The morning comes too early –why I can’t be a farmer

Morning has been coming too early this week. I think the harshest punishment you could give a prisoner would be to make them wake up at 5:00am every morning and run for three miles. After their run, they would be allowed to smell coffee and watch other people drink it in front of them. They couldn’t have one drop. We’d call it the morning torture. Could you hear the cries of agony? “No, not the morning torture, not this early, what is that smell? No, s-t-o-p. Just a little drink–I can’t take any more, put me in solitary confinement anything but this! NOOOOOO!”

My youngest son has been waking up early this week to give him a head start on his crabbiness. Okay, I’m the one who’s crabby. I try to reason with him, and explain to him that it’s just too early, that unless you need to give a traffic report, deliver papers or make bagels, you need to go back to sleep, but at 18 months it seems to go over his head. He just looks at me and laughs. I know what he is thinking too. He’s thinking– “Hey, you make the rules all day long and this is my time to show you who’s really in charge.”

At first we thought it was his teething that was waking him up, but now we see that the light is coming in through the blinds and waking him. This wouldn’t happen in Spain. You see, in Spain, we had these fabulous blinds/shutters on the outside of the windows called persianas. You would pull this pulley-thingy (technical term, sorry if I lost you) from the inside of the house and a blind would come down outside your window. At anytime of the day you could convince yourself it was midnight. 

In the summertime, when the country of Spain does not sleep persianas are necessary. Spain has got to be the most sleep-deprived country in the world. At midnight on any given night in the summer in Spain you can hear little children playing outside — while they eat their dinner on their patios. This was fun to do with friends once in awhile, but on nights when we were home alone my children would be sleeping thanks to persianas. As soon as the sun started to make it’s way toward the horizon we would run into their rooms and pull down the persianas. It was instantly bedtime, and we would go out dancing. Okay, not the dancing part.

You know how people say they are morning people or night people? Well, I’m a sleep person. I don’t like to get up before 8:00 am (but I do, calm down) and I don’t do well going to bed past 10:00 pm. Okay, before you get out the abacus or use the calculator function on your computer –that would be 10 hours of sleep (yes, I’m one crazy party-animal between the hour of 9pm and 10pm). I had kids to try to break myself of this bad habit. Why is it that when you’re very young you wake up at the crack of dawn, when you are a teenager you want to sleep until noontime, and when you get passed 60 you’re up at dawn again? What is so pressing to accomplish when you are a baby or older that you need to wake up so early?

I always imagined that life on a farm would be so peaceful. It sounds like such a fabulous place to rear children. What could be more fun as a child than getting to roam all over the place and milk cows, feed chickens, gather eggs, and ride horses. Doesn’t it sound charming? The problem with farming though is that it starts too early in the day. Why do those cows need to be milked so early? Can’t they wait? What’s the hurry? Is the milk going to get sour?

My older brothers and sisters did some kind of farming thing growing up. Well, they did the 4-H thing and sold goats or sheep I think. I know the girls learned to sew and the guys had some kind of farm animal and they wore white uniforms with green ties (what is with white–that’s the color you wear to work with animals?). They talk about it all like it was the most spectacular experience in the world and look down at me because I don’t know animal parts and I’m afraid of sewing machines. It wasn’t my choosing. I became the big city girl in a town with 15,000 people.

My daughter is always asking if she can get a horse. I like the idea of having a big garden and maybe a few chickens, but I can’t be a real farmer with cows and early morning stuff. I can’t wake up with the roosters, sing with the birds and catch the dew on the buttercups. Too bad we couldn’t put persianas on the barn. But wait, do teenage animals sleep in?


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. perkidawn
    Feb 26, 2007 @ 18:01:20

    And by ‘teenage animals’ are you referring to the TWO-legged, or four? I can attest to the two-legged kind being BEYOND sleeping in…..
    Sleeping all DAY and staying up all NIGHTwould be more like the trend, I believe. Arg…

  2. mel
    Feb 26, 2007 @ 18:28:47

    Well if you have ever nursed any of your children you would know why the cows need to be milked EARLY! Tee Hee

  3. Nedra
    Mar 30, 2007 @ 20:45:53

    4-H was all you had to do when you lived out in the country of Panoche Valley…too bad you missed out! One of your sisters raised a sheep and one of your brothers raised a steer! Do you know what a steer is? ha!

  4. rjlight
    Apr 02, 2007 @ 08:05:19

    I do remember a large animal posing with one of my brother’s now that I think of it…

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