Alright, I admit it — I’m routine-oriented. As much as I enjoy exciting adventures, I like having a routine. One might even say, I depend on routines. By doing the same things more or less the same way just about every day, I get a lot more accomplished.
This is no more important than in the morning. I get up. I feed the animals. I make the coffee. I start reading the newspaper.
Then, and only then, do I start waking others up.
Not only does the peaceful quiet of a house undisturbed by three other people trying to get ready for work or school make it easier for me to wake up in a good mood sufficient enough to combat the crabbiness of those who don’t want to go to work or school, I like the 20 minutes at the beginning of the day when I don’t have to worry about taking care of anyone else (except the animals, who leave me alone for a simple bribe of dry kibble).
But today, everything went wrong. I had just let The Dog out and fed The Cat, when I heard a door open. The Boy (whom I usually have to shake repeatedly to wake up at 7:15) emerged at 6:47 and ready to talk.
Talking is not on my schedule until around 7:45 when the first child wanders into the kitchen in search of breakfast.
I figured I could distract him with the Sports section of the paper, so I could read. But there was no newspaper at the end of our driveway. So I called the circulation desk twice getting only a voicemail.
My OCD mind was already starting to fray at the prospect of things not being the same way they always are, when The Girl emerged from her room at 6:57 — 33 minutes before I would normally start gently presenting her with the concept of waking up. (Shaking her awake would be hazardous to my health.) Now there were no paper, two children, The GF was still in bed because she was working from home today, and the coffee hadn’t finished brewing yet.
I suggested The Boy go shower. He declined. After all, he didn’t usually get into the shower until 7:20, and he didn’t want to be off his routine.
I finally got ahold of the circulation desk, and they promised to send a paper. Really, though, they were too late.
The Girl ate breakfast early as a result of getting up early. The Girlfriend was in the kitchen talking to me. Everything was abnormal.
Eventually, having started their respective days half an hour early each, the children ran out of things to do. Thus, the only amusement left was to pick fights with each other. No subject was so insignificant as to not serve as a trigger for squabbling.
There was not enough coffee in me. I hadn’t finished reading the newspaper, since it was the only thing to hit the routine late today. How could I possibly be expected to deal with all this? Jesus Christ himself wouldn’t have the patience, especially if he hadn’t had his coffee and paper.
And the really unfair part was I got a great night’s sleep without an animal deciding to mess with it by noisily screwing around half an hour before the alarm went off for the first time in a week. It was supposed to be a really good morning!
Finally, they left. I inquired as to whether we could just leave them at the school, but, apparently, you do have to pick them up every day. The school won’t keep them.
No one is allowed to get up early again. If I am expected to be nice and cheery and tolerant, I need my coffee and paper and quiet. I need my routine.
Woe betide he or she who messes with it.