friday faves - wake up

I wake up in the morning, roll out of bed and stub my toe—the bad one that I jammed last summer that still isn’t quite up to snuff. I stumble to the bathroom and catch the door jam with my shoulder, eyes not quite open yet, brain still in neutral. I look in the mirror, and although I'll be fifty years old in the fall, I think I see a pimple on the end of my nose, though I’m not quite sure because I can barely see that close anymore without my reading glasses.

I go get Calvin out of the crib, set him on the changing table and undo his diaper. Like a water fountain, an arch of warm liquid gold hoses me down. He almost never does that. Oh well, there are worse things. I help him get dressed and we head down the stairs as he grabs my nose—right where the pimple is—yanks my hair out and pokes my eyes all with utter lovingness. It’s been too long since I’ve clipped his tiny razor sharp fingernails and I feel it, like when I used to teach swimming lessons to frightened little kids who'd dig their nails into my chest.

Downstairs, I plop Calvin into his high chair and pinch my finger in the tray locking mechanism that doesn’t even work anymore so I have to jam a knife into it to make it stay in place. If I’m lucky, making his meal is uneventful. As I feed him and give him his seizure meds, my legs straddling his chair, he extends a foot into my thigh and pins my skin between his rubber-soled slipper and the wooden chair. Then he kicks the bowl of fruit out of my hand, the blueberries erupt and scatter on the ground for Rudy to suction up in mere seconds—that is, if I were to let him.

After breakfast is over I brush Calvin’s teeth. He bites the plastic bristled brush like a pit bull then suddenly lets go and a spray of toothpaste splatters into my face. With stinging, bleary eyes I unbuckle him and take him to the bathroom to play with the shutters. I catch a glimpse of myself in the large round mirror. Good thing I don’t take myself too seriously what with my tangled mess of hair—some gray, some missing—and bloodshot (toothpaste-shot) eyes. I haven't had nearly enough coffee, I've got blueberry stains and yogurt all over my robe and a big raspberry on the end of my nose that I can see clearly now that the sun has risen and Calvin has made his very best attempt at waking me up.

Version originally published 08.31.11. Some things never change.


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