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     Am I the only parent that fakes sleep when their kids enter their room in the morning? It has to be breaking some sort of parental rule somewhere.... it's definately deceptive and surely my kids know that I can't possibly be that sound of a sleeper. Although, I'm pretty sure they take it as a challenge... a game, if you will, to see who can Wake-The-Mommy the fastest. The winner always receives a 1st place screaming and a boot out of the room.... but have no fear, there's a lovely consolation prize of tears (theirs AND mine) and a "Get to your room!" trophy. (And I'M the morning person in our family!) So far I've had my face poked, my nose picked, my arms and legs shook, and my name shouted into my ear. I sometimes throw out a fake snore before rolling over. I'm pretty sure they're on to my antics.... But I do honestly dread the thought of not having my first few waking moments to myself. It's like I need to give myself a morning pep talk....
     "Good morning, Self. I know you've only had a few hours of sleep, and I may be the only one that will acknowledge or even care that you look like a stroke victim due to exhaustion, but the troops are getting rowdy and are beckoning you from just beyond this closed door. You can only fake a coma for so long before they will learn to dial 9-1-1, so you better pull up your big girl pants and face the energized beings that are trying to peak under the door. Are those fingers I see?... Anyways, you can DO this, girl! Remember, they are just kids. Even if they stand on each other's shoulders, you are STILL bigger than they are. If they smell your fear, they will attack, so toughen up, eat your Wheaties, drink your coffee, and give them their first assignment of the day.... Wait, why are they singing? It's 6 freaking 30 on a Sunday morning! WHY ARE THEY SINGING ABOUT STRAWBERRIES AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS?? Are they trying to communicate with the outside world or something? NO, no, no... control your anger. Take a deep, cleansing breath... that's right... nice and easy. Remember to ask God for patience today, and for strength, and for whatever just crashed and broke in the hallway to be something that wasn't valuable. I know you have a busy schedule today, but remind them that you love them and tell them at least one positive thing they have done today... and don't worry, that's not a "I'm hurt" cry, so I'm sure Cameron didn't punch her as hard as she's making it out to be right now. And also remember to look yourself in the mirror and.... Crap! Are those gray hairs in my eyebrows?? You've GOT to be kidding me! Wait, wait.... look in the mirror and remind yourself that you're human, you're doing the best that you can, and that if you commit murder, this will be the last piece of glass the prison guards will let you see for a long time. Go get 'em, Tiger."
     And then the day begins. I open the door, and I see two smiling faces beaming at me, promising me in tiny voices that they're really going to try to be good for me today. The promise was broken more times than I cared to count; but the intention was heart-felt and tomorrow another day will begin with the same pep talk, a "God Help Me!", and a hearty dose of caffeine.