Make Me Some Pancakes, Funnyman!

I’ve started a new habit of getting up early on Saturday mornings. Why would any sensible person do such a thing unless they had a weekend job like delivering newspapers or selling new homes? The truth of the matter is I do have a job… sort of. I’m the On-Call Pancake Production Specialist covering the weekend shifts from 6am to 9am. Basically, my job duties boil down to simply whipping up gourmet pancakes at the whim of Allie and Avery. Thank goodness, it’s only a three-hour window outside of which, I can tell them to go chew on leather belts as a means to quell their tiny growling stomachs (it’s a technique used by the French Foreign Legion as a means of survival when getting lost in the desert. My boys think it’s cool.).

Typically, I roll out of bed, get dressed and head upstairs to the kitchen praying the girls will be satisfied with today’s offering to the gods of their bottomless pits. It’s my own fault. I created these little monsters back when I started dating Ashley in an attempt to impress her by winning over the solid gold hearts of her darling little girls. So, when she mentioned to me her girls loooooooove pancakes, I saw my opportunity. I am a master pancake maker, a talent handed down from father to son for generations in my family, so mixing a batch of golden brown, cinnamon flapjacks would be, well, child’s play. I had no idea my well-intentioned act would turn these little dears into mini-me, meth addicts.

Based on height, weight, and gender, I estimated about twelve to fifteen pancakes as the appropriate amount for the girls, their mom and myself – two each for mom and the girls and six for myself. It filled my heart with joy watching the excitement in Allie and Avery’s eyes as I poured, stirred and flipped their breakfast treats, and then resulting joy as they swallowed the first bites. “Mmmmmmm! You’re a good pancake-maker, Ron,” they said in unison as their mom looked at me with love in her eyes. I was in, which is to say, in way over my head.

“Can we have some more?” I turned from the stove to see these little cherubs holding their plates in the air like those starving kids in Africa. How could I refuse? I’d just subtract 2 from my portion and make up for it later with a snack, but 30 seconds later the girls returned hoping to receive pancakes 5 and 6. “Wow!” I thought, “Either I’m even better than I think I am or these little urchins have been living a deprived existence outside the realm of the pancake world .” The final count for that first morning ended up running something to the effect of twelve a piece for the girls, eight for Ashley, and the lone pancake dropped on the floor going to myself.

I actually had to make more in order escape the kitchen with my own life. After pancake number 8, Allie handed me her plate with the expectation of another hit of “the good stuff.” I tried to explain to her that there was no more batter (I held off on the part about generously giving up my portion as a matter of good Christian living. I figured I’d get a “Golden Pancake” from God as my reward in heaven.). Allie said nothing as her face slumped in disappointment, and she walk off only to return a minute later with a folded up piece of paper she handed to me. At first, I thought this to be a charming thank you, but I believe the actual text scrawled in black crayon was closer to, “MAYK MOR PANKAKZ OR YU WEEL DI.”

There was a red scribble at the bottom. Sensing the confusion mixed with the horror in my expression, Allie motioned for me to bend down close so she could whisper in my ear. Cupping her hand she whispered, “The red is supposed to be blood.”

“Holy, Smurfing Care Bears! Who are these kids?!” I thought as I slowly straightened up and looked over at the mother on the couch. She looked up and smiled adoringly at me for feeding her hungry offspring, completely oblivious to the murderous extortion taking place at that very instant and not five feet away from where she sat.

Fast forward to the present where I slowly drag out mixing bowls, pancake mix, an egg, milk (not to be confused with “sugar milk”), cinnamon, vanilla, brown sugar, flax seed, and…. “Oh, dear Lord, let there be frozen blueberries in the freezer,” I pray as I rifle through the freezer. “No, no, no… Yes!” There is a God and He pities me. It’s much better for me to get up early and prepare everything in advance so as to avoid such pitfalls as not having blueberries on hand. It makes for a harmonious morning with less tension in the air.

I used to sleep in, letting Ashley get up with the girls to feed them cereal and turn on cartoons so she could fall back to sleep on the couch. However, as soon as she would start snoring loud enough to drown out the TV, Allie and Avery would push away from the table and proceed downstairs to express their displeasure with me.

I would open my eyes, to the blurry sight of the girls standing next to bed. Their faces would be eerily expressionless. “It’s time.” Avery would say simply in a flat monotone voice, and Allie would raise her arm to show me a red crayon as if to say, “You know what this means, don’t you?” Taking the none-too-subtle hint, I would roll out of bed and head up to the kitchen to perform my duty.

On my way, I’d pass a practically unconscious Ashley slumbering unaware on the couch prompting a reminder by one the girls. “Don’t wake mother,” they would say in that same monotone voice, but with the notable hint of a creepy English accept.

Nervously, I’d whip up a heaping batch of blueberry pancakes hoping to meet with their approval, but the pressure to perform in front of such a demanding and cutthroat audience increased my chances of making a potentially fatal mistake. There have been some close calls, eventually prompting me to my current routine of waking up ahead of time. On one occasion, I forgot to add flaxseed.

“Hey!” Avery said throwing her fork on the table. “Where’s the flaxseed?”

I tried to smooth it over; amazed she could even tell it was missing. “I’m sorry, Sweetie, I forgot…” But she cut me off.

“Forgot?! You forgot?!” her tone more accusing than questioning.

“Forgot? What did Ron forget, my little angel?” It was Ashley standing at the top of the stairs. Somehow she miraculously manages to wake each Saturday morning without fail just at the moment I start serving the first round of my “griddle manna.” “What do they think you forgot, dear?” she then asked me. But as I opened my mouth to speak, it wasn’t my voice that I heard.

“Mommy! Ron put sugar milk in the pancakes!” Allie said while starting to rub her eyes as if she were crying. “He said he ‘forgot’ that you said he couldn’t use it anymore.” It took me a day and a half to convince Ashley otherwise, and at no small price.

On another occasion, I used frozen mixed berries instead of the outrageously more expensive blueberries. The mixed berries had of blueberries, but it also consisted of blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries (which Allie detests). I clung to a single hope that I could make the substitution and the girls would be none the wiser, and maybe, with any luck, they might even like this new version better. Things were going along better than I anticipated with Allie and Avery each having gulped down four “modified” pancakes before Ashley casually mentioned how she really like the way I mixed in the raspberries and especially the strawberries.

“Aren’t these good pancakes, girls?” Ashley said to the girls. “Tell Ron what a good pancake maker he is.”

I slowly turned to face the girls who were nodding in agreement and wearing large fake grins that accentuated their oversized cheeks stuffed full of pancake and mixed berries. I nervously smiled back as a sign of my gratitude, hoping to gain some small amount of mercy from Allie and Avery. It was not to be.

As soon as Ashley got up to give me a peck on the cheek and put her plate in the sink, the forced smiling ceased. Allie put her thumb to her throat and slowly drug it under her chin in a simulated slashing motion and then pointed at me. When their mom turned back around the girls’ smile immediately re-appeared, and then faded slowly as Ashley walked away, clueless that my life was now hanging in the balance. Once she had disappeared down the stairs Allie and Avery turned back towards me and spit the contents of their mouth out onto the floor for me to pick up. I can’t remember quite what happened next, but for the record, as part of the terms of the confidentiality agreement, I am not allowed to disclose the detailed concessions made in order to remain among the living. I will say it was steep and involved marbles and possibly a voodoo doll bearing my likeness.

That incident was the final straw convincing me I needed to be awake and ready before everyone else. Now I have the batter made, the griddle perfectly heated and the blueberries thawed, making me as ready as I can be for Allie and Avery’s demand for stacks of golden pancakes. As I mentioned earlier, this routine makes for a more pleasant morning with the girls not behaving with that Children-of-the-Corn demeanor. In fact, they usually smile at me as they enter the kitchen, knowing I have accepted my role as the On Call Pancake Production Specialist and thus recognize my place within the household.

At 6:45AM, they appear right on schedule all bright and cheery upon seeing I have prepared for today’s session.

“Fix us some pancakes, clown!” Allie demands while climbing up to the table.

“Ya,” Avery echoes as she joins her sister. “I want blueberry pancakes, Funnyman!”

I’ll admit, it’s a bit demeaning to take such abuse from a six and four year old, but it’s better than dying a horrible death for refusing.

PS. Watch the video (from Wedding Crashers) and insert “pancake” for the word “bicycle.” It’s like that.

Wedding Crashers

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Ads Section

Ads Section

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP