Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Morning Ritual, Jan 2007

Having started this blog with a description of the everyday routine here in 4boyhouse, I thought it might be good to update it from time to time. To wit:

3:37 AM
Woke up, looked at clock. It's still too early. Back to sleep.

4:24 AM
Ok, that's better, but my wife is awake. I'll stay here. Back to sleep.

5:15 AM
I'm awake, she's asleep, it's after 4, so I can get up. Read Bible (John 14 this morning), pray, and go check on my WoW auctions.

6:00 AM
Server goes down for weekly maintenance, so I read my daily comics and blogs.

6:20 AM
Bored, and my book is upstairs.

6:22 AM
I switch my USB hub from my PC to my Mac, since that's where all the peripherals go anyway.

Load my iPod with lectures for this afternoon's walk, and discover two weeks worth of Hugh Hewitt podcasts. So I listen to all the Lileks and Steyn interviews, plus a Victor Davis Hanson one that I missed. Excellent.

7:00 AM
Time to wake the bigs. Timothy first (he's easiest), "Timothy, it's time to get up." A whine, a stretch, and he's out of bed.

Stephen's next, "Stephen, it's time to get up." Nothing. I remove the covers and he curls into a ball. I rub his back, talking the whole time. He opens his eyes, and I ask, "Are you getting up?" "Mm-hm," combined with nodding convinces me that he is. Besides, I can come get him.

Jonah and Sam usually sleep through all this, but today Sam woke up and stood at the top of the stairs while I got the big boys out of bed. Then Sam let me carry him downstairs.

7:04 AM
Breakfast begins with the first course: Pop Tarts. Timothy and Stephen eschew the usual Chocolate Fudge in favor of the weekly special of Hot Fudge Sundae. In a rare move, Jonah also bypasses his favorite Smores Pop Tart for the Publix brand Cinnamon Sugar. It is quite possibly the grossest thing I have ever seen, being two slightly different shades of light brown. Jonah, also taken back by its appearance, asks for it to be heated. It doesn't help.

After the Pop Tart course comes the second course: Anything But Pop Tarts. This is the wild-card portion of Breakfast, and can include anything from oatmeal to nothing. Usually it's cereal, as it is today, which makes me glad that I went to the grocery store yesterday and replenished our Corn Bran. The "yellow cereal," as Sam puts it, is an odd favorite here, and has the double benefit of being Not Horrible For You as well as cheap.

After 3 minutes in discussion with Sam, we settle on yellow cereal in a bowl, which is exactly what he's had every morning for the past few weeks. Still, the play's the thing, so I thank him for his efforts in the decision-making process, pour the cereal in the bowl, and put it in front of him.

He sees what Jonah has and decides he'd rather have the tan-on-tan knockoff. Also heated. (It must be noted here that the boys generally eat their Pop Tarts untoasted, for reasons that are unknown to me).

Everyone gets hot chocolate this morning, instead of the usual juice, juice, chocolate milk, chocolate milk. Also unusually, I get to stir.

7:20 AM
Send the big two to get dressed, their cups of cereal still half-full (they eat the "blue cereal:" Quaker Oat-something-or-other Squares). Wife descends the staircase.

7:27 AM
Go upstairs to check on bigs and get clothes for Sam, ascending to the celebratory whirring of electric toothbrushes (thanks Mom & Dad!). I get Sam's clothes, and as I pass Timothy and Stephen's room I notice Stephen playing with his LEGO's. This is discussed, quietly and calmly, and an agreement is reached wherein he does not play with LEGO's in the morning until fully ready for school and I will not throw them all away.

I dress Sam while he watches Clifford (who's the new voice?), which is a difficult thing to do since I forgot to sit with my back to the TV and so he keeps throwing his head back and around to see that the big red dog is up to.

General chaos ensues, and details are unclear. Lunches are packed (not by me), straggling children are scolded (usually by me), questions answered, papers signed, backpacks and jackets searched for and found.

I pour myself a bowl of cereal: granola (yay) with raisins (ew) and milk (a risky gamble). Before I take the first bite, I am engaged with putting children 1, 2, and 4 into the car. Number 3 goes to a different school, and will be spending the next hour basically with the entire house to himself. It's Jonahland writ large, and he spends the majority of his time watching the new Bionicle commercial (they call it a "short movie") on the computer.

In my office, I power up my computer and get ready for the day.

Having returned emails, I go check on Jonah and remind him to put his shoes on.

Jonah comes up to my office to ask me to read him the name of his Rakshi. He still does not have shoes on, a fact of which I remind him, gently.

I come down from my office to do a final check on Jonah. Socks & shoes? Check. Jacket? Check. Backpack? Check.

We sit on the stairs and make funny faces at each other. Then he shows me the new Bionicle commercial. Then we discuss a game that he and his best friend Justin are playing wherein they are going to grow up and own a factory together. It's a long running game (dream? career goal?), and it has an acronym that I can't remember. This is serious stuff. Jonah wants a store as well, but Justin doesn't. So Justin says that he'll be okay with a store if they can have a fair. As told by Jonah, this seems to be a point of agreement, although the alliance is still fragile. Time will tell.

We make more faces at each other.

Jonah is gone to school, and the house is mine. I celebrate by drinking no Coke whatsoever.


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