Sunday, July 5, 2015

It's So Alarming

School's out and you might think our morning routine would be a little less stressful. 

Mais non, mes amis. 

We still go through the same dance of the alarms. Just an hour or so later. 

I'm one of those people who doesn't really need an alarm clock. Generally, I'm awake several minutes (or, in times of stress, several hours) before any alarm goes off. I've always been a morning person, relishing the quiet hours before the rest of the world wakes, enjoying long walks or quiet time to write or read.

My teenage daughter? Not so much.

This past week was the first real week of summer, as in no more classes, no more final exams. My daughter has a job at the stable where she trains and boards her horse; she's one of the counselors of the daycamp they run for junior riders. She also takes care of one of these eager young equestriennes before and after camp hours. She has to be at the stable by 8:30, which means she needs to leave our house by 8:00.

Her first alarm goes off at 7:00. If I'm near the door to her room, I can hear the incessant beeping, followed after several minutes by some moans, tired feet shuffling across the carpet and a determined click. The next alarm goes off at 7:20 and she repeats the process. A different alarm clock closer to her bed goes off at 7:30. At this point, she leans over and hits the snooze button affording herself another ten minutes.

And, if you've been doing the math (as I do each day), you can see that we're tempting trouble as the time passes. She insists that it only takes fifteen minutes to get dressed, wolf down some fruit and a muffin, and get out of the house. (I've already made her lunch and packed a cooler with bottled water — after all, I've been up listening to alarms for quite some time by now.) To her credit, her daily beauty routine is spare and efficient and, in theory, she could be on her way that quickly. The trouble is there's always something she has to check or forgot to do.

Like her cell phone. Apparently major world events happen every night between the time she shuts off Netflix episodes of The Office or Dance Moms and the time she finally succumbs to the cacophony of alarm clocks. She has to catch up on Facebook posts, Snapchats, Tumblr and tweets.

Meanwhile, her laptop is either streaming music or uploading videos or streaming music and uploading videos. It also takes an extra few minutes to find whatever she's planning to wear under the piles of clothing that she isn't planning to wear.

I've learned my lesson over the years, and I try to stay clear of her through all of this. A few minutes before 8:00, I can't help myself. I yell up the stairs — in as friendly a voice as I can muster — with a reminder that she needs to leave. "I KNOW!" she typically yells back, frustrated that (a) I'm nagging her, (b) I'm right, and (c) I exist.

As she rushes through the kitchen, toward one of the cars parked out back, I tell her to have a good day, drive safe and text me when she gets there.

Her irritation is palpable.

And, with my offspring finally off, I can start my own day. 

Just a little later than I might have liked. 

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