My dog punched me in the face at 3:16 this morning. Well, first she gently tugged at the blanket while sitting at the foot of the bed, and when I didn’t respond to that, she hopped up beside my pillow, waited for a moment, stared at me, then took aim and punched me in the face with her fat, little paw.

Have you ever had a dog punch you in the face? It’s a strange feeling because on the one hand it’s really quite startling, but on the other, it’s just really, really funny. Your thought process basically goes like this, “Zzzzzz…. WHATTHE?! …What the… did the DOG just punch me? In the FACE? …That’s freaking awesome!”

The thing is, this isn’t the first time the dog has done this to me. In fact, it’s how she wakes me up pretty much every morning. Just, not at 3am, usually. There’s a whole series of events that she goes through, and here, solely for your enjoyment (and my catharsis), I will attempt to recount her thought-process as imagined by someone on the receiving end of her insistence:

1) Jenn jumps up on the bed when she determines that I should no longer be enjoying sleepy-sleepy time. She sits at the foot of my bed. She waits. *whispers* “…mom? Psst… mom. Mom…?”

2) 5 seconds pass, and Jenn realizes that I have not yet either, a) jumped up to walk her, or b) jumped up to feed her. This simply will not do. She takes a few steps up toward my pillow, and sits down right beside me. She waits. *loud whisper* “Mom. Mommy? Mom. Excuse me, Mom? Mom. Hey Mom. Mom.”

3) Jenn does not approve that I am still sleeping (in actuality, I am fully awake, but keeping my eyes closed and trying not to laugh as she goes through the steps to come). She leans in closer to my face. *very loud whisper* “…Mom? Mom? Mom. Mom. Get up, Mom. Hey… hey… hey…”

4) Jenn leans in closer. *normal speaking volume* “…Hey. Hey. Hey Mom. Mom…”

5) Jenn leans in closer. Her tail can be heard swishing on the bedspread as she gently starts to wag it. *muffled dog giggle* “…pffft… mom? Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom… *snert*… Mommommommomomom…”

6) Jenn leans in and rests her dark, wet, cold, dog-snotty nose on my gently sleeping human nose. “Mom.”

7) Jenn moves her dark, wet, cold, dog-snotty nose to rest on my lips. “MOM.”

8.) Jenn moves her dark, wet, cold, dog-snotty nose to rest on my EYELID. “MOM. Mom. Mom!”

9) Jenn pushes her dark, wet, cold, dog-snotty nose further into my eyelid. “MOM!”

10) Jenn sighs, sending a stream of warm dog-snot air into my eye socket. The sound is really quite disgusting, I might add. “Mom?”

11) Jenn pulls back and looks at me.“Hello? Mom? Mom… hey Mom… are you dead? Mom?”

12) Jenn rests her fuzzy, warm chin across the bridge of my nose. She waits. “Oh, mommy… I’m so lonely…”

13) Jenn pulls back and looks at me. “Seriously, mom. MOM.”

14) Jenn waits.“Humpf”

15) The tension builds.

16) Jenn gently, tentatively raises one of her paws off the bed. She hesitates. She contemplates. She decides…

17) Jenn firmly slaps her fat, nacho-smelling, fuzz paw squarely onto my face, and rests it there. She pulls back and slaps me in the mouth. Her tail is now wagging rather quickly. I assume she is laughing. “Wheeeeeeeeee! Punchy-punchy, mommy- mommy!!”

18) I open my eyes just as Jenn pulls back for another swat, and she, of course, brings her paw down on my open eye, causing me to wince and grab my face as thoughts of where her paw has been race through my mind.

19) Jenn pulls back and looks at me, wagging her tail happily and looking at me expectantly. She stands. “Oh! You’re awake!? Yay!”

20) Jenn drills her head into my face, then flops over on her right side, throwing her full weight squarely on my full bladder. “Ohhhh, mommymommymommymommymommy…. I loooooove you…”

I’m up! I’m up! Okokokok! Sheesh dog! I am then forced to get out of my warm croissant-soft bed and wander into the bathroom with my bare feet slapping unhappily on the dumb tile. Stupid dog.

I come out of the bathroom and notice that Jenn has stolen my warm, croissant-soft spot, and has snuggled up next to The Cheerleader I Live With, and has her dark, wet, cold, dog-snotty nose pressed into his eyelid. “Dad? Dad. Dad. Hey, Dad…”

This is how we wake up every. Single. Morning.

And we wouldn’t change it for the world.

Mom? Mom? Hey Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom? Mom…