The DragonMonkey woke up early yesterday. Of course he did. It was Sunday.
I tried to ignore the hollow THUD-tink-tink-tink of his bottle as he launched it across the room, rebounding it off the door and watching it bounce on the hardwood floors. He’s got a heck of a throwing arm for only 18 months old, but that’s understandable. Ever since he was old enough to cling to the side of his crib, his early morning ritual has consisted of waking up, standing up, and then immediately emptying his crib. It’s always the bottle first, followed by the blankets, and finished by whatever stuffed animal we tossed in his bed the night before. If we haven’t rescued him from his prison by that point, he begins a deep, insistent primal scream. I have no idea what the significance of the crib-emptying procedure might be. All I know is that I won’t be surprised if I walk in there one day and find that he has tied the sheets to the blankie and escaped out the window.
At the sound of the bottle crashing against the door, I glanced over at The Bean. He was snoring lightly. It’s annoying how he can sleep through anything. I considered, for a moment, nudging him and asking him to wake up. Just as quickly I discarded the idea. The DragonMonkey in the morning is a cheerful little thing… a cheerful, NOISY little thing. There’s no way I would be able to sleep through his early morning screeches and noisy play, so I might as well let The Bean slumber.
As usual, the DragonMonkey is all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I creak open the door to his room and stand in his doorway, exhausted. He stares back at me, bouncing up and down, babbling incessantly. “It’s morning! It’s a new day! Wasn’t the last 12 hours of sleep absolutely fantastic? Don’t you feel refreshed?” he seems to say. I stare at him, bleary-eyed, then pick him up and set him on the changing table. I wince at the sight of his full-to-bursting morning load of poo, then yawn as I mechanically change his diaper. He babbles nonsense at me, simply THRILLED that it’s morning and I am here to interact with him.
I resolve, for the 565th day in a row, that tonight I will allow myself to go to bed at the same time as him tonight.
I know I won’t, but it makes me feel better to pretend.
I toss him a full bottle, which should hold him off for about ten minutes, and then go to pour my morning coffee.
It helps. Slightly.
I refill the cup, then head back to flop down on the sofa. I used to love mornings, but lately they’ve been coming a little too early for my tastes.
I sip my coffee slowly, wearily poking at my sleep-blurred contacts, urging them to behave.
Somewhere close by, one of my neighbors starts mowing their lawn. Really? Mowing the lawn before the sun has cleared the horizon? Technically it’s against city ordinances, but I shrug and decide to let it pass. With a little bit of effort, I can force my brain to ignore the noise, to let it fade away into the ever-present background of light traffic and chattering voices that makes up an Orange County good-morning symphony. It’s not exactly a peaceful sunrise in Montanan wilderness, but it will have to do.
The coffee warms my system, slowly jump-starting my intestines. I set the coffee down, and eyeball the hallway. Maybe I can make it to the bathroom without the DragonMonkey noticing? I slide my bare feet along the hardwood floors, doing my best to avoid the creaky spots, but it’s to no avail. Just as I reach the bathroom, an angry, babbling wail emanates from behind his half-shut door.
With a sigh, I enter his room, grab him, and set him down. He takes off down the hallway in his red footie pajamas, tiny feet pit-pattering loudly. I grimace again. Seriously, does he have hooves or feet? Sometimes I wonder.
I open the bathroom door, and right on cue Fat Cat gallops down the hall on her own set of cat-hooves. Like most cats, she has one purpose in life: To drink out of the bathroom faucet. She comes tearing around the corner as if her tail was on fire, scrabbling for a purchase on the floors like a real-life cartoon. When she’s not close enough to hear the sound of the door opening she can actually be summoned by the sound of me peeing. I don’t understand this fascination she has with the bathroom sink, but whatever. She puts up with the DragonMonkey pulling her fur, so I figure the least I can do is let her drink out of the sink. Besides, my pee summons cats. It’s not the best superpower in the world, but I work with what I’m given.
At the sight of Fat Cat shooting past him at full speed, the DragonMonkey bursts into shrieking laughter and decides to join us.
Suddenly, the bathroom seems very, very crowded.
Fat Cat jumps up on the rim of the toilet to escape the clutching hands of the DragonMonkey… and then inexplicably decides that her safest bet would be to walk in circles on the toilet seat, rather than jumping out of reach onto the bathroom counter… which is the whole reason she’s in the bathroom in the first place.
The animals in my house aren’t exactly known for their dizzying intellect.
The DragonMonkey thinks this is a grand turn of events. Fat Cat? The magic splashing machine? Mommy? ALL IN ONE ROOM? Hallelujah!!! He screams with laughter, and lunges at the toilet.
“NO! NO TOUCH TOILET!” I say, for about the 472nd bazillionth time this month. I swear, one of these days I’m going to set fire to the toilet and save myself this hassle. We can all just poop in the backyard.
The DragonMonkey steps back at my raised tone, lip quivering.
Fat Cat ruins the discipline moment by yowling. “MRWORWW???? MEOW? MRRROWR? IS THE MAGICAL FAUCET POURING ITS DELICIOUS ELIXIR YET???” She dances in a happy circle around the toilet seat as I reach down to grab her and plop her on the sink.
Between my legs, two little grabby hands suddenly dart forward. I abandon Fat Cat and reach down in a highly impressive (to me, anyways) reflex action, imprisoning two little wrists before they can reach the toilet seat. “NO! NO TOUCH TOILET!” The DragonMonkey, startled, yanks hard on his wrists and ends up falling backwards onto his bottom. He pauses, trying to see if this situation is worth crying over. “No,” I tell him sternly. “If you have to think about it, then I am not going to buy your tears.”
From behind me, Fat Cat begins her happy dance again. “MRowWWWR? Mrrroewr? MEOW? Mrrt? MRRRRTTTRRT?????!” The Dragonmonkey perks up. I raise a finger at him sternly, giving him my best “don’t-you-cross-me” face. Turning around I grab Fat Cat, and try to shove her out the door.
She slips back inside before I can fully close it, and immediately leaps up onto the toilet seat, just as I begin to try to sit down. “MRROWOR? Were you going to sit here? MRRRTTT? Where’s the elixir? MROWR? Yaaay! MRORW! Magical dripping elixir water at any second!”
The DragonMonkey bolts forward with a happy shriek, anxious to grab Fat Cat.
I stand back up, holding my baggy sweatpants with one hand, and the back of the DragonMonkey’s pajamas with the other.
The sounds of the melee travel down the hall.
“NO TOUCH TOILET!”
“SQUEEEE! EEEEEE! EGOBLART KITTTY! EAAAAAGH! HEEE HEEE HAAAA HAAAA EEEEEEAAAGH!!!”
“MMROOOOEERT? MEOW? MRRRRT?”
“Don’t you dare… GET OUT OF THERE! FAT CAT GET OFF THE TOILET! FAT CAT, MOVE! Dragonmonkey, for the last time, NO TOUCH TOILET! BAD! VERY BAD!”
“EEEEE HAHHAHAHAAAA KITTY! EGOBLAERT EDJUBIT KITTY! EEEEEE!”
I miss being able to poo in peace.