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It’s like the army over here

It’s like the army over here

May 22, 2007

Do more by 6:00am than most people do, or even want to do, all day. Isn’t that the quote more or less?

I remember watching those commercials designed to encourage people to join the army and thinking, wow that sounds like it sucks. Do more than most people do all day is the main selling point of joining? Unless they let you have a margarita or two with lunch and a long afternoon siesta. Which if they do, it should definitely be featured more prominently in their advertising.

On the one hand, getting shot at and possibly killed. On the other hand, daily margaritas followed by an afternoon siesta.

At 1:00am I put my book down next to my bed, turned off my light, and settled down under the covers to sleep.

It is now 5:45am. A truly ungodly hour here at my house.

I have been up since 4:00am when my coughing, sniffling, tossing and turning, you-will-feel-my-pain-too daughter climbed into my bed.

At 4:30 I got tired of laying in bed listening to my daughter cough beside me, wishing in vain for sleep to come and got up for the day.

Since then, I have:

I tucked my daughter into a nest of blankets on the couch.
Forced her to take some cough medicine.
Washed my face when she coughed half the medicine back at me.
Put on the Peter Pan dvd.
Made a different child go back to bed after they heard me in the hallway outside their bedroom door and decided that in spite of the dark it was time to get up for the day.
Reset the coffee pot to brew NOW.
Put a load of laundry into the washing machine.
Folded a load of dry laundry.
Watched the sun rise.
Drank two cups of coffee.
Composed a grocery list.
Asked my daughter for the hundredth time if she would just like to close. her. eyes.
Realize it is going to be a LONG day.
Pour third cup of coffee.
Resolve to further investigate the margarita thing with the army… surely it isn’t too late for a career change.

Posted by Chris @ 5:45 am  

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  1. Alison Byrne Fields says:

    Okay, I have never felt compelled to join the army, but I have to admit that I do tend to brag about all that I have accomplished before most people have managed to crawl out of bed.

    It’s either brag or cry from the pain of having so little sleep . . . and feigned superiority is so much more fun.

    One more thing to add to your list: wrote yet another excellent blog post.

  2. Angel says:

    My children frequently are up by 5am despite my claims that morning doesn’t start until at least 6. So yesterday by 7am I had done two loads of laundry, a load of dishes, fed my kids, and fallen asleep feeding the baby her oatmeal.

    Good times.

  3. meritt says:

    Readers of my blog know that I regularly settled down to sleep around 11:00 pm only to bolt up right in bed at 2:14 am be ‘up for the day’.

    I even made a label on my posts for “I should be sleeping” LOL.

    Luckily I QUIT my job a few months ago and I’ve been sleeping better since then.

  4. Brigitte says:

    And the hubbies think we’re just hanging out in our fuzzy slippers, having bon bons.

    I think the army will take you until you’re 36, then you’ll just have to make your own margaritas . .

  5. Molly says:

    When I have a morning like that, I say to myself, “Well, at least I can lie down with them (my two littlest ones) for a nap at 12:00 while the bigger one is at school.” But with seven children, are you EVER able to take a lunchtime nap?!?! I wonder sometimes how you can ever get enough rest! Then I remembered how you once wrote that you are one of those people who doesn’t need much sleep. Lucky you……..

  6. deborah says:

    Wait, you didn’t “bang head over and over and OVER on wall!” Wait, that’s me! Sorry. Wrong blog. My 6-year old has it. My sympathies to you today.

  7. Zoot says:

    See - for me? 5am is actually late. But I’m in bed by 8:30 every night. So hearing you were up until 1am is more shocking to me. I actually thought that only drunk college kids stayed up that late. At least that’s what I tell myself to feel less lame.

  8. cole says:

    As a house with children that get up with the chickens and we are somewhat used to it–it is still horrid when they deviate and get up too early. Like get up when it is still night time. And they they wake the other one up. Then they wake up again. Right after you have just fallen asleep again. They do that 4 times between 4-6am. You want to toss them out the window and lock the door. On the days my daughter is not a good sleeper, thankfully fewer of those nights as she ages, I dream of pining a five dollar bill onto her jammies and a note that says, “I am cute and perfect. My mmama is mean and horrible. Please take me to your house. I will only love, listen and cherish you.” She has long silken Barbie type blond hair and big blue eyes and she thinks farts are really funny.

    What’s not to love, right?

    Nothing at all at 4am.

  9. Staci says:

    I absolutely LOVE being up early in the morning, when (most of the time) everyone is sleeping and the house is quiet.

    I can truly get more done in my 2 hours in the morning than some of my friends get done in a week.

    I am NOT a late evening person though…I get up at 4:45 to head to work during the week, and don’t get to bed until around 10:30-11:00. Some weeks I’m struggling by Wed/Thurs.

    On the weekends I’m always up by 5:30-6…but that’s sleeping in for me, considering I normally am up before 5.

  10. Katie says:

    Don’t hate me… We all usually sleep to about 8am, 7am is early around here.

    Although I did do Army ROTC in college and yeah the 6am quote sucks. So I napped through my noon Physics class and going out past 11pm didn’t happen a lot.

  11. fairly odd mother says:

    I used to really like early morning. And then I had kids and realized that I needed to sleep as long as I possibly could in order to make it through the day. I’ll drink a cup of coffee for you.

  12. Christine says:

    Oh my. I hope you day gets better and a tad more relaxing - though that may just put you right to sleep. More coffee, coming up!

  13. Personal Chef to 2 says:

    We’ve had many days like this so I feel your pain. Most recently was the time my little one woke up at 1am and never went back to sleep - until his naptime at 1pm. Yep, 12 hours later.

    I’m always amazed that I have to wake them at 7am on mornings that I work yet on weekends, I’m greeted by 6:30am. Why is that?!

  14. Mir says:

    Honestly, if they advertised it instead of as “The toughest job you’ll ever love” but as “The DRUNKEST job you’ll ever love,” I think they’d be on to something.

  15. cara h says:

    I just found your website and must say you are one of the funniest people I’ve ever “met”. I love your sarcastic humor. Your kids are beautiful, your house too. I can’t believe you’re old enough to have 7 kids. Are you even 30? You look so young in your pictures. I’ve enjoyed your blog.(Went back and read all of your old ones) So funny!

  16. Ani says:

    You know, Benadryl has the lovely combination of reducing post-nasal drip (hence less coughing) AND making them very sleeeppppy. It’s a small mercy, since they need the sleep to get better anyway, right?

    Unless Benadryl makes her hyper (we have one of those here). Then…Dimetapp does the exact same thing, but no hyperness.

    Good luck, and may your kids be on their best behavior today.

  17. Susan says:

    You’ve just described my normal morning. But without the coughing.

    And I’m with Mir–the DRUNKEST job you’ll ever love is perfect. Of course, that’s how my husband suckered me into having these kids . . .

  18. Mary (MPJ) says:

    Have I commented here before? I don’t know, but I love reading your blog.

    As for the coughing thing — the greatest piece of info I have ever discovered (via drgreene.com) is that high quality dark chocolate (not milk chocolate) is as effective on coughs as prescription cough medication. I have tried it and it works. (Or it’s the best tasting placebo ever, but if it works who cares!) My daughter thinks I am the greatest mom ever because when she has a cough, she gets chocolate. The only down side to this treatment is that my child now fakes coughs… ;)

  19. wendy says:

    I would just like to know how you manage to stay away until 1 AM? I only have two kids and can barely stay up past 9. Pathetic, I know.

  20. wendy says:

    I would just like to know how you manage to stay awake until 1 AM? I only have two kids and can barely stay up past 9. Pathetic, I know.

  21. Gift of Green says:

    Three comments:
    1) See, this is why sleeping in your clothes is terribly underrated. You’re ready for anything. Pajamas, not so much.
    2) My favorite on your list was Reset Coffee to Brew NOW
    3) Once I called my parents early, about 7:30 a.m. on a weekend, and while I was talking to them, my Dad could here the oven timer going off. “Breakfast?” he asked innocently. “Nope. Brownies are done. We’re so past breakfast.”

  22. Polly says:

    My husband wonders why I am tired all the time and why I need to just veg out sometimes. I’ve given up trying to explain. Glad all of you get it!

  23. Crystal says:

    I love your blog! I never thought I’d read a blog regularly, but you’re just so funny! I’m always amazed at your energy, and how well you clean all the time. My house is always a WRECK, even if it was just cleaned the day before. And I only have ONE kid!!

    But now I know what my problem is…. I’m truly lazy, whereas you just claim falsely to be! :) If I had as little sleep as you, I would have been watching the video with her, even if it was Peter Pan.

  24. Kristie says:

    Another perk of military life is much less laundry, since you can wear your BDU’s two days before having to wash them. So actually? A double-bonus! :)

    Hope she’s feeling better soon, poor thing.

    (Poor you!)

  25. brit says:

    I used to be an early bird till I had kids now, I stay up late after they go to bed fulfilling my crafty/person needs. I’m remain optimistic that one of these days I will get to sleep in past 7am. Perhaps foolishly so…

    And of course by past 7am I also mean with out getting up at 4am too.

  26. Novaks8 says:

    yep yep

    I talked to a friend today (much younger, no kids) and he had just gotten out of bed.

    At 1:00 pm!!!


    I have been awake since 6 am after going to sleep after 1 am!

    By the way, I was standing in line at the grocery store today and finally saw the magazine!
    I ran over and snatched it up.

    How wonderful is that!!!!

  27. nicolette says:

    “Motherhood is not for the weak!”

  28. jodi y. says:

    We had an early morning here today too. When I finally made it to Walmart the cashier greeted me with a friendly “Good Morning”. I was like, seriously? It’s still morning??? I thought it had to be at least 1 o’clock! It was 10:30.

  29. cam says:

    Thanks for the great post. My morning starts at 6am sometime 7am and by 10pm I’m beat! How do you do it!?

    Here’s a useful site, schoolparent.net, that focus on parents with kids in preK-12 grades. Schoolparent.net is a secure online network for active parents and teachers. The site provide resources and tools like online directory and signup sheet templates for school activities, field trips and fundraising. Schoolparent.net is a FREE site and to join, you just need to request an invitation.

  30. Mary W says:

    I did the Army reserve thing in collge - I think they forgot the margaritas.

    My 4 year old has that cough thing too :-(

  31. Sympathetic Teenager says:

    Oh god. I can feel your pain. I may not be a mother, but I know the deep desire to sleep and the urge to MURDER anyone who interrupts said sleep.

    But, give your daughter a hug and a kiss from me so she gets better soon.

  32. Same Sympathetic Teenager says:

    With the army? It’s not margaritas. It’s V8&Beer cocktail.


  33. Maddy says:

    OHH we all have them, days that start too early and finish way too late. Here’s to many margaritas to dull the background noise.

  34. Carolynn from Western Australia says:

    I’ve no kids, and I keep promising myself an early night or two. BUT I seem to always end up reading till way past when the light should be out. If only I could keep my promise. I have promised early nights for tonight and tomorrow as Monty is on Night shift, so no excuse, just have to remember not to pick up that book.

    I have lectures ALL DAY tomorrow and the after lunch time sessions are always SOOOOO difficult. I really feel for those of you who have these mobile alarm clocks.

    CJ :-)

  35. sarcastic journalist says:

    If I join the army, can you promise that nobody will poop on the floor?

  36. Chris says:


    I can promise you enough margaritas that you won’t care if someone poops on the floor. How’s that?

  37. Lillian says:

    I have added you to my list of People I Want to Be Just Like When I Grow Up. I slept in until 7:15 this morning and feel horribly guilty about it now.

  38. Tricia says:

    Remember when you could sleep in until 10 or 11 or 8…?

  39. Karen (familybriefs.com) says:

    Oooohhh, I long for the days when I can sleep late again. 5 am is just too early! Don’t you hate it when they are sick and you have to be responsive??? Bless you! Hope the sickness passes quickly :)