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Tuesday, January 23, 2007  

Morning People

Trash and I have been getting up and going to work at the same time for almost five years now, and we're still not used to it.

Trash doesn't understand why it takes me longer to get ready in the morning than it does her. I keep trying to explain that I have more work to do to make myself presentable than she does. We both have our standard ablutions, of course. Plus, in addition to the stuff I have to do in the bathroom that she does, I also have to shave, take my allergy meds, and…well, that's it, actually, now that my hair's only an inch long again.

Getting dressed also takes me longer, just because of all the crap I have to stick in my pockets every day. I always ask Trash how much longer she'd take if she had to unload her purse every night and fill a new one every morning, but she never buys it. Plus it's my job to give Strat his breakfast and his insulin injection (a ritual now in its fourth year, thank you very much), and also frequently find Trash's socks, because she has some kind of block in that department. Still, it frustrates her that she ends up waiting for me. The fact that she does everything in her entire life like "Quick Carl" from those old Marathon candy bar ads in the 70s doesn't help.

I know what you're thinking. I should just tell her she's better-looking than me to begin with, and therefore doesn't need to primp as much thanks to her huge genetic head start. Tried it. Many times. Doesn't work, even though it's true.

Eventually, though, we fine-tuned the process enough so that we could get from bed to car in ten minutes if we needed to. Which, after a while, we frequently did. Once it became standard operating procedure, we didn't really see any reason to get up before 7:50 if we didn't need to be at work until 8:15. Most mornings the transition to cold floor from continued snuggling is put off for as long as possible.

A couple years ago, however, something changed. Which is that a third human got added to the mix. Getting out of the house in ten minutes becomes quite a bit trickier when there's someone else who needs to be changed and dressed and then takes a half hour to suck down eight ounces of formula from a bottle. Then when he gets older you have to find actual food to put in front of him (which he still takes a half hour to get down), then hose him down and chase him around with a jacket, gloves, hat, and scarf before hijacking him off to day care. It's a whole other level of difficulty. We have to have a clearly defined routine, and any deviation from it results in disaster.

But lately, something else has changed. Trash's mom is in town for the week, and she's been babysitting while we're at work the past couple of days. That means that if we need to, we can get up early and head out the door before M. Small is even awake. That's what we did this morning.

I've been looking forward to moving all my stuff upstairs to the new bathroom, but this morning I realized that isn't going to happen. I realized it when I went downstairs in the predawn dark to do my bathroom stuff, while Trash stayed upstairs to do hers. Without an awakening child to change and dress and counsel through the debilitating tragedy of having to get out of bed (which, I shouldn't mock; I totally feel him there), she was able to take a bit more time in the bathroom than usual. And without a toddler breakfast to throw together, I actually had time to shave my whole face, with cream and everything. And yet we were still out the door within fifteen minutes.

It took a couple of days with a live-in babysitter for me to truly realize the salutary effect of two bathrooms. Trash says it takes a live-in babysitter to reap the full benefits of two bathrooms. Either way, we didn't have to argue about it this morning because we never once got in each other's way.

This addition seems like more of a bargain all the time.

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posted by M. Giant 4:56 PM 2 comments


Aah, M. Giant! Your mornings sound relaxing compared to mine! We have to face all of the above with our Lucas (almost 3), not to mention the fact that my husband takes 40-minute bathroom breaks every single morning. His bathroom habits were developed and fine-tuned over many years, and there's no changing them now (believe me, I've tried). And yet he bitches at me because we don't get into work early enough!

In addition, I must be the only mom who doesn't want to begin potty-training her child, because that will add another 1/2 hour to our morning ritual!

Kat from Jersey

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 25, 2007 at 12:47 PM  

We have the same back and forth in the mornings. Why do men need time in the morning? Part of it is we're larger and have more muscles--burn more calories--need to eat more, and there are inevitable consequences after a night of digestion. Women don't need to be as regular as we do. Also you know it takes some time to wash our hairy arms, backs and knuckles.

By Blogger Matt_J, at January 26, 2007 at 11:40 PM  

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