My alarm clock blared yet I felt no motivation actually wake up. After a late shift the night before, the early hours were never very welcoming. Knowing that it was something I had to do, I forced myself out of my bed. Dragging my feet behind me, I slowly left my room and headed towards Olivia’s.
Yawning, I cracked her door open to see that she was in just as deep slumber as I was. Flicking on the light, we both flinched. “Princess, time to wake up,” I called to her, hoping that she would wake with ease. Unfortunately for me, she was too much like her father, stubborn until the end. Knowing what I would have to do, I stepped towards her bed.
Despite the small smile on her lips, her eyes remained closed tight as I approached her. There was one thing that I knew would wake her up better than any alarm could. Grabbing the blanket, I pulled it away from her body. “You sure you’re really sleeping?” I asked her, giving her one last chance to avoid my next approach.
Seeing her smile grow, I knew that she was expecting exactly what I was going to give her. Deciding not to hold back, I leaned down and began tickling her. Immediately, her eyes shot open and hoarse giggles fell past her lips as she clawed at my hands in an attempt to stop me.
After a minute, she finally submitted. “I’m awake!” she declared as she fought to catch her breath.
Grinning in victory, I lifted myself away from her. “That’s exactly what I wanted to hear! Now, how about you get dressed for school while I cook up something to eat?” I suggested as I watched her crawl off of her bed.
Giving me a tired smile, she nodded her head. Double-checking that she wouldn’t try to sneak in another few minutes of sleep, I eventually left her room and headed towards the kitchen to see what I could find.
Being a single father had some downfalls, but it also had some perks. While Olivia could be a handful at times, she worked with me most of the time. Despite my lack of sleep to tend to her needs, it was worth it every morning. Plus, she never complained about having to eat frozen waffles multiple times in a row. She was very easy to please.
Today, I would choose cereal just because it was easy. Knowing her, she wouldn’t complain. I just felt bad for her teacher for having to deal with her being hyped up on sugar. In the end, it wasn’t my problem.
Once she would finish eating breakfast, I just had to get her on the bus and send her on her way in order to get the chance to go back to sleep. After getting a few more hours, I would wake up and catch up on whatever needed to be done before she would get back home. Then came catching up on her homework and cooking dinner before I would take her to her babysitter and return to work.
The pattern we had remained unchanged every day of the week that I had her. When the weekend rolled around, her mother would watch her and I normally have a silent house for two days. While many would appreciate a break, I simply found myself feeling rather lonely. If only I could change that.