my nights, my mornings

February 25, 2011 |  Category:   home life

I think you know by now that my bedtime is late. It’s recently teetered over to the ridiculous hour of 2:30am again, sometimes even 3. Insomnia aside, I have a hard time making myself go to bed. I treasure those quiet hours when everyone’s asleep. I get most of my work done then too and it’s been this way for years.

So what happens in the morning? On school days I push my wake up time as late as I can, sometimes to the dangerous brink of being late for school, but in the end we never are. Still, it’s often a mad rush to get the girls fed, dressed, lunches made and out the door in 30 minutes by 8:20am. On days when there is no school, or if Mark decides he can go to the kitchen later rather than the early crack-of-dawn hours that he prefers, I can steal more sleep. I’ll admit there are days when I get up at 9. The girls wake up sometime between 6:30 and 7:30am. Since they share a room, I suspect they wake each other up, though Mia claims that she doesn’t if she sees that Claudine is asleep in her bunk. Sometimes Claudine is awake and playing with with her stuffed animals in bed, but Mia saids she is always the first to climb out of bed.

There’s been a new routine in the morning at our house the last few weeks. By the time I wake up, the girls will have already eaten breakfast. Sometimes the evidence of dirty dishes is in the sink, but often they’re left behind on the kitchen island counter, the dining room table or their art table. Mia’s been making breakfast for the two of them every morning, usually frozen waffles in the toaster, or cereal with milk or granola with yogurt. She’ll pour cups of milk and water for the two of them. She’ll drag a chair to reach the cabinets and the freezer. I know this because when I do get up and wander to the kitchen, the chair will always be left there; she never remembers to drag them back.

Sometimes I think that the kids probably gave up on me in the mornings and got too impatient and hungry while waiting for me to get up. Some mornings I’ll hear one of them come into the bedroom and say, “it’s time to wake up, mommy”, and I’ll mumble something like, “5 more minutes”, and then I can hear her report to the other, “mommy says 5 more minutes!”. But even if I were to wake up earlier and make them breakfast, Mia wants to do this herself. She says she looks forward to it every morning and she likes taking care of Claudine (at least in the morning. Other times? Not so much). It might just be a phase – I remember she started fixing breakfast for a week last year, but if it is, it’s lasted much longer than the first time around. Hey, I’m not complaining. Isn’t this one of those moments we wait for, as parents?

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  • Lakshmi February 25, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Adorable. Your girls remind me of my younger sister and me, in our kiddie days.

  • veggietestkitchen February 25, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I think it’s good to allow your kids to be independent. I’m not speaking as a mother but as a child of parents who did EVERYTHING for me. I woke up to most things later in life, cooking, cleaning (still don’t do that, I’ve always had a maid service while working). I’m close to 30 and my w2 foms and P/L statements are still whisked away every year by a parent who sends them to the family accountant. You know how awful that is?!! You’re still responsible, even if the accountant messes up!! It’s kind of a waste, you spend your adult life learning things you really should have early in life, or on the contrary, some never learn and end up becoming unsympathetic people who can’t relate to a wide spectrum of people.

  • Michelle February 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    This is adorable. Kids are so precious. You’re a lucky mommy!

  • Jhope February 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    So sweet those two. Enjoy those extra minutes in bed…ahhhh. Haven’t seen that particular angle of your kitchen before. Lovely wallpaper! Enjoy the w-end-hope this weather clears.

  • Crystal February 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    This sounds like my household all over. I also cherish those quiet hours at night, and stay up until 2-3 am everyday. I have 3 kids who know the routine just as Mia does:), it is a funny thing how fast kids catch on when they actually want something done.

  • alexis February 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    My oldest (just turned 6) is going through the same phase, although she doesn’t yet get food out of the cupboard (or ventured to use the toaster), she loves to pour her own cereal and milk. At first I was tempted to not let them do it since inevitably we wound up with spilled milk and cereal, but I decided to let it go and just leave the bowls, spoons and milk on the table in the morning so they can help themselves. I do get up earlier then they do, so perhaps they have less incentive to get breakfast – Your post makes me think that perhaps I should just leave everything in the cupboard and let them figure it out for themselves! They (the younger one is 4 years old) also love to serve themselves at the dinner table – pour more milk, help themselves to more bread or veggies, and will even serve us if we give them the chance! I love the independence, although I know it’s only a matter of time til they want the keys to the car 🙂

  • wendy February 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    i cannot wait until that day, as right now oscar wakes me up at 5 ot 6am, and i’m still working on trying to get to bed early enough. so when do they start making their own lunches and fixing your breakfast too? that would be awesome.

  • Christie February 25, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    What a good big sister. =)

  • molly February 25, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    i’m smart enough to know to savor those wee morning (post-midnight) hours, but not smart enough to stock frozen waffles.


    must change that, asap.

  • kellie February 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    You are describing my life! I work {in newspapers} and don’t get home from work until about midnight. I then spend anywhere from one to two hours surfing or catching on TV shows, and then have to get out of bed to get the kids {two boys} to school before 9am. They too get their own breakfast so mummy can sleep.
    I’m sure the hours are no good for me but I too love that peaceful time in the middle of the night, it is the only time that feels purely all mine!

  • lilcg February 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I dream of the day when my 21 month old daughter is old enough to entertain herself in the morning.

  • sara February 26, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Oh your family is so sweet! 🙂

  • Annie February 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Could Mia come to my house and train Uma to do the same?
    I can use those extra minutes in bed in the morning.

    I think is great they are so independent.
    you are doing an excellent job as a parent.

  • monica of hola!design February 26, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    it’s so sweet that Mia prepares breakfast for Claudine. As a kids, my sister would do the same..she would make me scrambled eggs even though she can’t stand the smell or sight of eggs…sisterly love!

  • Claire February 26, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    This sounds just like me! My oldest is 7 and he generally likes making his sisters breakfast. I really should buy more toaster waffles but I am deathly afraid of syrup and seven year olds…

  • Cameron February 27, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Things like this is what makes up some of the best memories of me and my sister! This post brought back some good times!

  • Renee Alam February 27, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Aww,I think that is the sweetest thing that Mia takes care of her sister in the morning by feeding her.That just makes me melt,it’s so sweet and loving!At least she’s growing into a wonderful person and a wonderful sister to Claudine…being they are close in age,I’m sure they will be the best of friends & I think when Claudine is older she will remember how her sister made her breakfast when they were little.It’s like watching your babies grow up into responsible people which can be so amazing and somehwhat sad at the same time that they don’t always need mom as much now.But it’s better than having lazy kids that think you should wait on them hand and foot,so at least you know you are doing something right. 🙂

    PS- i love your kitchen.

  • Ika February 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Definitely…. this is the memory you will cherish in years to come, or by the time the kids have their own life…
    I only have one so far, so there’s only 2 I have to deal now (husband included).
    Have fun, and beyond those complains, there is always love!!

  • monique March 1, 2011 at 10:52 am

    metal tongs in the toaster? they sell wood & bamboo, its safer.

  • Sisilia March 6, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Hi Jenna, I love love love the first picture in this post. I am a book lover and a couch potato … so yeah, my favorite spot at home is basically what’s captured in your photo.

  • noa zeni March 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    loved your blog
    it is comferting to see a woman- photographr- mom
    on the other side of our globe
    looking at the kitchen sink
    just like i do
    thanks for sharing sister