a peek inside the fishbowl

16 Jan, 2007


Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

I used to find the routine of parenting crushing at times, but I’ve settled, and have since found comfort in it instead.

It’s the same deal around here every morning.

Mark’s alarm goes off. He hits the snooze bar. Emma’s alarm goes off. She gets up right away, gets dressed, and climbs into bed with us. She’s been doing this since she was 20 months old. She lies in between us, so quietly you can hardly tell she’s there. At seven o’clock she gets up, goes downstairs, and makes herself breakfast. Today it was oatmeal. Mark gets in the shower. I stay in bed until I hear the water in the sink running. Sarah usually wakes up at this time too. She rushes out of bed, bleary of eye and rumpled of face. She mumbles and hugs my leg.

I head downstairs and make lunch, or lunches, depending on the day. Today I only made Emma’s. I don’t fret about the lack of variety anymore. There are only so many things she’ll eat for lunch. I usually prepare whole wheat with ham with mayo, or a rolled up flax-seed tortilla with cream cheese and red peppers. Sometimes I’ll have made hummus and I’ll cut up some pita to go with it. Today’s lunch is an easy favourite. I grab a frozen sesame-seed bagel from the freezer and put some cream cheese in a small plastic container. Today’s “sides” were Activa pear-flavoured yogurt (it is delicious, I recommend it) and a few small BBQ flavoured rice cakes. She gets milk at school.

Now that we’re set up to do so, I make Mark a latte.

Sarah doesn’t eat very much in the morning. Today it was a kiwi and a small bowl of dry Cheerios. I eat last. It suits me, because I don’t feel rushed. My daily breakfast consists of plain yogurt (BioBest), a sprinkle of dried cranberries, bran buds and hemp seed/flax granola. Recently I’ve added hot lemonade to my mix. I love the smell of a freshly-squeezed lemon. I don’t believe it’s going to remove impure chi or anything like that, but I started drinking it when I had that blasted long-lasting cold and haven’t completely given it up.  Let’s just say that it’s helped my digestive system and leave it at that.

I save my latte for later in the morning.

Mark walks Emma to school and then drives to work.

I drink my hot lemonade in front of my computer while Sarah watches CBC kids. I check my email, catch up on a bit of work or do some writing. For the past while I have been turning on my LiteBook while I write. I used to put it off until later in the morning but I think it was already late in the day for it. Now I’ve got that beam of light shining in my face between 8:00 and 8:30. I know I’ve written about it before but I still can’t believe how much it has helped me.

After awhile Sarah and I get dressed and get busy with our day. She plays, draws, and trails me around the house while I tidy up. She doesn’t like to be by herself. She likes to be with me. She often helps with the dishes and vacuums the floor. In the summer we might go to the park or walk to the post office.

I’m not a morning person. I can’t force myself into activity. I slowly immerse myself in the day. It helps if it’s sunny, like today. It takes me awhile to get going started. On mornings like this I’m happy that I’m not working the 9-5 office job anymore. I don’t miss the runs in the nylons, the hurried kisses goodbye, and leaving the house looking like a tribe of amazons live here. I like cuddling with Sarah on the couch in the mornings. I like being able to take a long shower. I like my own pace.

It took me awhile to get here, but I’ve grown to like my routine. This is what works.


9 Responses to "Mornings"

1 | Suebob

January 16th, 2007 at 1:13 pm


You might want to ask your dentist about the hot lemonade. Some sources say drinking lemon juice can damage your tooth enamel.

2 | Claudette

January 16th, 2007 at 1:31 pm


There is an episode on Frasier, one near the beginning where his father moves in and causes havoc with Frasier’s morning routine, that reminds me of your routine (which is similar to mine minus the school-aged child). Frasier sums it up nice when he’s yelling at his dad:

“I like to EASE (with emphasis on the EEE part) into my day.”

I love that saying. And it suits me. Apparently you too!

3 | Hillary

January 16th, 2007 at 1:43 pm


It sounds lovely. I can’t wait to have a family routine, too (and no, I’m not deluded into thinking it’s all sunshine and lollipops, but I still think it’s pretty nice!)

4 | megan ***

January 16th, 2007 at 2:14 pm


Does Sarah not got to school? I wish our mornings were like your’s. Ours include far more yelling. coaxing, rushing and no hot bevereges for anyone, lemon or otherwise.

5 | megan

January 16th, 2007 at 2:16 pm


EEK! Why is my whole name there? That is just weird.

6 | andrea

January 16th, 2007 at 2:25 pm


Megan – I edited your last name out of your entry… but you must have typed it in at some point.

Sarah is in SK, and goes to school in the afternoons.

I didn’t mean to make it sound like there’s never a rush out the door. I can’t count the number of times we have to remind the girls to eat their breakfast or brush their hair. They’re easily distracted. I wonder who they get that from?

7 | Chantal

January 17th, 2007 at 8:45 am


Easily distracted? You mean like it being 7:44am and needing to be on the bus at 7:55 and Mommy is reading a blog? ;)

8 | megan

January 17th, 2007 at 1:25 pm


Your kids brush their own hair and make their own breakfast??? What am I doing wrong???

9 | Bethany

February 22nd, 2007 at 6:59 pm


I am not a morning person either… it makes me wonder why I *did* return to the corporate gig.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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