AS ANY HONEST parent will tell you, there are plenty of ways in which my kids are a disappoinment to me: they don't say thank-you enough, they don't appreciate what they have, they fuss and whine over trival matters, and I could go on. Oh, how I could go on.
(Simmer, that was partly for effect).
But I have to admit that there is one area where I think I have spawned the world's most incredible kids: wake-up time. Mornings and children are notorious rivals. Children are supposed to be at their worst in the hours before the sun rises; they are almost required -- perhaps by tradition alone -- to moan and groan and stay under their blankets for 'five more minutes.' Then, about 10 minutes before you need to leave the house, there is the mad rush to get them dressed, force some breakfast into their mouths, find their shoes, and rush out the door and into the car.
But not in this house. At 6:40 each morning I stand at the top of the stairs with a fresh mug of coffee in my hand and call down to the twins in a soft, pleasant voice. 'Ju-Ju. Pud. Time to get up.' Sometimes I have to ask twice, but not often, and within a few seconds I get the same response: 'Ok, daddy,' or 'I'm awake.' That's it! 15 minutes later they are sitting next to me on the couch brushing their hair or putting on their shoes while I enjoy my second cup of coffee while watching the news on France 2. Once a week or so Patrick will even get out the frying pan and make himself a couple eggs-in-a-basket for breakfast. Often, he'll even whip one up for his younger brother.
It's almost creepy.
Now, if I could just figure out how to get the same sort of behavior from them between 7:30am and 9:00pm I'd really be on to something. But for now, I'll just be happy that we usually have fairly relaxing mornings in our house.