Join me this month as I write a slice of my life each day this March and join many others sharing slices at twowritingteachers.com. My 6-8th grade students are also be slicing this month and you can find links to their daily blogs HERE.
I reach over and hit the snooze button. 5:45am. In my fuzzy brain I think, "I'll get up at the next one in nine minutes." How wrong I was.
This morning, Clara was already awake, and hearing my alarm, decided to come in. Her door opened and then clicked closed, her footfalls down the carpeted hallway loud in the silence, even as she tried to be quiet.
"Dad..." her voice started as she pushed our door open. Then, any thoughts of snoozing were blasted out the window by the next five seconds.
"Ewwwwwww! I stepped in cat puke!" she screamed. "Help me Dad!" The light on the fan, right above our bed blazed on with 120 Watts of blinding brightness, as Clara found the switch next to the door.
Blinking, stumbling, and definitely not snoozing, I groped towards Clara. Through the red and yellow spots in my vision, I saw her in the doorway, holding onto the doorjamb, right foot held high above a pile of cat puke with a toe-shaped depression in it. I flicked the lights off to the grateful moan of my wife and turned on the bathroom light, dimmer to minimum. Of course the toilet paper was out so I started grabbing tissues.
I don't always clean cat puke from between someone's toes first thing in the morning, but when I do, I prefer Puffs Ultra.
Once my daughter was cleaned up, I did a quick job on the pile of puke, leaving extra tissues down over what would need to be spot cleaned later.
One might think this was enough to start the day with, but now the hard part was coming.
"Honey," I said softly. "I love you and would like to give you a hug so you can go back to bed. It's still night time. Can I carry you back."
My three-year-old collapsed in the hallway and started bawling, mostly real tears. "Why do you say these mean things to me Dad? Don't be mean to me."
This is becoming a standard response whenever we tell her something she does not like. I gently coax her back to her room where she sits on the floor and starts playing with some drawing paper there. Once I'm sure she's "okay" and not recovering from a bad dream I kiss her on the head and get ready to leave.
"You can come out when the light turns green honey. If you get bored playing, just get in bed and go to sleep. Love you."
Amazingly, she stays there and actually sleeps through her alarm forty-five minutes later. One crisis and one victory and it's only just getting light. I must be ready for a heck of a day!
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewmalone/5611055865/">andrewmalone</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>