still bring my little Bear into bed with me in the mornings; we snuggle until 8 and she squirms out of my arms. I’m not sure how long this can last, soon we’ll have another little one and I’ll have to wake up earlier and earlier and I’ll miss sleeping in. Our mornings are pretty slow and I like it; life in the country allows for it and I don’t know if I miss the city anymore. I’m beginning to like mornings though– for so long I worked until 3 am and slept until 12 or later. Oh, how things change.

  4. The best perk I enjoy every morning is the cup of coffee that my husband will bring to me in bed. When I have to work, he brings me a cup at a pre-arranged, designated time; when I’m not going to work, I wake on my own, and then can text him, letting him know I’m up and ready. He delivers it with a smile, a kiss and then he opens the blinds for me, retreating so I can sip in quiet.

    It’s the best way to start my days. And he loves doing it.

  5. Your morning sounds so sweet (although I know full well it can be anything but some days)! Ours is hubby up and off by himself in the morning, me next although I’m not going anywhere, youngest daughter next – she likes to eat as soon as she gets up and watches a show, later oldest daughter who will watch a show for a bit then eat and then we start school for the day.

  6. Love your blog! My mornings are fairly similar – my twin girls start stirring around 5 (I like you try to insist on making it to 6am, sigh), breastfeed tandem, read books, kiss Daddy goodbye, eat breakfast, play, then mercifully make it to a nap around 9am. 🙂

  7. “it is always dark so I close my eyes and just play with their hair. I trace their ears and stroke their foreheads and wonder if these are touches that in the future will calm them without them knowing why

    YES – and you too will do those things on a sheet in the bed in the dark, or on your leg, or anywhere really, when they are no longer there to seek their calming from you.

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