“Daddy.” She whispers sharply into my ear, simultaneously nudging my shoulder and jostling the pillow. “I’m hungry.”
I’m (mostly) still sleeping, but the persistence in her voice tells me that this is not the first time she has asked. It’s shortly after six on a Saturday morning, the only day of the week when stealing a few extra winks is even remotely possible. Except it never is. “Go get a snack.” I deflect, hoping she’ll scurry towards the kitchen and find herself some dry cereal or something.
“Daddy.” She repeats. “I want pancakes. It’s Saturday.”
For three years, with only the rarest of exceptions, Saturday morning is pancake day. We get up. I make coffee. We assemble the ingredients while the cast iron pan warms on the stove. And by the time seven-thirty rolls around it is time to wake up mom and call her down for breakfast.
But it is 6:12,at least according to the glowing green numbers displayed on the alarm clock beside my bed. It is not 7:30. “Go back to bed.” I insist in the best dad-voice I can muster less than a minute after being woken from a rather peaceful slumber.
“I’m hungry.” She repeats.
“Then go make the batter yourself and call me when you are ready to cook them.” I suggest with only the faintest glimmer of a hope that my ploy for a few extra Zs will work.
But… footsteps, no reply, and for an imperceptibly short moment I drift back into the semi-consciousness of a desperate sleep-in.
When the muffled clangs and clatters filtering through the floor finally rouse me once again, I stumble downstairs to three sights: a somewhat messy kitchen, a nearly-ready-to-cook bowl of pancake batter, and a grinning six-year-old.
fostering independence, rule 006
opportunities are cooking everywhere: so sometimes just stay in bed
What’s a mixing bowl worth? Or a carton of spilled milk? She’d seen me mix the ingredients for pancakes so often that the recipe was grilled into her memory. The final batter was a bit runny, but in the end nothing broke. Very little spilled. And the beaming pride that bubbled even more than the hot flapjacks on the grill was worth the mess.
I could have been there to fully supervise and perhaps there may have been one or two fewer bits of eggshell in the batter, but there is learning to be had in taking risks. Just sometimes those risks involve sitting still and letting your daughter take over the tradition, even when breakfast is on the line.