5:35 am [soft crying] “Mama…mama…” Since Mama is sleeping, I get up to check on Toddler Harbat. With concern I see that 5:35 is about 45 minutes from my wake-up time. Unless this is something quick to solve, I won’t really get back to sleep. TH is scared of a “witchy book” in her bookshelf and wants to sleep on the futon in the office. Fine. Once transferred and blanketed she wants to snuggle with me. “Okay, for thirty seconds.” I stick to my deadline then tell her I’m going back to my bed. “Thanks Babbo,” she says.
6:34 am My alarm clock has gone off at the later time I set so I could get some sleep. But I didn’t really. Toddler Harbat is singing in the office. When I stagger out of bed and go to her she takes me by the hand to get a witchy book from her bookshelf to read. “Now they’re not scary?” She thinks for a moment. “I wanna eat breh-fast. I wanna eat BREH-FAST!”
6:40 am Toddler Harbat has now stopped making mewling whiny noises, something I tell her isn’t allowed when she’s getting her breakfast custom-made. Yogurt with flax seed and honey, walnut cracked-wheat toast with strawberry jam, and a glass of water. As she eats, I regard her new hairstyle.
6:50 am TH has finished her toast, yogurt, and a second piece of toast, and wants me to share mine. “Okay, but I’m holding it,” I tell her. She pouts and pushes it away. “Fine, more for me,” I mumble. Ten seconds later she’s agreed to my terms and takes a massive bite of my toast, leaving a little crescent of bread between my fingertips. Then she asks to be excused. Here are the scraps of a typical morning breakfast.
6:51 am TH has surprisingly agreed to clear her dishes and put them in the dishwasher. Despite the early hour, I am astonished.
6:59 am TH spotted the Candyland game my wife bought yesterday on sale. “Babbo, you wanna play Candy Mandy?” The box is plastered with tantalizing images of children on glucose-fueled spaz-outs and mountains of candy. “It’s called CandyLand, and I’ve got to get dressed for work.” [thinking] “Does Mama want to play Candy Mandy?”
7:02 am [standing beside our bed holding the CandyLand box in front of her like a tray] “Mama, you wanna play Candy Mandy wif me?” My wife was surprisingly civil and cheerful for being woken up, and agreed to set up the game once TH got dressed. See, leverage works.
7:34 am I am ready to go to work. Toddler Harbat is dressed and setting up the Candyland game with my wife. Just a regular morning.