Owl and I awake before anyone else in the house awakes. The progression of waking goes something like this: Owl stirs and starts head-hugging me and beating me about the face. Mama Bird wakes, looks at the clock and prays that Owl will sleep for just 15 minutes more. Oh, haha. Mama Bird gets up and carries Owl out to the living room. Fifteen to thirty minutes later, Penguin begins the crocodile roll on his bed. This maneuver is so named for the repeated death rolls that a crocodile engages when taking down a meal. For reference, see Crocodile Dundee. Though really, should anyone turn to a Paul Hogan film for expert advice on crocodylidae? Rather, then, see: Irwin, Steve. (R.I.P., sniff). The crocodile roll continues for about 5 minutes, at which point Penguin starts shouting out for his morning cuddle. Papa Bird gets violently (jump on head) or not so violently (stuffed puppy dog shoved under his chin) awoken about 15 minutes after that.

So anyways, Owl and I generally have a good half-hour to ourselves in the mornings. For the past few weeks, we’ve been sharing our cereal in the mornings. Owl accompanies me to the kitchen, where I pour us a little bowl of Cheerios, add a little milk and grab a banana. Owl then toddlerruns over to the couch and begins climbing up on the cushions. I sit down and pull him into my lap. Using our “big person spoon” (Penguin’s parlance for our everyday cutlery), I pop spoonfuls of Cheerios into Owl’s mouth. He might dance a bit, or bop up and down in his seat. He might get down off my lap between bites to toddlerrun around the chair or grab a toy. Then it’s right back into my lap for another bite of cereal. It’s a lovely affair and it all started quite by accident. I was eating cereal one morning and he kept grabbing at my bowl. I realized, rather quickly, that if I fed Owl some of the Cheerios, he’d leave my bowl alone and a tradition was born. Banana bites usually follow the cereal, if he is still interested, though more often than not, I finish it off on my own.

I couldn’t have planned for such delightful mornings. Never had them in the works in my mind before Owl was born. I just love unexpected, unanticipated and unplanned for pleasures.