Waking up is a fist fight

Waking up is a fist fight. Or a forced march. Or a hangover.

It starts at 6:30 when it’s still dark. I’ve slept four, maybe five hours. Sally has slept three. Snurp is on my chest, kneading, purring, drooling. I roll over to escape, and he bounds off the bed towards the door and meows. He’s ready to go outside.

Eli, the four year old, appears.

“Dad, dad” he whispers. “I brought you two race cars.”

“Eli, it’s 6:40,” I grunt. “I’m not playing race cars right now.”

Slade grunts, too, and starts smacking. The baby is hungry. And it’s still dark. And I’m still exhausted.


Chuck, 100 pounds of lazy canine, appears. He’s breathing on me and wagging his tail, which is going thump, thump, thump as it whacks into the wall.

“Go away,” I command forcefully, and Chuck slowly moves away undisturbed.

But my elevated voice, and all the commotion, does disturb the border collie, Wiley. I can tell because he’s itching. He does that when he’s nervous. His tags clink as he itches. Clink, clink, clink.

“Wiley,” Sally yells, “Stop it.” He obeys. Wiley always obeys.

Snurp is meowing again. Sally lobs a pillow at him, which doesn’t deter Snurp, who is soon back on the bed, purring, kneading, drooling, and meowing.

Eli returns.

“Mom, mom,” he says. “I’m hungry. What’s for breakfast?” Sally tells him it’s too early, that we’re still trying to sleep, that he needs to go play with race cars in his room. And he does, for three minutes.

Slade, who has been nursing quietly, starts grunting. This time it’s gas. He rips one and then another and then another as loud as a grown man.

Eli returns.

“Dad, dad. I brought you five race cars.” He dumps them on the bed.

Wiley itches and Snurp meows and Chuck’s tail goes thump, thump, thump, and I give in. I get out of bed.

It’s not even 7:00, it’s still dark, and I feel like I’ve been slugged in the stomach.


I need a bucket of coffee.


1 Response to “Waking up is a fist fight”

  1. 1 feeddunk February 11, 2009 at 6:45 am

    Dude, I feel you pain. All I can say is “this too shall pass”. Well the dogs, cat and cars won’t change but the sleep will return.

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