Yesterday, on our way home from Brighton Beach, Maya, out of the blue, says, “I love my life. I get to do different things every day. Not like kids in school who have to get up, go to school, come home, eat dinner, do homework, go to bed. Repeat.” Great, right? Then, before she goes to sleep, she tells me what a fun day she had. This happens almost every day. “I had a really fun day today, Mama” are words I hear a lot. So why did I wake up this morning feeling like I wanted to bite someone’s head off? I think it’s because I hate the alarm clock. Let me explain. The kids are in the bedroom by about 9:30, but they are not required to go to sleep. Ben usually nods off somewhere between 10:30 and 11pm, and then I go to bed at midnight or so. Maya stays up reading until I go to sleep. Normally we wake up at 9am, give or take a few minutes. But for the last two days I set the alarm for 8:45am, because we needed to be out the door by 9:30 or 10. FIFTEEN minutes difference, but after two days of it, I’m ready to spit nails. That highly annoying beeping sound is the worst way to start a day. Even my cat yowling like someone just stole his spot on the couch is not as annoying. Waking up to that sound makes me tired. And clearly 15 minutes less of sleep, when I’m getting 9 hours to begin with, should not cause sleep deprivation-type symptoms.
So there I was this morning, being the lovely mother who barks at everyone to get ready, hurry up, no I don’t know where the cord for your camera case is, you should have thought of that sooner! I was dropping the kids off with friends in Riverdale so that I could go get my hair cut and then go to Pilates. Both enjoyable activities, but the promise of them could not get me out of my funk. I was cursing under my breath at having to drive again (the third day this week!), and at the sand in my bathtub (I like the idea of the beach much more than the actual beach, because the beach always comes home with you, finding its’ way in to the most inconvenient places). The kids got ready quietly (lest they provoke more crazy from their mother) and we made it to Riverdale via the West Side Highway in 12 minutes flat! At the moment of releasing them to our friends, who were cheerfully promising a day at the Bronx Zoo, I felt a pang of guilt at my admittedly ridiculous behavior. Hugs were given and by the time I was back in the parking garage at our building (13 minutes later), the crabbiness was gone, replaced by an overwhelming desire to nap. I didn’t nap. I got a haircut instead.
There is no moral to this story, except that I need to get rid of my alarm clock, as it apparently has the same effect on me that insults have on Dr. Bruce Banner. But you know what? Just before she went to bed tonight, Maya said, “I had a really fun day today, Mama,” and then gave me a big hug. The grumpy Mama morning is forgotten. And the alarm clock is in the trash.