Children, Family Life


The cell phone alarm chimed at 6 a.m. I can never seem to locate my cell phone at 6 a.m. It’s like at some point during the night, the phone fairy comes into my room and moves it – like a chess pawn.

Finally, I find the source of my annoyance and slapped it, “SNOOZE.”

Ah, 8 more minutes of blissful sleep. Wonderful.

But then 6:08 a.m. rolled around. It was time to wake the sleeping bear.

There once was a time when I could not wait to wake up my pre-teen son for all of the hell he put me through as a newborn, toddler and preschooler. The countless hours of wakefulness during the middle of the night. The days of him deciding he was simply done with naps. The nights when he just wasn’t tired and insisted on staying up, “Just five more minutes, PLEASE!?”

Walking him back to his room, I would chant over and over again: “I can’t wait until the day I have to wake you up for school!”

Yet, I had no idea of the fury unleashed from a 12-year-old boy in the early morning hours. Covers are loudly dumped onto his floor. Closet doors slide along their tracks, banging into each other in the middle after he selects his wardrobe of the day.

He then drags his size 10 feet along our hardwood hallway to the bathroom where every single morning, he tries to close the door at least four times.


I roll out of bed and in a hushed, yet firm tone tell him, “NO ONE ELSE IS AWAKE! THE DOOR DOESN’T CLOSE! STOP TRYING TO CLOSE THE DOOR!”

The time is now 6:18 a.m. I hope and pray to the Sleep God that I can get an extra 14 minutes of sleep before I have to force myself to get up and start packing the dreadful lunches no one eats in my family.

But no.

The bathroom vent switch is flipped and I hear a constant hummmm. The shower curtain hooks move along the rod like fingernails on a chalkboard and my ears begin to bleed. And finally, the shower begins to flow.

It’s now 6:22 a.m. I give up. I wanted extra sleep today. I NEEDED extra sleep today (because I stayed up until midnight watching “Beetlejuice” on the free movie channel …).

So, I give my husband a nudge, begging him, “Please, get up. You don’t have to pack him a lunch today. It’s pizza day. He’s buying. You just have to make sure he gets on the bus.”

He agrees, but tells me he will get up at 6:45 a.m. – plenty of time, he says to get the pre-teen on the bus.

I don’t know what the hell happened between 6:45 and 6:55 a.m., but the child missed the bus.

“YOU HAD ONE JOB!” I yelled. “ONE!”

“He was sitting in the chair playing with his phone. I saw the bus from our kitchen window. She stopped,” he replied.

Well, no kidding she stopped … she has to STOP!

“Her job is to stop at the end of our driveway. YOUR job, today, was to make sure he was at the end of the driveway!” I said to no one but to the pillow under my head.

“I don’t know why DAD is blaming me,” the boy yelled as he thumped back into my still dark, cozy room.

“It’s your fault you weren’t ready!” my husband yelled from the bathroom.

Finally, I rolled out of bed.

It was pointless for me to lay there while they were throwing themselves under the bus.

About the author:

Melissa Linebrink is a reporter/bi-monthly columnist for “The Mommy Wars” printed in The Chronicle-Telegram. She also writes, edits and manages her blog, She can be reached at


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