Anyone who knows me is well aware of this fact. Given the choice, I would gladly sleep until lunch and skip all the a.m. nonsense altogether. An agrarian lifestyle would send me over the edge. Since college, well, not really college so much (8:00am class? Thank you, but no), I have been forced into waking in the early morning hours, surviving on a combination of coffee and diet pepsi to chemically boost myself into self-awareness.
Anyone who knows my wife is also well aware that she loves mornings. Leah likes to get up and greet the sun. To me, this is like a Disney movie on a bad acid trip. It sounds nice, but the imagery of it is completely nightmarish.
Since our darling children have emerged from the comfort of their biological beds, they have tended towards Leah’s penchant for waking up God Awful early in the morning. Only Sam shows signs of coming over to the dark side. Being the good father, I try very hard sometimes to conform to the wishes of the rest of my masochistic family. I dutifully wake up, or at least get out of bed, to spend early morning “bonding time.”
To their credit, the boys are occasionally very cute in the mornings. One certain days they quietly crawl into bed and wake us up by asking us to read a story. I say certain days because they only happen when planetary and lunar alignments create cosmic waves that prevent their higher brain functions. Usually when they wake me up it is by the sound of crashing, crunching toys or bowls and plates being dropped on the dining room table in the hopes that the breakfast fairy soon will be there.
As the demands of Leah’s job have forced her to abandon her regular exercise regimen, she has started getting up even earlier. In darkness, she tries to sneak out of bed and into the car without waking anyone up. If she wakes me up, I can very easily go back to sleep. And I have. But sometimes, one of the munchkins hears the motor turning over, and thinks that they have overslept and missed Daddy leaving for work. Cue lights. Cue sound. Cue Daddy dragging his sorry ass downstairs.
In the last few weeks, I have relearned how to prepare breakfast, a task for which until recently, Leah had gloriously assumed responsibility. I can pour milk onto cereal with the best of them. But the third or fourth time I found myself in the kitchen alone, three whining little boys refused Honey Nut Cheerios and demanded pancakes.
In a panic, I called Leah (hey, I at least knew she was awake). I successfully repeated back to her the correct ingredients, and started to breathe. In about 10 minutes, I was actually feeding my children pancakes! Leah came home to find all three of them horking down their breakfasts. Victory!!
I have since repeated this feat twice. The second time, I wasn’t so sure about the ingredients, but mangled my way through it. The boys were happy and full, so my job was complete. The third time, I called Leah just to ensure that I was, in fact, not poisoning our children. I recited what I thought were the correct proportions of each ingredient.
“That’s completely right, sweetie,” was Leah’s reply, “I’m just going to pick up some flour quickly and I’ll be home in 5 minutes. Just keep them occupied.”
Ok, I thought to myself, no problem. I pulled out all the other ingredients – oil, eggs, baking powder, milk, and a little pinch of cinnamon. I also found another jar full of flour. Sweet, I thought. I’ll have them cooked by the time she gets home, and will impress the pants off her.
Out flew the measuring cups from the cupboards. On came the gas burners. Keep the dry stuff separate from the wet stuff. Measure. Pour, pour, pour. Crack. Measure. Pour, pour, pour. I was ready.
In walks Leah. She looks at the counter. She smiles. She sticks her finger into the flour and baking powder, and then pokes it into my mouth.
I suspect that my powdered sugar pancakes would not have met with the same levels of success of my previous efforts.