For no identifiable reason, my oldest child pops awake before 6am each day. Her first question, upon looking outside at the inky blackness of night: Is it munning?
Our unequivocal answer: NO, IT IS NOT MORNING. GO BACK TO SLEEP!
That ploy rarely works. One of us generally has to get up, bleary and annoyed, before 7am to avoid a constant, shrieking chorus of MOMMY! DADDY! MOMMEEEEEEE! Despite two alarm clocks, too many toys, and complex algorithms involving naps, bedtimes, and yogurt as variables, it's always pitch black when she's rarin' to go. UGH.
So today, with holiday spirit abounding, we turned lemons into lemonade. Or, to be more precise, stinky beans into coffee. We all woke up, got dressed, and went to IHOP to feast.
And you know what? It was lovely. The excitement of doing something different; the opportunity to watch the sky slowly change from black to blue and talk about when the sun would peek out; the peaceful drive down a curvy, empty road; the lack of crowds. T. Rex slept calmly, Biscuit asked intriguing questions, and Dr. Crog and I bantered back and forth under our breath. Again, lovely.
Even breakfast was delicious. It was fun watching the Biscuit spoon her grits all over everything, mainly because it occurred on Dr. Crog's side of the table.
And after breakfast, we went to Target, where I loaded the cart with stocking stuffers for my little dudes. Hello Kitty features prominently. Compared to all the other current commercial toddler obsessions, she (at least) doesn't have a mouth and therefore can't say things like, "Don't swipe, swiper!" or "I'm a beautiful, anorexic princess!" Here's to hoping the $1 bins at Target are made in the Chinese factories that don't use lead or melamine, if they actually exist.
When I first heard her little voice at 5:45am, I cringed internally as I tried desperately to get T. Rex back to sleep and find my own oblivion. But by 7:03, I was eternally grateful for a beautiful sunrise, a happy family, and some whipped-cream-slathered pumpkin pancakes.