5:45 AM

Our toddler wakes up at 5:45 AM every morning. No matter how late he stays up or how long he naps or how much the boy waddles around the yard, at 5:45, the babbling begins.

We have, on average, five minutes, before the babbling turns to complaining and then to wailing. If it comes to that, to Slade crying so loudly that the dogs pant, we all get up. Sally will make coffee, and I’ll hand the boys bananas, and I’ll unload the dishwasher, and I’ll look around and realize, holy hell, it’s Saturday and the sun still isn’t up.

Most mornings, Sally, who leaves for work before sunrise, scoops the talking toddler up and hauls him into the bathroom with her as she puts herself together. Drifting in and out, I’ll hear “Slade, turn off the water” and “Slade, the toilet is not a toy” and “Slade, can Mommy have her scissors back please?”

This morning it was “Slade, let’s not eat the deodorant” followed by “I mean it, no deodorant” followed by “okay, that’s it” followed by Slade yelling.

Yesterday, the deodorant-licking boy turned two. The 731 days have felt long, but the two years themselves have rifled past. That’s the way it goes, I think. You push and you push in a life that feels like a race but passes like a smooth dream. You wake up and you go hard and sometimes, driving alone or washing dishes or watching the baby sleep, you wonder where it all went.

We didn’t do much to celebrate Slade’s birthday. We gave him a couple of presents. (I have it on good authority that one, a talking Elmo toy, is soon to lose its batteries forever.) We ate cupcakes. Then we put the boys to bed and shuffled off to bed ourselves before the local news even started. We need our rest. 5:45 arrives very loud and very early.

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2 Responses to “5:45 AM”


  1. 1 slouchy November 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    i remember those days.

    and i remember them fondly.

    happy birthday to your boy.

  2. 2 Martianqueen January 11, 2011 at 2:41 am

    I can’t believe Slade is 2! Holy guac, where does the time go? It seems like yesterday, we…. I mean, someone… was decorating your cube when that boy was born.


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