I wake up with a jolt at 5:58 AM. My eyes are foggy, my throat is dry. I quickly throw throw on a plain white T and sweatpants. I head downstairs, close my eyes, slowly open the door. We make eye contact. I’m twitching my hand. Our eyes are locked, both waiting for each other to make their move. I stand strong, holding my ground. My opponent holds tight, not moving a muscle, not giving away his position. The tension is building. This goes on for several tense seconds, neither of us willing to break.
You see, our family rule is that our (almost) two-year old does not get up for the day before 6 AM. If it was 5:50 AM, I would put him back to sleep with no hesitation. If it was 6:04 AM, I would get him up for the day. It is not 5:50 AM. It is not 6:04 AM. It is 5:58 AM. We are on the bubble, at the tipping point. I believe he knows this.
The stare down continues, the intensity growing. My son knows if he lays his head down it is back to bed. My son knows if I flip the light on it is time to begin the day. He is eerily still, waiting. Waiting. He knows I’m about to break. I flip the light on. “Good morning” he cheerfully shouts, victoriously.