It sounds silly, I know, but I love to watch my son eat cereal in the morning. I am amused by the way he carefully pulls the bowl full of milk and cheerios close to his body, lowers his spoon gently, and brings it to his mouth. He is measured, taking care not to spill a drop.
I think about his sister at this age, how I could never leave her alone with a meal such as this as it surely would have ended up across her tray and lap. But my Arlo, he is a conscientious little eater. He revels in the task of stabbing chicken with a fork or scooping yogurt onto his spoon. It is a process. Meal time is a pleasing ritual for him.
He will sit happily with a bowl of cereal in front of him for almost thirty minutes, chasing each little O around the bowl with his plastic utensil. And then, the grande finale… with eyes that flicker with anticipation, he will lift the bowl carefully to his lips and drink the remaining milk.
Lowering the bowl again, and milk dribbling from his chin, he never fails to smack his lips and let out an “Ahhhhh!” (His father taught him this)
It’s a small, seemingly trivial event in the goings on of our day but it brings me so much joy to watch the care and attention he puts into savouring and enjoying a meal. If this was (and I suppose it is) an entry in his baby book, I would write
You are 18 months old. I sat backwards in a chair in our living room on Sunday morning and watched you eat your cereal for twenty minutes with such enjoyment. You savoured every bite, careful not to waste any of it. You have discovered how to find pleasure in the ordinary and in those moments, you are teaching me to do the same. I love these lessons and I love you. Milk mustaches forever.