“Today” co-host Savannah Guthrie, who announced last week that she was rejoining the NBC morning show on March 3 following her maternity leave, instead returned Monday.

“Because I literally couldn’t wait!!” Guthrie, 45, had posted on Instagram Sunday, next to a graphical-text image that read “Savannah returns tomorrow!” She had gone on maternity leave Dec. 2 and gave birth six days later to her and husband Michael Feldman’s son Charley. The couple also have a daughter, Vale, 2.

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Fellow hosts Matt Lauer and Al Roker greeted Guthrie with a routine that poked fun at the Academy Awards’ Best Picture mix-up the previous night. “The producers of our show have decided to inform me who I am co-hosting with this morning by giving me this envelope to open live on the air,” Lauer, 59, began. “And so, today’s co-host is,” he said, fumbling with the envelope and then smiling. “That can’t be right. Seriously?” Showing it to Roker, he stated: “It says, ‘Savannah Guthrie.”

“That’s right!” Roker, 62, answered brightly, and a moment later introduced her.

“I’m ready for my opening dance numberrrrr!” Guthrie, 45, joked, striding in and exchanging pleasantries before adding, “I’d like to thank the Academy and [colleagues] Hoda, Tamron, Lester, Brian . . . ”

She had tweeted at 3:40 a.m. Monday, “Missing my babies already. But excited to see everybody this morning on @TODAYshow.” On both Twitter and Instagram, she posted a photo of a note she had written to her children: “Dear Vale & Charley, I will see you at home for lunch. Love, Mommy.”