It’s 6:30am and Mrs. Rookie Dad’s alarm goes off. Mine, has been going off every 10 minutes since 5:30am. It never fails, a day that I do NOT have to go work, I forget to turn my alarm off and I wake up at the butt-crack of dawn as if I am the parent of a child or something, because there are no days off in parenting.
Despite not having to go into work, I have decided that I am going to treat today like any other work day. The Rookie, who at some point made his second death-defying trip from his cave (which is nearly exploding from toys after Christmas) to our bed, had ended up sandwiched between Mrs. Rookie Dad and myself. He seemed un-phased by the screeching of our alarms.
I reach over and start what is a 30 minute process of waking the Rookie up. It seems that he is worse to wake up than a teenager. Honestly, if he has my genes in him (which I hope that he does) he will have a hard time waking up no matter what. I do everything I can, slowly shake him to wake up. Nothing. Pull the covers off. Nothing, except that he pulled them right back over him. Turn the lights on. Nothing, except the covers end up over his head. I slowly lift his eye lids, which this time is met with a kick to the groin (which I think he has learned by now he can do this and mom will laugh as I roll around on the floor screaming in pain and cursing). Finally, I end up telling the Rookie that there will be NO TV this morning because waking him up has taken too long and he will miss out on Wild Kratts this morning.
Mrs. Rookie Dad asked me why I was waking him up to early on a day that I didn’t have to be at work. Well, I needed a day. A day to myself. A day to think or not think about building Legos or how to fix a toy that the Rookie inevitably broke.
Days like this do not come around all too often. In fact, these days are so rare that I think the planets need to align for it to happen. That is why I thought waking him up at 6:30am was a good idea (any good idea is a bad idea is something a parent should learn).
Routine, seems to be the word that we learn in parenting classes. Or maybe that was sleep when you can. I haven’t sleep since those parenting classes so I have forgotten which. That was my goal that morning, keep the routine, so that maybe for 8 hours I could forget about my own.
My friend Twinfamy, who recently had a baby, was able to experience a fleeting 5 seconds of being in his own thoughts. 5 seconds that I soon was became jealous over. After dropping the Rookie off at school and getting strange looks from other parents as I moon walked my way back to the car, I made my way home. Opened the door sat down and after 5 seconds, I started to shake and convulse. I didn’t know what to do with myself.
Even binge watching Friends on Netflix couldn’t stop my nervous shaking as I sat in my easy chair looking around without the Rookie running around. It wasn’t until about lunch time that I realized that I didn’t need to have the captions on to be able to know what was being said by Joey or Phoebe. I secretly think that whoever invented closed captioning was a parent.
Without having to think about feeding another human, I nearly forgot about lunch. By the time that I got around to picking myself up out of the chair to find something to eat, it was time to pick the Rookie up from school. Realizing that I had also forgotten to shower and the dishes that were in the sink, that I promised Mrs. Rookie Dad two days prior, were still unfinished. I looked at them and smiled. Knowing that there are days like this that are needed as a parent.
It was glorious sitting around doing absolutely NOTHING. Even if I was shaking in my chair, which could have been from the fact that I forgot to reset the thermostat to warm up the house since there was going to be someone home that day. My batteries were recharged, my head clear, and energy had come back. Part of me feels guilty since the Rookie went to school and I stayed home all day. But knowing that this one day will give me the energy to build the next Sears Tower of Legos with the Rookie, is what I keep telling myself to know that I made the right decision.