Our latest routine change has come because the mornings have been so beautiful that we open the front door almost immediately. Let the fresh air pour in here, I say!!
My Monkey loves his Daddy. This is a beautiful and tender thing to behold, not in the least because I identify completely with it: I love him, too.
The time between Monday morning and Tuesday evening is a bit of a challenge. My Darling is in a leadership role in the Father/Son ministry which he and the Pickle are a part of. Consequently, My Darling takes the Pickle with him on Monday mornings and they don't get home until late evening--and sometimes this means the Monkey is already in bed and fast asleep. Then on Tuesday mornings, My Darling leaves rather on the early side so that he can get in an hour of Adoration before he goes to work. This makes my Monkey sad for pretty much all of Tuesday morning...So when Daddy comes home from work on Tuesday evening, my little Monkey goes, well, ape.
But the mornings that are now the "norm" look like this:
My Darling gets up way early. He does this because he is a good man who loves his family, and takes good care of the dogs, for Pete's sake. They walk together, and he runs into the same crowd at the park every day. He gets the neighborhood news, and brings in the paper upon his return. At the appropriate hour, he comes and wakes me up.
He fixes me a cup of coffee (two scoops of hot chocolate, no sugar, lots of cream!) and comes to sit with me. I read the paper, and he proceeds to decimate the crossword puzzle. In pen. Twerp.
We talk about what the day will likely hold for each of us. We talk about the kids, the addition, work and school, and whatever else happens to crop up.
At some point, if the night was a good one for the Monkey, a little face pokes through the lattice work of the stairway. A little voice proclaims, "I-I-I-I-I-I'm awake!" and sometimes, "I-I-I-I-I-I found my Brown Monkey!" (his most beloved stuffed friend, along with Purple Bunny and Duhdoh...which, as everyone knows, is a turtle.).
The Monkey takes his mark and leaps directly for the lap of his loving Daddy, who scoops him up and loves on him in that fabulous Daddy Way. They usually head for the kitchen, where I hear quite a little dialogue. I am absolutely loathe to interrupt this time, which I recognize as sacred.
They share a grapefruit. This came about because my Monkey really likes to suck on lemon wedges, which I often have in my ice water, and that got me to thinking that he might enjoy the taste of grapefruit. And I was right. This morning, he ate the entire thing himself. His loving Daddy had been very conscientious about things, and had sectioned it into a bowl--and was then able to drain off the juice into a glass. The Monkey consumed every drop.
They talk about nonsense and good sense. They look at fliers for home improvement stores and farm feed and supply stores and point out the tools and the things that my Monkey associates with his Daddy. "That drill is just like yours!" my Monkey might exclaim.
Sometimes they sing together. Monkey's latest love is, "Glory to God in the highest....and peace to His people on earth...." Oh yeah, it melts my heart.
Sometimes it's just goofy banter. "What are you doing, Daddy?" Monkey might ask. Daddy replies, "Goin' crazy. What are you doing?" "Goin' nuts," answers the Monkey.
Sometimes they head out to the addition to poke around and see what supplies Daddy might need to pick up for his time out there when he gets home from work.
At some point, a cup of hot chocolate is consumed, complete with the obligatory marshmallows.
And when It's Time, they come back into the living room to sit with Mama and pray. We have our daily prayers that we say together, with Daddy leading the first three and then Mama and Monkey joining him on the others.
And then Daddy says, "It's time for me to vroom away." And the Monkey says, "Okay, Daddy.
There is a Squeezy Hug and a smooch.
Daddy says goodbye to Mama and the Pumpkin.
Daddy goes to the back door. Monkey runs to the front.
And momentarily, the Monkey hollers, "BYE, DADDY! I LOVE YOU! GOD BLESS YOU! HAVE A GOOD DAY!!!"
And then our day has begun.