Shannon Stacey

A morning in the life

My cellphone, which charges next to my bed and doubles as my alarm clock, rings at 6:29 this morning. I know it’s an actual call because the alarm is some bizarre rainforest sound thing that makes me want to commit phonicide. Or get up and shut it off. With blurry, half-asleep, and prescription-free sight, I make out my husband’s name on the caller ID.

Me: What?

Him: It’s time to get up.

Me: You’re supposed to call your brother, not me. (My night-owl BIL requested a wake-up call for an early appt.)

Him: It’s 6:30 and you’re not up yet.

Me: So you’re calling me from downstairs?

So I got up, made him breakfast (although I viciously stuck him with oatmeal rather than scrambled fake eggs and toast). The Tall Kid staggered down and glued himself to the morning news scroll. Then…the Short Kid. Now, we’re a family of button pushers. We will mess with each other’s minds given the slightest opportunity.

The Short Kid has been a die-hard Obama supporter since the man announced his candidacy. Die-hard to the point yesterday he informed the school staff he was dropping out of elementary school after the mock election went in favor of McCain. He got up every ten to fifteen minutes last night with totally bogus excuses just to get an electoral status update. For some reason, perhaps because I’d been rudely awakened by an annoying phone call, I decided to push his buttons when he careened down the stairs, eyes still at half-mast.

Him: Who won?

Me: Obama won the popular vote, but the Electoral College gave it to McCain.

Umm…holy crap. Postal would be a good adjective. Or what were those totally insane warriors? Berserkers? I think he might have even cursed, but he was ranting too loud and too fast to be sure. Then, before I could tell him I was just kidding, he started beating the crap out of his brother. (Who, you might remember, is infamous in our house for his gulping down of the pro-Electoral College Kool-aid his teacher’s been serving up.) Fortunately his brother was laughing too hard to retaliate at first, because he’s got 5 1/2 years, at least a foot and a half and maybe eighty pounds on him, but then he took an uppercut.

It pretty much went downhill from there.

Despite my having confessed—which he verified with a quick jaunt to—the Short Kid’s communication with me was still limited to grunts and black looks come school time, although he did reluctantly allow me to kiss him goodbye.

Whew. Can my real day start now?

13 comments to “A morning in the life”

  1. Charlene Teglia
      · November 5th, 2008 at 10:53 am · Link

    You know he’s going to get even. I’d be scared.

  2. Shannon
      · November 5th, 2008 at 11:19 am · Link

    He’s still a novice in the ranks of button pushers, but I’m definitely afraid of getting a note home from his teacher.

    Dear Mrs. Stacey, Thank you so much for volunteering to be a classroom aide! Mrs. R—

  3. Jaci Burton
      · November 5th, 2008 at 11:41 am · Link

    Dude. Don’t mess with the serious stuff.



  4. Heather Rae Scott
      · November 5th, 2008 at 11:10 am · Link

    :lmao: Definitely going to get even with you and I see a future politician in the maing. I don’t know which you should be more scared about. :groucho:

  5. Natalie J. Damschroder
      · November 5th, 2008 at 5:50 pm · Link

    My 9yo had a similar level of interest but probably less intensity. LOL Number One has been having abortion debates with her fellow classmates of both genders–and coming home feeling positive about them!

    Far be it for me to sound judgmental, but…you’re husband’s not capable of cooking his own breakfast?

  6. Karen Templeton
      · November 5th, 2008 at 7:24 pm · Link


    Congratulations. Your house is officially more insane than mine.


  7. Shannon
      · November 5th, 2008 at 9:24 pm · Link

    Congratulations. Your house is officially more insane than mine.

    Since you have several more males, including one in diapers, that frightens me. :hide:

    Far be it for me to sound judgmental, but…you’re husband’s not capable of cooking his own breakfast?

    I think he is. I mean, he was a 36-year-old bachelor when we started dating. But it probably sounded like he called my cellphone because he wanted his breakfast.

    He really called me because he know if I sleep late, it throws my entire day off. I need at least fifteen minutes to crouch on the corner of the sofa, cradling my coffee cup, snarling, glaring, and raining Armaggedon down on anybody who dares speak to me. After that fifteen minutes, it’s all good.

    It only takes 5 minutes to make him breakfast, and then another 5 to pack his lunch, but it was still hard working it into the routine. After 15 1/2 years of sending him off to fend for himself at gas stations and fast food joints, the little tweak in the schedule was hard to adjust to. But if it keeps him healthy…

    We do have a very old-fashioned division of labor, seeing as how I haven’t had to have a day job in 13 years, but a lot of that’s me more than him. He doesn’t expect me to make him breakfast every morning, but he’s thankful I do. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s enough for me.

    It also leads to slightly worrying stories, like the day the Tall Kid (in 2nd? grade) told the gym teacher he couldn’t tie his shoes and didn’t need to learn because Mom tied them. She asked him what he would do when he was a Dad and his kids needed their shoes tied. He looked at her funny and said, “That’s what wives are for.”

    We’re going to play hell finding him a wife. (We’re keeping the ’67 Mustang just to ensure he has a prom date.)

  8. Natalie J. Damschroder
      · November 5th, 2008 at 9:33 pm · Link

    Ahh, perfectly understandable, Shannon! Especially because of the health thing. Sure, he can make his own healthy breakfast, but would he? I can see that if things were similar over here, too.

    I have a knee-jerk reaction to stuff like this, I’m afraid. I’ve only been a stay-at-home mom for 2 1/2 years, and I’ve rebelled every step of the way at “reverting” to those traditional roles we never had before. He does his own laundry, cleans his own bathroom, does dishes once on the weekend–but everything else falls to me, and that’s fine because HEY! I’m a full-time writer! I’d BETTER not complain! Nor does he expect anything of me, and as you said, that’s the most important thing.

    Your kids crack me up. :lmao:

  9. Shannon
      · November 5th, 2008 at 9:48 pm · Link

    Well, not that I have any control freak tendencies, but my husband also does it all WRONG!

    He tried to wash the dishes for me the day I came home from having the Short Kid, but he did it totally wrong. You can’t wash the plates before the cups. Seriously. There’s an order. I ended up finishing them myself.

    Another day he tracked in dirt and sawdust and he tried to sweep it up. He sweeps backwards…like it’s a pushbroom on a jobsite. Drives me insane and I have to take the broom away and do it myself so I don’t beat him to death with it.

    He doesn’t Lysol the trash can before putting in a new bag, he hangs the toilet paper under instead of over, he…well, you probably get the picture.

    Plus he’s carried the entire financial weight of our family on his shoulders for a decade and a half. And he never did the old stereotypical Dad thing with the boys. He changed diapers. Packed up a diaper bag and took each of them out to run errands with him every Saturday. Holds the puke bucket. He didn’t, however, get up in the middle of the night when they were infants unless I was having a maternal breakdown. He had to go to work the next day, I didn’t.

    To be honest, some people find our man’s work/woman’s work thing offensive. And I do truly understand why. The only answer I can give is—16 years in May, two straight-A, funny, well-mannered yet crazy kids. We may not be doing it today’s “right”, but we’re not doing it wrong.

    And bottom line—did I mention I haven’t had an outside day job in 13 years? :lol:

  10. Natalie J. Damschroder
      · November 6th, 2008 at 10:04 am · Link

    Well, it’s a matter of choice. That’s what you guys chose as best for you, and it works, and that’s GREAT.

    I get bugged when I hear women who can’t go to a writer’s conference because their husband won’t let them, or because they can’t leave their kids with their father overnight. Or who do the housework because that’s what they’re SUPPOSED to do. It’s all a matter of intent and attitude, IMO, and mine comes from growing up in a family of miserable, rebellious women who were forced into roles they didn’t want or didn’t like–of course, that was the height of feminism, when it HAD to be a battle. In our generation, I think we’re starting to achieve a balance, where, like I said, choice is the most important thing.

    When my kids were born, I needed to work, both financially and personally. Two years ago, circumstances changed, and it was better for us to have me home. Since I *am* home, of course I should be doing more of the things required around the home, and I do–it was a big adjustment for all of us. :)

    Sorry. Didn’t mean to take over your blog with gender roles in modern society!

  11. Annmarie
      · November 6th, 2008 at 10:21 am · Link

    I think the SK is STILL plotting. Dude, this is gonna be a BIG retaliation.

  12. Shannon
      · November 7th, 2008 at 12:00 pm · Link

    Sorry. Didn’t mean to take over your blog with gender roles in modern society!

    Doesn’t bother me any. Even though I don’t have a modern society gender role. I’m like June Cleaver if she wore faded jeans, only wore makeup when somebody died, forgot to brush her hair half the time and swore like a drunken sailor.


    I think the SK is STILL plotting. Dude, this is gonna be a BIG retaliation

    Yeah, he’s still aggravated with me. I’m SO glad he doesn’t have the password for my blog.


  13. azteclady
      · November 10th, 2008 at 11:30 pm · Link

    late to the party…

    I love that these days we have the choice–and if it works for a couple/family, more power to them! Too many of us keep trying to find something that works, and failing :wink:

  • Get my latest news straight to your inbox!

    I'll only be sending newsletters when I have news to share, and I'll never share your information. You'll receive an email asking you confirm your subscription (so please check your spam box if you don't receive that). You can unsubscribe at anytime.


  • Affiliation

    Shannon Stacey is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of

    If you purchase a book listed on the site from, she’ll earn a small commission. Thank you!