My daughter woke up at 6:00am calling for her mom. We take turns getting up with the kids on the weekend, so I got out of bed, found my glasses and shuffled over to her room.

“Good morning, Lucia,” I whispered. “No mom!” “Mom is sleeping. We have to be quiet so she can sleep.” “No peepee!!”

She will, every morning, swear that she does not have pee in her diaper and we should just go downstairs and start eating Cheerios. She will get very upset if I suggest we should change her diaper and she will tell me over and over that she does not have any pee and I’m wasting my time by looking. We do this every morning.

Of course she always has some pee and once I’ve stood her on the ground and showed her she does, she lets me put her on the changing table.

While on the table she says “Cheerios with Mark?” It sounds like “chee-ro wi-uh-mak?” but I know what she’s asking.

“Yes, Lucia, you can eat Cheerios with Mark.”

“Oh cool.” She picked this phrase up from one of us. She knows it means she’s pleased with an answer she was looking for.

By this time my son has wandered in. His hair is long and he never combs it. He curls up into her soft rocking chair while I finish cleaning her up. He’s only seven but he seems like a teenager—at least the sort of teenager I was.

“Mark Cheerios?”

Mark agrees with her and turns over in the chair. Unlike a teenager he hasn’t learned he can just go back to bed and sleep more.

We make our way downstairs where Lucia makes a bee-line for where we keep the bowls and cereal.

“Lucia eat Cheerios. Mark eat Cheerios. Mark eat Cheerios with Lucia.” She’s that younger sister looking up to her brother. She wants to do the same things he does and she copies whatever he does and wants. He’s a good big-brother and looks after her, but sometimes it annoys him and he lets her know.

As I pour her bowl I realize Mark is not in the kitchen. He’s gone to the room with the TV and has started playing a video game demo we’d started downloading last night. He’d been really excited to find it, but the two hour download time put it on the other side of his bedtime. So now he’s opened it up and is exploring.

I sit Lucia down with her bowl and walk over to check on Mark. He’s not hungry (of course) and wants to stay on the couch for a bit with the blanket wrapped around himself and the TV headphones strapped on his head. The fan on the PS4 and the click of the controller are the only sounds in the room.

I walk back to the dining table to find Lucia sitting, in the dark of 6:10am, at her bowl still full of cereal. She hasn’t eaten any.

“No Mark?” “No, Mark isn’t going to eat breakfast yet.”

The tiny look of disappointment that flashes across her face is quickly replaced by the realization she has a bowl of Cheerios in front of her. She’s happy.