So begins our routine nightly conversation, post-pillow adjustment and pre-lights out. It has the pretense of being a very delicate operation: the answer to this question stands to dictate not only who gets first dibs on the bathroom, but what time breakfast will be (or if there's any at all) and who will take J-dog out for his morning business.
Notice I say pretense and stands to. The morning alarm could very well determine the course of the entire day, and there was a time in my life (when I didn't live with Dr. D) when that was most certainly the case.
But that was before the Epic Battle of the Snooze slithered its silly little way into my mornings. Yes, friends, my husband has a snoozing problem. "Problem" may be too mild of a word. Dependency. That's more like it.
And here's my next lesson in medical matrimony: you cannot win this battle against a med student.
Oh, how I've tried. When the snoozing began during the first week of Dr. D's first year, I dismissed it as a fluke, rationalizing to myself that he wasn't used to getting up before 7am and he'd adjust eventually. As the snooze attacks continued, however, I realized I had to take some sort of action. Return fire. I discovered that there would rarely be a time when my alarm was set to go off before his, so measures had to be taken or I would be forced to repeatedly listen to the "Awoooga! Awoooga!" of his alarm at 9-minute intervals, which is just long enough to doze back to sleep, mere seconds before being ungraciously jolted back into consciousness. Multiple. Times. My responses evolved over time:
- Hoping that Dr. D might not realize that I, an innocent civilian, was caught in the cross-hairs between his need for "five more minutes, Mom" and the unforgiving punctuality of his alarm, I started to make passive comments about the morning struggle. I tried things like, "Boy, rough getting out of bed this morning, eh?" and "You must have been knocked out! Didn't hear the first couple of alarms, huh?" This tactic failed miserably.
- Next, I tried the stir and pat method. This involved intentionally stirring when his alarm went off (to signal that the alarm had worked on me, so maybe it should work on you too?) and then rolling over and patting him on the shoulder in an okay-time-to-get-up-please manner, which, if you're wondering, consists of two pats and a small counter-clockwise rub (repeat as necessary). This was met with limited and sporadic success.
- Alright. Hardball time. ...otherwise known as the "grumpy wife" maneuver. This one typically only came into play if I realized that he'd snoozed all the way from his original alarm time to a few minutes before mine was set to go off, eliminating any chance I had of getting back to sleep before my alarm. It's too ugly to go into much detail, but suffice it to say there was a lot of violent blanket yanking, angry rolling over, audible sighs of frustration, and even a stray kick or two aimed in Dr. D's general vicinity. Only ineffective on really snoozy mornings, but never a pleasant way to start the day.
- Finally, I played the pity card; something to the effect of me whining, "I can't handle the snoooooooze! It's not faaaaaaiiiiiiir!" And to my dear Dr. D's credit, he awarded me with a period of detente.
I am a snoozer. I am an epic snoozer of med school proportions.