It's 6:00 a.m. and a tiny finger is poking you in the face. "Daddy, I'm hungry."
You turn to your spouse. With a beleaguered moan, she reminds you that it's your day to get up with the kid. You try to reason with your tot.
"Go back to sleep. It's not light yet."
"But I'm not tired!" she tells you, exasperated. She sighs and her breath is sweet. She's too young to have morning breath.
There is an eye looking directly into your eye. She has begun fluttering your lower lip for no apparent reason.
You relent. You find your slippers, throw on a bathrobe and make your way to the kitchen.
Your precious child is following behind and singing some song she's heard from Dora, oh wait it's Tinkerbell, no it's Lady Gaga.
You are relieved that she doesn't question the meaning of the lyrics.
You look around the kitchen and brainstorm the breakfast options, assessing each one's effort quotient, which roughly relates to the messiness of cleanup times and the complexity of cooking.
Normally you stick to yogurt or a bagel, but you are feeling generous today and say, "How 'bout some Eggies?" (Anything nutritious has to be jazzed up to sound appetizing.)
Eggs are dull, "Eggies" are a game, a sport, a whoop dee-doo! It involves cracking, frying and flipping!
Your child pulls up her stepstool. You get out a bowl, butter, pan, spatula, fork, whisk and, of course, an egg.
Now you're ready to follow these simple steps:
1) Position your child's stepstool at a 45 degree angle to the counter. Make sure she is close enough to see the action but far enough away from the stove to avoid a burn and beyond arm's reach of anything that shatters or splats when dropped from the countertop.
REMEMBER: At all times during the cooking process, one hand must be kept free to either hold your child or keep them at bay from swiping or hitting or otherwise hurting you, themselves or your property.
2) In a strong, confident voice, announce to your child that you will now begin the process of transforming an egg into breakfast. This should elicit either a round of appreciative applause or a blank stare.
3) With your free hand, crack the egg on the counter and then do your best to get it into the bowl. This is hard. You see chefs do this on TV all the time, but they are chefs and you are not.
4) Announce to your child that you are commencing the bowl cleansing process.
5) Remove eggshell bits from the bowl by sticking your finger in there and then pinning the egg shell to the wall of the bowl and sliding it up the side, much like how Patrick Swayze slid the penny up the door in Ghost. Remember to check back on your child every 2-3 seconds to make sure she is not damaging anything.
6) Announce it is time for phase two cleansing.
7) Now wash your hands (you really should have done this before you started, but now you have no choice because you have a child nearby and if you touch her with raw egg, she will instantly contract salmonella). Wash your kid's hands, too, while you're at it.
8) Hand your child a tiny plastic fork and ask her to whisk the egg.
9) Watch her almost tip over the bowl and swirl the egg around for 5 seconds.
10) Take the bowl away and say now it's your turn.
11) Take a whisk and beat the egg. At this point you might like to add in milk or cream and some spices like salt, pepper and thyme. Be aware that anything you add to the egg can and will be used against you in the court of "This is yucky!"
12) Double-check that your child is nowhere near the stove. Make up something that will totally freak them out if they come near the burner, but not something too scary that it'll make you look bad when it invariably gets repeated to your spouse.
13) Turn on the stove to medium heat.
14) Cut off a chunk of butter larger than you normally would (since butter makes everything taste better) and toss it in the pan.
15) Begin making loud car zooming sounds as your lift the pan and rotate around the butter, coating the entire surface.
16) Announce to your child, "It's time for the Eggies to go in the pan!" Say it with a funny accent to add some flourish.
17) Pour the eggs into the pan.
18) Remember that eggs also always taste better with cheese, but oh wait, you only have 45 seconds to get that cheese in there before those eggs start to burn on the bottom of the pan and then you have to scrape that brown stuff off.
19) Grab your child and dash to the fridge and pull out the shredded cheese you use for quesadillas and grilled cheese sandwiches (two of your child's staple food groups).
20) Have your child reach their hands into the bag (they're cooking this, too) and grab a fistful of cheese.
21) Have her hand you the cheese, disregarding the shreds that fall on the floor and then throw the cheese on the eggs with purpose!
22) Take your spatula and start stirring with gusto as the egg starts to stiffen.
23) Grab three plates from the cupboard and have your kid choose the acceptable dish for eating scrambled eggs.
24) Slide the eggs onto the chosen plate and bring it over to the table.
25) Get a fork and scoop some eggs up to your lips. Blow on them to demonstrate how to cool things down.
27) Talk up the fact that making this was a team effort. Yeah!
28) Hand over the fork and tear up with joy as your kid swallows their first bite with a big smile.
29) Watch in horror as they then shove the plate aside and refuse to eat another morsel.
30) Eat the eggs yourself and try to clean up the mess before your spouse wakes up.