They wake up early. Usually it’s 6 or 6.30. Sometimes, though, it’s 5.30 or even 5. And even if we put them to bed later, they do the same darn thing; that’s just their deal. And there’s nothing that Daylight Savings or anything else is going to do about it. They are morning people, like their mama. In this arena, our 2 1/2- and 5 year-old-boys take exclusively after me. Because my husband–who is so many things to so many people–is not a morning person.
He never was and I think I can say with certainty that he never will be. It’s not for lack of trying: the boys will screech happily as they jump and pounce all over him, and many mornings, this exhausted wife sometimes asks not nicely at all for him to GET UP ALREADY, but he’s holding firm on this one. When he does get up he’s usually not at all happy about it.
“Since when is ‘sleeping in’ 7.30am!?” he will ask me when I sic our boys on him after watching the sky go from black to blue in the wee hours of morning with two energetic bundles of excitement at the new day ahead; a change in sky color that only few men seem to choose to witness willingly with their little ones.
I am not husband-bashing, but I seriously wonder if there is a divide by sex for being a morning person. Are women more likely to get up with the kids (generally speaking) than men because we are genetically programmed to do so? I think I’m on to something here. In pre-homo sapiens communities, hunting presumably occurred at dusk or nightfall; and women, who are clearly preferred evolutionarily to nurse and comfort babies and children (think mammary glands), would have to be ready to rock and roll when the sun came up. Simple, right?
As for women as the fairer sex, I say “Vegan Baloney.” Even though I am not always happy to get up, I just do it. I bite the bullet and remind myself that sleeping in is not one of the perks of having small kids. I am up 4-6 times a night nursing our little guy and I often stay up quite late editing my forthcoming book and crafting the (hopefully) clever articles you read by me on Kveller.com. But 27 out of 30 mornings, you will find me up whenever the boys are up; making breakfasts with a nutritional value directly proportional to how many times Fred wakes to nurse. Only three times and it’s a kale and banana smoothie with books and kisses and snuggling after. Four times and it’s granola and taking out a not-recently played with toy. Five times and it’s a bowl of cashews and raisins and only a half an hour of uninterrupted sleep until my husband hears “GET UP ALREADY. I NEED SOME HELP. I NEED ANOTHER ADULT MONITORING THE SITUATION. I MEAN IT. GET UP NOW.”
My husband and I believe in equality in our relationship and in our society, and we are both what you would describe as feminists. Why has this belief in equality not extended to sleep and morning childcare? I think I may need to start blaming evolution. It beats throwing whatever projectile is closest to me at my husband. Not that I’ve tried that. Because that would just be a rude awakening. And that’s not how I roll.