I am not a morning person.
My dogs, though? Morning people. And not reasonable morning, either. Reasonable morning is 6:30 am. If a full bladder’s involved, I’d even go 6 am. My dogs think 4 am is go-time. FOUR. AY-EM! Unreasonable.
This is how mornings go down at the Hartnett house:
Skittle, the high-anxiety, beagle-yorkie, jumps from the bed and heads for the bedroom door, where she proceeds to march in place. This wouldn’t be a problem if we had carpet, but we don’t have carpet. We have laminate flooring.
Click. Click click click click. Pause.
Is anyone going to do my bidding? No?
CLICK. CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK. Pause.
Hey, humans. Get up. C’mon. Up. Get up. Get up right now. No? Fine.
CLICK. CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK.
Given that the Earth hasn’t yet completed its full rotation toward the sun—because it doesn’t do that until reasonable morning—I can’t actually see Skittle at the door, but I’m certain she’s intentionally stomping her feet. Left-right-left-right, like that one part of “Thriller,” except without the catchy bass line and dead people.
By this time, Jack and I are both awake—and doing our best not to let one another know we’re awake. (Because that’s what people do when they’re in love.)
After several more rounds of click-stomping, Jack whisper-yells at the dog, who, just like your dog, doesn’t speak English:
“Skittle. It’s too early. Get back up on the bed.”
Ummmmm . . . no. Click. Click click click click.
“SKITTLE. It’s TOO. EARLY.”
Click. Click Click click click.
Then I try—but in regular volume, because whispering of any sort in the morning makes me want to hurt people (I don’t know why that’s the case, but consider it a warning):
“Skittle! Get back up on the bed!”
Eventually, she complies, and I don’t know what’s going through Jack’s head at this point, but I’m thinking, “Yes! I’m going back to sleep until she gets up again at 6:30 am.”
At approximately 4:10 am:
Jump. Click. CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK.
And this awakens Brooklyn, the Morkie, who nose-dives off the bed and proceeds to run wind-sprints between it and the door.
Now, the dogs weren’t permitted to come live with us until I presented a signed, notarized contract absolving Jack of any canine-related responsibilities. And yet there I lie, eyes squeezed shut, thinking, “Oh, please, Jack. Please get up with the dogs. I know you have to be up in an hour for work, but please please please just this once.” Every once in a while, he does. Most of the time, though—and remember, this is fair because of The Contract–he doesn’t get up. Meanwhile, the dogs have added whimpering and whisper-barking to their repertoire.
So, I slip quietly out of the bed, gingerly open the door to let the dogs out of the room, and carefully close it behind us with hardly a click of the latch, just in case Jack’s really asleep and not just pretending to be.
Actually, I rather violently kick the covers off the bed, stomp to the bathroom (hoping Jack will decide to deal with the dogs while I’m in there), stomp to the bedroom door, fling it open, and pull it closed with a definitive thud. (Because that’s what people do when they’re in love.)
This morning, when I got to the stomp-to-the-bedroom-door part, I actually stomped back to the bed instead, where I pulled the covers over my head. Jack, with hardly a sigh of irritation, got up, put on his slippers, and somehow managed not to punch me when, sweetly and sleepily I said, “Oh, are you getting up with them? Thank you.“