Zach Parise gets up at 5 a.m., rising at the same time as his 2-year-old son, Theodore.
By 7 a.m., his other children — twins Jaxson and Emelia — are awake and they tackle schoolwork before Jaxson and his dad square off in hockey. Emelia hangs out with them, too.
When Theo snoozes in the afternoon, that’s when the Parise family regroups.
“The 2-year-old is a handful right now,” Parise said. “He naps from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and that’s our time to take a deep breath. Other than that, he is full-time and nonstop. He’s all over the place.”
Since the NHL paused its season nearly three weeks ago during the coronavirus pandemic, the Wild winger has focused on his family — a point hammered home during Tuesday’s video conference call with three other players from the Central Division. Jaxson sat in on the chat with Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler, Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog and Dallas’ Jamie Benn.
All four NHLers detailed what their lives have been like during this hiatus, and while the 35-year-old is still working out to prepare for a potential return, Parise’s routine is concentrating on his kids and wife, Alisha.
“Hopefully everyone’s enjoying some time with their family like we are,” he said. “With what we do, we don’t get a ton of time to spend with the kids during the season, so this has been nice. But hopefully everyone’s finding something to do inside and staying healthy.
“Everyone back in New Jersey and New York, I know it’s the hotbed there. Hopefully everyone is hanging in there. I know the country is watching and praying for everybody. Everyone’s hopefully being nice to each other.”
Parise and his family have remained in Minnesota, and everyone’s doing well, he said.
Aside from playing 1-on-1 against Jaxson, Parise ordered a bike to get his heart rate up since he’s “not much of a runner.”
He’s also been watching the Netflix documentary “Tiger King,” and he and Alisha were on track to finish the series Tuesday.
“[Monday] night I think we opened the wine at 5, and I fell asleep watching ‘Tiger King’ at 8:30 on the couch,” Parise said. “…Once [the kids are] finally down at 7, we usually don’t even speak to each other. It’s just silence for a good hour.”
Right after the shutdown, Wild players stayed in touch in a group chat and Parise said the videos sent in by the youngsters amused the veterans. But since some players have left the Twin Cities to return home, the conversation has dwindled.
“As this has gone on, it’s gotten less and less,” said Parise, whose 25 goals through 69 games are the most on the team and marked the 10th time in his career he reached that plateau. “I don’t think anyone has written into it for about a week now. We had some funny stuff going around at first.”
Asked on the video call whom he’d least want to be quarantined with, Parise singled out teammate Jordan Greenway.
“Great guy but lazy and tired all the time and a slob a little bit,” Parise said. “On the airplane, his chair is just gross and [stuff] everywhere. From what I hear, around his apartment, it’s just pizza boxes all over the place.”
Forward Joel Eriksson Ek and goalie Alex Stalock would be his preferences — Eriksson Ek because he’s quiet, easy-going and has a good sense of humor, and Stalock since he’d be entertaining.
“I don’t know if he’d stop talking the entire time,” Parise said.
It remains unclear if the NHL season will resume and the Wild will get a chance to reunite on the ice; the team was only one point out of a playoff spot when the league was suspended March 12. Parise was also cruising, racking up nine points in his last seven games and 20 over the past 24.
And even though he is busy with his children, Parise is still reminded of his teammates — one in particular.
When Jaxson, Emelia and their schoolmates were asked who their local sports hero was, Parise was a popular choice but not a unanimous one.
“They all know that the twins are my kids, so I’d say 90 percent of them wrote that Zach Parise is their favorite,” Parise said. “Except my daughter. She wrote Kevin Fiala. That’s how things are going in our household right now.”