It was 4am. Eli woke me with soft cries to be fed. I love having him right next to our bed because he'll do one or two very convincing cries, but as soon as he sees me put on my glasses and sit up- he lies there patiently waiting for me- smiling and smacking his lips.
I scooped him up, answering his coos with "good morning, handsome" and big smiles of my own.
He nestled in close to me for the first feeding of the day, and I cherished the feel of him holding onto me with little fingers that got chubbier by the day. While feeding him, I decided to check my phone to see if I had gotten a reply email to a discussion I had started with a friend the night before. From there- I hopped onto facebook for just a minute. Big mistake.
There I found an article about sound machines and how they were not recommended by Pediatricians any more because of how loud they are and how they may hurt the baby's hearing. I have never purchased a sound machine- I use a white noise ap on my phone for Eli. And while my phone even on the loudest setting doesn't get very loud- I immediately started worrying. This is what I do. I worry about my kids. It's pretty much my profession now- spurred on my countless Internet articles that constantly contradict each other. Yes this medicine is safe. NO IT'S NOT! Definitely do this while pregnant. DON'T DO IT! Your child can eat this food at this age- the earlier the better. WAIT UNTIL HE HITS PUBERTY TO TRY PEANUT BUTTER! If you love your child, give him this supplement. GIVE IT TO THEM ONLY IF YOU HATE THEM. And on and on it goes.
Eli finished his feeding, and I set him back in his bed- no white noise now. He fell immediately back to sleep- tummy full- the 4am smile quota being hit.
But I couldn't sleep. I was too busy worrying. I tried to sleep- lying in the blessed stillness that was my house trying to force my body to relax. But the nagging voice in my head wouldn't shut up, so I figured I might as well take advantage of this time to get work done.
Sneaking out of bed without disturbing Eli, I made a beautifully savory cup of coffee that would put those clog dancing commercials to shame. I made a new batch of Addison's favorite energy bites that Aaron requested for his day of skiing today. And then I sat down with my steaming cup of coffee, a few energy bites, and my computer at the Dining Room Table.
I could do something that I had only dreamed about in years. Slowly- sip-coffee-let-slide-down-and-warm-me-before-another-slow-sip. Fingers gripping the hot mug, I realized how much I missed such a simple pleasure instead of the usual drink-as-quickly-as-possible-DON'T-DRINK-MOMMY'S-COFFEE-gulp-down-caffeine-before-it-gets-spilled-and-super-cold
The house was completely silent. The silence of three sleeping children (accompanied by a snoring husband) is truly a beautiful sound.
Surrounded in darkness, my little house felt all cozy as I opened my Word document and diligently set to work- wondering why I don't do this more often early in the morning while my brain is fresh. This was awesome.
All of a sudden, I heard deliberate knocking at the front door.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
My mind froze, my heart started pounding, and my palms immediately started to sweat.
It was 5:30am. No one would come to my house at 5:30am. It was completely dark outside- making it seem even more like the middle of the night, and we don't live in an easily accessible neighborhood spot.
My first logical thought- a murderer. He had come to off us all.
My second thought- I wish I hadn't watched all those Criminal Minds episodes.
My third thought- too bad the house wasn't clean. I would last be remembered for a half-full dirty dishwasher and a pile of unfolded laundry on the couch.
The side of the Dining Room Table that I chose to work at had my back to the front door, so the sound of knocking came from behind me, but it definitely was there. There it came again.
Knock......knock.....knock...slowly and steadily like the sound of a hammer pounding in cadence. The hammer pounding...the last nail in the coffin...
The front door is half glass. If I turned around and leaned around the small half wall to see who was there- they would definitely be able to see me.
I started yelling "Aaron Aaron AARON! GET UP! HEEEELLLLPPPP!"
I've always had a secret fear that someone would break into our house and my soundly sleeping husband wouldn't wake up to locate his gun and protect us all. Would I be able to protect us with the gun? Not unless throwing the gun in a sort of dodgeball vengeance counted. And even as I type that I realize how ridiculous it sounds to throw a gun at an intruder...but seriously that is about all I would know to do with it. (Note to self: take husband up on shooting lessons)
But as soon as I finished screaming for him, I realized- why did I yell? Now the murderer knew I was here- super close to the front door. There was no way he didn't hear me too. Ignoring him now would just be rude! Maybe it would anger him. Maybe he was preparing now to break the glass in the front door- wait for it....wait for it...I held my breath.
I heard Aaron stir which gave me the courage to peek around the half wall, gripping tightly my cup of steaming coffee of which I had only gotten in a couple of sips so far. My thought was- this will protect me. I can throw it in the murder's eyes and the awesomeness of my coffee will blind him. Haven't seen that in the commercials yet, but I was sure it was just because no one had thought of it yet. They've all been too busy clog dancing and singing about what's in their cups.
I saw a slightly hunched shadow of an older woman standing at our front door. At first this freaked me out even more. But looking closer, I realized that it was someone from our old church- someone holding- donuts?
Aaron was dashing into the hallway to protect me while looking suspiciously still asleep, but she had seen me, so I simply had to open the door now.
Turns out- it was someone who had just gotten off their shift at the bakery and stopped by with fresh donuts because she knew we loved donuts. Maybe she saw that our lights were on?
But in my still-haven't-finished-enough-coffee-yet-5-am-haze I half expected her to whip a knife out of her fanny pack at any moment.
She left pretty quickly. I think the pasty, freaked out, I-just-peed-myself-I-was-so-scared look on my face hurried her departure along.
My hand hurt from gripping the handle of my "Mommy's Not Coherent Yet" mug so tightly- ready to defend myself with it.
I heard stirring in Addison's room as soon as the word "Donuts" was uttered. Nothing wrong with that girl's hearing. She is now saying "All done now. All done now." with the kind of urgency that lets me know that she will wake up Carter if necessary to get her point across to earn her morning freedom and her share of the donut goods.
It is 5:45am.
Aaron shuffled back to our room- calling me paranoid when I started gushing about a murderer when it was clear it was just a friend being nice (it's hard to take a boxer-only clad man serious when he almost immediately after the incident has large quantities of donut powder on his face)
Eli heard Daddy come back in and immediately woke up with startled I'm-up-now-feed-me-again cries because now he didn't have any white noise to block out the extra sound.
So to sum up: 2 out of 3 children are now awake. My steaming coffee has now cooled to the usual lukewarm. My work progress has been limited to opening the document. My heart is still pounding, and I'm shaking like a leaf. The day is starting 2 hours earlier than usual with the kids. But....at least there are donuts.
I am anticipating an awesome day.
Also- THIS. This is why I don't get up early to work before the kids wake up. THIS. I thought I had the luxury of sipping my coffee. Apparently- I should always guzzle it down as quickly as possible as soon as waking up. ALWAYS. #notamorningperson #evenalittlebit
Moral of the story: when you have a friend with an extremely overactive imagination with a coffee dependency and a husband who owns a gun- always call first. always. For your own safety. Who knows how many years of therapy you'll need to recover from...that hot coffee being thrown in your face.