Working late as I do, I don't get to spend enough quality time with my kids. For a while, my time with them seemed to consist entirely of me barking orders at them like a drill sergeant: Brush your teeth! Get dressed! Flush the toilet! Put on your pajamas! For the love of jeebus flush the toilet! This began to take its toll on my relationship with my kids. So WonderWife™ kindly suggested that I get my ass out of bed a little earlier to allow for some playtime in the mornings. Of course she was right, she's always right. But that doesn't make waking up any easier.
In the morning, the bathroom becomes my sanctuary where I transform from sleepy zombie into a human being. I focus my thoughts and get ready for the day. Because once I step through the bedroom door, it's showtime. Daddy must be "on" for two kids who wake up filled with enthusiasm and energy reserved only for the young. But in the bathroom, I can ease into the day like a car warming up on a cold winter morning. I don't have to talk. I don't have to think. I can just let the warm shower force me awake.
Yet lately my solitude has been disrupted. While I'm in the shower the bathroom door will slowly creek open followed by one or two sets of feet. One or both of my kids will pad in and greet me with a big, bright, "Hi Daddy!" Rack up another concession to parenting. My serene morning has dissolved and showtime has begun early.