Don’t Wake Mum

“It can’t be 10 o’clock! Can it?”

My wife doesn’t do mornings.

She has pajamas with those very words printed across the bum: I don’t do mornings.

She has never done mornings. Ask her sisters and they’ll tell you. Her two youngest sisters, then in their pre-teens, used to visit her in London. In the morning, they’d wake up and clean the disheveled flat of their art-university sister while she “woke up” in bed with a cup of tea and a look of “don’t talk to me or I’ll bite.” The two girls were fed leftover onion bhajjis for their labors.

She still doesn’t do mornings some 15 years later.

For me, I have options on how to react.

I could join the ranks of Iron John, a men’s movement from the 1990s popular for preaching men’s rights and liberation. One claim is that men are overworked. Others call for unleashing the man within after years of militant feminism.

That’s one option for how to contend with my sleepy wife.

Another is to embrace. This would involve shattering any remaining rules of a once macho world by telling my wife that I love her just the way she is, stealing the line, of course, from Bridget Jones’s Diary.

My choice?

I thought for a while and then came up with the answer.

I bought my wife a breakfast tray.

The result?

She hasn’t got up for days as she sits marveling at the delights of breakfast in bed while I carry on the ritual of making the three kids their breakfasts. And then we all listen to her get up a while later and say loudly to herself, “My god, that can’t be the time already! Can it?”

None of us answer her.

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