Monday, April 11, 2011


The word early has become something of a trickster to me. One of those manipulative kinds of people who constantly make you guess what they're really thinking yet never let on that--even if you guess right--you are any closer to deciphering where they are, in fact, really thinking.

Early used to be a straight shooter with me.

Twelve years ago, in college, Early and I had a very normal, healthy, clearly-defined relationship. I had an eight a.m. class one semester. Early was forthright with me. He said to me, "Yeah, man, that's me. That's Early, alright."

When I began teaching English at the high school level, Early was still striaght with me. I never had to guess what he was thinking. He told me, on the very first day of teaching while I walked fake-confidently into the classroom with sweaty palms and an itchy belly button, "Yeah, man, I'm back. Seven-thirty is me, Early."

But lately, in Life with Toddler, Early has thrown me for a loop. He started off decent, telling me, "Yup, I'm back, buddy. Six-thirty in the morning is certainly me, Early."

But then, my beloved son started waking at five-thirty. Then five. Then (and I wouldn't kid about something so deeply meanigful as sleep) four-thirty.


And Early just plain stopped talking to me. As if I had somehow offended him. As if I had somehow jeopordized our previously clear, straight-forward, delightfully honest relationship.

Now, I was left a bit clueless as to where Early was, and whether or not he was in league with one of his friends, Ludicrously Early, to try and get a rise out of me.

Thankfully, in the last couple of weeks, Ludicrously Early has relaxed a bit, and Tyler has been sleeping in late again.

Or, rather, perhpas I should say that Tyler has been sleeping in early again. That clear, straightforward kind of Early that sounds like seven.

And I have never been more thankful to get up at seven.