The weekend. It is the focus of everyone’s work week, the pinnacle of rest and reward. The daily grind offers little to none in the sympathy department, but you know once you tuck yourself in on a Friday night, the sweet dreams of Saturday morning slumber await.
Unless you have children. Children are not privy to the magic of Saturday sleep. The thought of an extended moment of shut eye commonly known as “sleeping in” is completely lost on the elementary school crowd. If anything, children see Saturdays as the perfect day to RISE EVEN EARLIER than they normally would choose to do, almost as if they are programmed with a sixth sense that involves driving their weary parents to a level of insanity that should most likely be closely monitored by a health care professional. And if one bright eyed little one wakes up, they all awaken and you can kiss your slow Saturday morning goodbye.
Until we discovered a little secret that will change your weekends forever. Brace yourself, parents. Your “pajama pants wearing, binge watching Netflix regretting, worked was so hard this week I cannot be an adult today” lives are about to be rocked.
The premise is this: after you put your children to bed on a Friday evening, go straight to the kitchen. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, and whatever you do, DO NOT SIT DOWN ON THE COUCH.
Not even for a minute.
Not even to catch the seven day forecast.
Once you sit down, the sleepy spell will kick in and your grown up body will fall asleep sitting up with a blanket draped over you and your glasses somewhere on your face. Therefore, head straight to the kitchen, sit a fresh box of donuts on the kitchen table (unless you want to make these life saving donuts from scratch on a Friday night, and if so, PLEASE DO NOT LET ME KNOW), fill up drink cups and leave them in a place in the fridge that children can reach. You can also put a bowl of freshly cut strawberries next to the cups if you so desire. This is your baby.
Next, is the fun part. Leave little love notes on index cards or old receipts or whatever you can find to write on, and tell the children how much you love them. And because you love them so much, you are rewarding their parents with extra sleep on Saturday morning. Feel free to eat donuts and watch cartoons at your leisure, because the only thing that comes on at 7am is Curious George anyway. Oh, and adding facts about the movie Frozen or the Empire State Building are both culturally relevant and educational, and gives you some serious cool points. Kids look forward to Donut Saturday like it is Christmas morning, scrambling in to the kitchen at lightning speed to FEED THEMSELVES and learn a little about life from a 3×5 index card. And when you find several of those cards spill out from your son’s “special box” under his bed, you will tear up as you realize that what started as an inventive way to get five extra minutes of sleep turned into a family tradition that they will carry with them as they become parents themselves.
Now, drift off into a blissful sleep and remind yourself that you are a fantastic parent, that your children think you are the greatest human being to walk the planet, and that the Statue of Liberty is a gift to America from France, not Bethlehem, as my boys seem to think that “for God so loved the world, he gave us Jesus. And the Statue of Liberty”. Donut Saturday is all about independence, carbohydrates, factual information, and of course, five extra minutes of sleep.
(If you want to continue to see me share random photos of donuts, follow me on Instagram (here). I use the hashtag #donutsaturday, which apparently half the free world also uses. But don’t worry, I only take pics of donuts on the weekends. I am normal, people.)
(Note: This article originally appeared in the March 26th edition of the LaFollette Press, in my Lifestyles column, Letters from the Nest.)