Like most people, I like to edge my way towards consciousness in the morning, rather than be jolted awake by circumstances outside my slumber.
My least favourite way to be woken up on a weekend is being climbed over by one of the kids in an effort for them to hunker down between me and their mum. And the worst bit of this isn’t being thrown into the morning half an hour before you really need to be there. It’s not the dragging off of the blankets while they pull themselves up. It’s not even the hack cough directly into my face if they’re feeling a bit off. It’s the knee/elbow/foot into my nethers which really takes the shine off an otherwise lovely parenting moment. But as my eyes roll involuntarily back in my head I suck it up and let them settle. This is part of being a dad. My theory is, it’s natures way of limited the number of offspring we have.
So when I heard about the following argument between Master8 and Miss9, I was just pleased it didn’t involve me.
“You wake him,” hissed Master8.
“Okay…” whispered Miss9. “…no, I’m scared.”
“Alright, well I’ll do it.” There was another pause. “Do you think he’ll be mad?”
“He never gets mad.”
“I think you should do it,” said Master8. “Just tap him on the head.”
Master21 had returned home from university late last night to touch base with everyone and was sleeping in the bed next to Miss9 and Master8. He wasn’t actually asleep while this whispered conversation happened, but he wasn’t letting on.
Everyone in this house seems to have their own ideas about waking other people up on a Saturday or Sunday. I like to whisper encouragements as I approach people, whereas Tracey likes to turn the light on and coo phrases like, “Get up, you lazy prick. I need to go to the shops.”
Then there’s Miss3’s patented two part method – a slap to the face while yelling, ‘Wake up, I hungry!’: there’s Miss1’s more traditional method of shaking the crap out of her cot until someone, anyone, gets her out: there’s Miss6’s ferreting around in the saucepan drawer looking for a cup, even when she knows full well they’ve never been kept in there.
Tracey’s Dad toyed with his own method a few years ago: he held a mirror in front of his wife’s face as she woke. She opened her eyes and screamed.
“Now you know what I have to put up with every morning,” he told her.
Whereas, Master8 and Miss9 tend to avoid waking anyone up in the hope we’ll sleep in and there’ll be no one up to stop them playing Minecraft all day.
Which is why their wanting to wake their big brother up so they could hug and chat him was so pleasantly unusual.
“You do it,” hissed Master8.
“Let’s wake him up together,” suggested Miss9.
Master8 must have nodded because it was the last thing Master21 heard them say. Instead of whispers and hisses there was suddenly an eerie silence in the room. He waited another minute. Nothing.
So he finally opened his eyes.
“Aaaaaaarrgh!!” he screamed, and his heart took off, attempting to beat its way out his mouth. The two kids had their heads a mere few inches from Master21’s head while they both eyeballed him.
“Aaaaarggh!” screamed back Master8 and Miss9, because he scared the bejesus out of them.
We can now add ‘kids screaming at the other end of the house like they’re being murdered’ to the list of ways I don’t like to be woken up on a weekend.
In the few seconds it took me to race to their room they were all grins and squeals. Well nearly.
“Morning, Geoffrey!” they squealed, happily attempting to jump up onto his stomach and chest, but more specifically attempting to make grape juice out of his nethers.
My big man just went bugged eyed and grunted: he’s going to make a great dad one day. Assuming they still work, of course.
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’