Katie Bingham Smith

Why Kids Are Jerks in the Morning

Posted on November 25, 2017

When my youngest was three and finally started sleeping through the night, I had high hopes he would spare me his 4 a.m. wake up calls. Of course, I didn't get so lucky- none of us do. I'd been through this twice before and I knew better, but a woman can dream, right?

Photo by Mpho Mojapelo

Photo by Mpho Mojapelo

There was the time he started screaming because he woke up and his windows were closed. Of course, there were several mornings he crawled in bed with me while the moon was up and the birds were still sleeping and proceeded to kick me in the throat until I finally decided to get up and start breakfast and down a Diet Coke so I could function. 

But I'll never forget that Christmas morning when, after begging him to "give mommy the best gift ever and let me sleep until the sun came up," he ran into my room at 4:30 a.m. to announce he had "a beef and cheese in his diaper." 

Apparently, I had let him watch the movie Elf too many times, and to him, a loaded diaper smelled like the dude posing as Santa. I mean, we did have Tacos the night before, so maybe that's what he was referring to, but I'm pretty sure it was the Santa thing.

It doesn't matter if your kids are good sleepers or not, as soon as that sun rises (or a few hours earlier, whatever), kids are ready to roll. And by that I mean they give zero fucks if it's dark out- it's time to start playing the kazoo, make it rain with puzzle pieces, or let you know they didn't sleep very well because it was too dark in their room. If they see your eyes are closed and you have drool pooling at the corners of your mouth they don’t give a shit. To them, it appears you are awake.

Photo by Elizabeth Lies

Photo by Elizabeth Lies

They couldn't care less you need a dose of caffeine before you can answer questions about how the stars are formed and why dinosaurs are extinct. They have more important things to worry about, like fingerprinting the walls with watercolors and taking apart all your tampons.

Once we've made it through the baby stage we are tricked into thinking we will get more sleep. It's a huge conspiracy people tell us because they know the truth will hurt too much. I now know just because we train our kids to sleep through the night, it doesn't mean we aren't going to get enough sleep. Kids are always ready to rip shit up in the morning before you hear the first rooster crow until they are like, 10.

I've never met a mom who hasn't been tired since she delivered a baby, even if that "baby" is now 6. As soon as a mom wakes up for her late night pee, the panic sets in. We know the clock is ticking and we only have a few hours before we are going to be greeted by little assholes running around with their hair on fire.

Photo by Senjuti Kundu

Photo by Senjuti Kundu

Now that my kids are older, (I have a teenager and two tweens), I have some good news for you: We are way past the waking up at the ass-crack of dawn stage. But I have bad news, too: They are still kind of assholes in the morning and I'm still exhausted. 

I mean, trying to wake up three kids who are growing like weeds are harder than my first Spin class, I probably sweat more too. And worrying about them each night, wondering how their friendships are going, obsessing whether I've had enough talks about drugs and sex with them, and if I'm even suitable to raise older kids, kicks my ass. Every morning I walk into their room and think, Where were these sleepy heads after I'd given birth to them? 

Photo by Loic Dijm

Photo by Loic Dijm

Now that I actually can catch up on sleep because they aren't tearing the house down, I can't sleep because I think about them all the time and worry we are going to be tardy for school and extracurricular activities, so I can't rest. Kids are assholes in the morning, it's a thing.

I think I'll just start playing the kazoo and running through the hallway in order to wake their asses up. Lord knows that works.

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