But I get up anyway. The toddler follows me out of the room. He's always the first one awake, wide-eyed and cheerful and ready to jump into the new day with both feet. Me, I prefer to carefully test the day with my toe, maybe sit on the edge and let my legs dangle in for a while, wake up slowly with chai tea and new emails. I don't understand him but he makes me smile anyway.
I shower quickly and prepare for the daycare child's arrival. That one's going through a stage right now, cries at every drop off. His mother hands him over and he cries harder, clutching his blankie, as she closes the door behind her.
The toddler is already engrossed in his play. Gandalf, laser gun in hand, is riding in a truck with the lion and the cowgirl. It all makes sense to him somehow. He offers a different truck to the daycare child but that one's not quite ready to play yet.
A few more minutes of play and then the toddler requests breakfast. Today he wants Raisin Bran and milk. He gets the dishes while I get the cereal. Feeling especially helpful this morning, he opens the fridge and hauls out the full jug of milk; I get there just in time to catch it before it hits the floor. The first mess of the day has been averted.
The baby lets out a squawk from the bedroom. The toddler hears, sits up straighter in his chair. "Go get the baby!" he commands, and I obey.
She's blinking when I quietly slip into the bedroom. She hasn't fully committed to waking up yet, so I stand quietly and watch, waiting to see what she will do. She blinks a few more times, closes her eyes, then opens them again just when I'm sure she's gone back to sleep. I lean close and she smiles; there's no sleeping now. I pick her up and kiss her head and we silently leave the room, the boy still breathing softly in his sleep.
This girl, she greets the day just like the toddler. She blinks in the bright light of the living room but is wide awake, legs pumping, arms swinging, smile turned on high for her mama. I admire these two morning children of mine. If it were up to me, I'd still be sleeping with my night owl in the bedroom.
For a while it is just the four of us. The house is still quiet. The toddler continues to eat, the daycare child wanders around the room, and the baby and I smile and coo at each other.
Then I hear the click of the bedroom door as it opens, the shuffle of feet, and here he is, the boy. He wakes up like me, glaring at the day and the insult of being awake in the morning. He drops down sullenly beside me. I greet him with a good morning and then let him sit in silence. He'll let me know when he's ready to be talked to.
A switch flips and he officially wakes up and suddenly the three boys are in a pile on the floor, wrestling and rolling like puppies. The noise picks up and there's a crash and someone yells.
The day has officially begun.
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