As the cheery morning guy of the house, it is my responsibility to wake the kids up on weekdays.
Most days, I do it with loud and enthusiastic singing. Sometimes, I use a variant of Bob Marley’s “Get up, Stand up” anthem (“Get up, wake up! Wake up for your life!”), but that’s just one of a dozen or so that I pick from. Usually, the song is song from the doorway. I burst through the doorway and break into song.
It’s really the only time in my life that I ever get to burst through a doorway, and I embrace it.
This morning, however, I had to wake the kids up half an hour earlier than usual. Instead of exploding into their rooms with song, I figured I’d mix it up. For my oldest son, I snuck in quietly, sat down on his bed, and then started singing. “Get up! Wake up! Wake up for your life!”
He looked up at me, bleary-eyed. “Really, Dad?”
“Get up! Wake up! Don’t give up the fight!” I sang back.
“I’m up. I’m up. You can stop singing.”
My mission accomplished, I left.
On the way to his little brother’s room, I decided to get a little more surreal. I tiptoed into his room, sat down on the bed next to him.
Somehow, during the night, his pillow had been replaced with one of his weirder stuffed animals – a creature with a bee’s wings and body, but a teddy bear’s legs and head. His face was pushed into its belly, and he was sleeping peacefully.
I started singing Castle Walls, very quietly, “Once in a dream, far beyond these castle walls, down near the bay, where the moonlit water falls, I stood alone, while the minstrel sang his song…”
He groaned and opened one eye.
I switched songs.
“Welcome to the Grand Illusion. Come on in and see what’s happening. Pay the price, get your tickets for the show!”
“It’s too early,” he said.
“No, it’s not!” I jumped to my feet. “It’s time for your day. Let’s go!”
He closed his eye and let out a long dramatic groan. I don’t know exactly what the words were, but it sounded like “Ooooaaaaaaarrrrgggghhhh.”
“Come on.” I said. “Time to get up, or are you going to spend the whole day pushing your nose into a bumble bee’s bare belly?”
That opened his eyes. “What?”
“Are you going to spend the whole day pushing your nose into a bumble bee’s bare belly?”
Nothing like some pre-dawn alliteration to get your engines running.
He opened his mouth, then closed it, then realized where his face was. The corners of his mouth curved into a smile. “It’s a bumble bear’s bare belly.”
“I stand corrected,” I said, getting up to leave.
If ever someone had earned themselves an extra five minutes of sleep, he had.