Good Morning, Jason

I've grown to really dislike weekday mornings. I know, most people don't exactly look forward to weekday mornings, and before Jason was born I still didn't like them. It's become a whole different thing lately, though.

Generally speaking, I wake up when Jason wakes up. Sometimes--most Saturday mornings, for example--Juliette gets up and I can go back to sleep. And there are also the rare days when Jason wakes up in a good mood, so the first sound I hear is him playing in his crib. Most of my mornings, though, start with the sound of Jason whining or crying.

This morning, I rolled out of bed within a few seconds of hearing him stir, but I had to take a moment outside his door to prepare myself for what I knew was coming. By then, he was already calling for Juliette. "Mommy!" he whined repeatedly. "Mommy mommy!"

I pushed the door open, ready with a smile and a gentle voice. "Good morning, buddy!"

"No Daddy!" he shouted. "Go away!"

"I know, buddy, but Mommy's in the bathroom getting ready for work right now, so it has to just be you and me. Is that OK?"

"No! Want Mommy!"

"Do you want to go in the living room?"

"No, want Mommy in the living room!"

"Do you want some breakfast?"



"No Daddy, no!"

"Come on, let's go in the living room," I said, finally, lifting him, his sippy cup, and his stuffed orca out of the crib. He screamed all the way down the hall, screamed when I put him down, screamed when he ran back toward the bedroom, screamed when he found the gate at the mouth of the hallway closed. Then he just stood there and screamed.

I set about making his breakfast. Fruit and some apple bread that he and Juliette had made together a couple of days ago. He kept screaming after I set it on the dining table in front of his chair.

Eventually, Juliette came out, and he calmed down pretty quickly, sitting in her lap while he ate. After that he was fine until it was time to take him to day care, when he broke down again. By then, Juliette had been gone for almost half an hour, so I had nothing left but to carry him out to the car, strap him into his car seat, and start driving. He quieted almost as soon as I turned the key in the ignition.

Somewhere between home and day care, Jason's attitude toward me shifts. I don't know why, but at home he tells me to go away, sometimes even pushing me if I don't comply. As soon as we get to day care, though, he becomes clingy, needing me to carry him. He becomes desperate when I start showing signs that I have to leave, and when I finally pry him off me and pass him to one of his teachers, he cries.

It's about the only time he consistently wants me.

The thing is, though, he loves day care. He loves the other kids, loves his teachers, and really loves the school director. He loves singing with them, doing art projects, reading books, and playing outside. He loves pretty much everything about it. It's just that he has trouble transitioning from one thing to the next--if we left it up to him, there'd never be a next thing.

So, my weekday mornings start with Jason crying, progress through him rejecting me, follow to me making him cry broken-heartedly, and end with me at work. It shouldn't be surprising that it's not my favorite part of the week.

I know this is a phase and that it will someday pass. That doesn't make it easy, but it might just be the only thing getting me through these mornings.