Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oxygen…I need oxygen…

I don’t know about you but I’m pretty sure mornings are going to be the death of me. I may be an old lady by then, but it’ll still be a morning that will do me in. I’ll be late for an early tai chi session or stitch n’ bitch or something like that and my elderly lady friends, wondering where I could possibly be, will call in at my house and find me slumped on the sidewalk beside my car, one shoe on, a tea bag in my hand, my face frozen into a puzzled expression (one that you might have on your face while trying, unsuccessfully, to understand why you are trying to unlock your car with a tea bag). When the lady friends go into my house to call for help and have a restorative cup of tea, they will find my keys in the kettle. They will shake their heads and say to each other how I was never very good in the morning.

I can remember being a small child and wondering why it was that I was always being rushed out of bed. What exactly was the hurry? I would overhear my mother saying things like ‘She really needs her sleep, this one’ or when I was invited for a sleep over, she would warn the hosting mother that I was ‘hard to get out of bed’. Later, when I became a lifeguard, it was only under the most dire of circumstances that I would agree to work an early bird shift. First of all I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to get up at 5am and jump half-naked into a pool of cold water, and secondly, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be much help to anyone in my half-asleep state anyway even if they did get into trouble. And those early bird swimmers are so chatty! They want to talk about everything from last night’s game to the latest political shenanigans, to their current medical conditions. My one-syllable grunts did nothing to deter them either.

Chatty early bird: ‘Good morning sweetheart! Did you catch the game/show/news last night?’ Boy that minister/goalie/gal sure messed up the play/lines/etc.

Me: guh

Chatty early bird: ‘You know each time I see that sort of thing I say to myself, Chuck, you called it! And you know, they really must think that we’re all a bunch of dummies if they think we’re gonna buy that line about the blah blah blah. Don’t you think? As I said to my Joan, I could see that one coming a mile away blah blah blah

Me: nurg

Chatty early bird: ‘Well, nice talking with you. I better get on with it! No time like the present! Early bird catches the empty lane! HA HA HA HA! I’ve got to get the kinks out of my neck from when I changed the tires on the car before I came here this morning. The 10k run usually does it but this morning it didn’t work. You take care now!’

Me: weh

And with that I would wake up enough to go and check the pressure on the O2 tanks again just to be sure that they hadn’t lost any pressure since the last time I checked 5 minutes ago. This would give me a chance to suck back three more blasts of straight 100% O2 that I would inhale like it was the last thing on earth. That would revive me for long enough to scan the pool for bodies before dropping back into a semi-conscious state.  All I can say is that I am very lucky that there never were any emergencies. I’m pretty sure I was the very last resort to call in for these shifts. The bottom of the barrel, so to speak.

So it’s really no surprise that I still can't handle mornings very well. Except now, I have, inexplicably, three extra people to sort out in the mornings. How did this happen? Was I not paying attention? My typical morning goes something like this:

6:00 have dream where tall (well, taller than me anyway) dark stranger is making dinner

6:15 tall dark stranger has moved on to unloading the dishwasher

6:20 tall dark stranger is finishing the reno

6:30 tall dark stranger is talking about the latest interest rate increases. Why would he do that? Now he is talking about stocks. WTF, Tall dark stranger? Get back to the kitchen and make me tea!

6:31 realize that tall dark stranger is actually the radio announcer. Feel deep sense of loss.

6:54 wake up like a spaz upon realization that 20 mins has passed. Heart palpitations and cold sweats.

6:55 bolt downstairs to wake up 13 yr old Jacob, banging on 8yr old Zoe’s door on the way. Yell hello to husband (who is actually on the ferry to Vancouver).

6:56 overfill kettle, turn on burner, scramble around for breakfast items.

6:57 yell at Jacob to GET UP and then go back upstairs to have shower.

7:04 remember that I turned on the burner. Try unsuccessfully to get anyone’s attention. Run downstairs soaking wet and half naked to turn off burner. Realize that kettle was not turned on either.

7:05 go back to shower to rinse conditioner out of hair. can’t because Jacob has gotten up and is in the shower. Whatever. Get dressed.

7:10 crack eggs onto the pan. Make tea. Forget tea bags. Add tea bags after the fact.

7:11 a serene Zoe calmly enters the kitchen, dressed, hair done, reading a book.

7:20 Jacob wanders into the kitchen in a towel holding one sock. I suggest he get dressed.

7:21 burn toast.

7:22 realize that burner is still off. Mainline tea in the hopes that it will wake me up.

7:25 attempt to sit at table and eat breakfast with kids.

7:28 Zoe asks me if that is how I am going to wear my hair today. Sprint upstairs to do hair. Realize hair still has conditioner in it.

7:32 announce to all concerned that really we should go soon.

7:33 Kent phones to say hi. He is at the breakfast buffet on the ferry. Make a note of this fact for future consideration. It’s Ok. He’s not reading this anyway. Well? Are you? Nope. See.

7:35 Jacob wanders into the kitchen with a pen and a piece of paper. He announces that he is just going to do his homework.

7:40 practice Bhutanese Mountain Method of deep-breathing to promote calm and relaxation.

7:41 Bark out orders to the effect that we really NEED TO GO NOW.

7:43 look for keys

7:45 look for keys

7:46 observe children waiting by the door. look for keys

7:47 find keys in hand.

7:48 get in vehicle

7:49 get out of vehicle and into one that starts

7:50 drive down road

7:51 drive back to house so that Jacob can get his backpack, sports bag, and lunch.

7:59 arrive at Middle School where Jacob informs me that he is playing Prospero in The Tempest that day at 1pm at the the Royal Theatre or something like that and not to be late. Right.

8:14 arrive at Jr. School. accompany Zoe to Quad area. Notice that I am wearing my gardening clogs. Whatever.

8:20 back home to change my shoes. Notice that burner is STILL ON.

8:30: leave house for work.

8:32 come back to house for lunch

8:35 leave house for work

9:00 get to work. Check messages. There are already two messages from Jacob: he has forgotten his homework on the table, and his production is actually at 10am instead of 1pm and it’s in Sooke.

9:10 Close my eyes and think of tall dark stranger…

And so, with various permutations and variables, this is how my weekday mornings roll out. Where is the 02 tank when you really need it. Perhaps, Kent would suggest, if I wasn’t up all night blogging…


Thanks for reading-



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