The Playroom: Morning blues

Author: Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

Maraya Steadman

I don’t like to get out of bed. I don’t like mornings, they are bright and the sun is up and the house is cold and my children make noise.

Truthfully, I have never been a morning person. Never. In high school and college I wallowed in the adolescent expectations to sleep until noon, which in college I could push two or even three hours past noon, driving my mother absolutely crazy because I was home for break and wasn’t I going to do something?

No, that was precisely the point, I like to lollygag (a word my father used — I have no idea where it comes from because nobody else I know uses it, ever) in bed all day and do nothing. Just another dent in the Type-A personality my parents fashioned for me.

Unlike me, my son wakes up like some sort of precision-oriented machine. When he is done sleeping the switch flips to “on,” and bam, feet hit the floor and like a race horse out of the starting gate he is off to his day, off to play, imagine, make believe.

It is almost the song of my mornings to lie burrowed under my duvet listening to explosions and cars racing to ahhh, there, I killed you, blast off the rocket ship is landing, more exploding noises, here comes the dinosaur, awrr, I eat you up, more exploding noises.

When I was in high school I used to listen to my little brother do the same thing. Hours of make-believe with Matchbox cars that make the expected zoom, zoom car noises, but for some reason I have never been able to understand, Matchbox cars also seem to explode, a lot.

I think maybe my bed is my land of make-believe. I can pretend I don’t have to get up and do stuff I don’t want to do, like get out of bed.

In my hazy morning burrowing, I can lie there and imagine that I will actually exercise, I will write thank-you notes, and return library books, I won’t yell at my kids or lick peanut butter off a spoon, drink milk out of the carton, I won’t dig pickles out of the jar with my fingers or forget to pay some random bill that turns out to be rather important, and I won’t eat bacon or Cheetos.

In my bed I am warm and it doesn’t matter that the Chicago winter is handing out wind chills of minus 10 today. Before the day begins, anything is possible. I think that is one of the many gifts of childhood, anything is possible.

That land of make-believe where small cars you can buy at Walmart for 97 cents explode into a cascade of lava that covers the dinosaurs except the dinosaurs have super powers because they are standing on Level X Pokemon cards (the most powerfullest) and the lava doesn’t burn them.

Maybe that’s it, maybe that’s the ticket. I need some of those Level X Pokemon cards. Then when I stood on them the power would go up my foot and all over my body and then anything just might be possible. Maybe even wanting to get out of bed.

Maraya Steadman, who lives in a Chicago suburb, is a stay-at-home mother of three children. She can be reached at