“Wait Until Your Father Gets Home!” These words have never been uttered in my house.
I knew when we married that my spouse had more spontaneity than I do. I like to have a good time as much as the next person, but he definitely had more of that je ne sais quoi. He’s in the moment; I’m one arm in the moment, with the rest of me in other moments that require many lists.
I should have foreseen how this difference would play itself out in our marriage and in our family, but it took a few years and the birth of a few kids for the die to cast. Finally, I saw it: I’m Cereal Mom, he’s Pancake Dad.
There’s nothing wrong with cereal. It’s somewhat filling, basically tasty, and most importantly for a mom, bought and stored in bulk. I don’t even pretend to be Lucky Charms or Captain Crunch. I love and know Lucky and the Captain—they’re both friends of mine—but I’m no Lucky or Captain. I’m more like Special K, or, on a wild day, possibly as exciting as Honey Nut Cheerios.
I like to think that on most days, the kids prefer my cereal style. But on Saturdays? It’s about pancakes—literally. Saturday mornings are sacred in our house. We all sleep in, and when we finally crawl out of bed, we move in one sweeping motion to the griddle for chocolate chip pancakes. Everyone’s happy about it, even the dog.
On this particular Pancake Saturday, when we didn’t have plans, I, Cereal Mom, had dreams of sitting around in our pajamas and putting a puzzle together next to a raging fire in the living room fireplace. I proposed this idea to the children.
Child #1: “Are you serious? I have band practice today.”
Child #2: “We have the most boring family on the planet.”
Child #3: “Can you make s’mores INSIDE a house?”
Seriously? I contemplated a DNA test on all three of them, shook my head, and plopped myself down on the couch, somewhat resigned. It was then that I heard my husband, Pancake Dad, calling to the kids from the kitchen.
WHAT PANCAKE DAD SAID: “Hey guys, how about we go to Valley View and catch that new 3-D movie? We could grab lunch at DiBella’s first. Oh—I also have to get some stuff at Dick’s. Let’s stop there after the movie.”
WHAT PANCAKE DAD MAY AS WELL HAVE SAID: “Let’s go eat lunch, even though we JUST had breakfast and haven’t even cleaned up from that meal, then let’s go drop $300 at Dick’s for items Cereal Mom would never contemplate purchasing, like a $60 sled. Then let’s go sit in a movie that Cereal Mom wouldn’t approve of.”
Cheers of victory erupted from the kids; Pancake Dad scored again. They all think this is a great plan, and I can’t think of three things I would less like to do. They are all excited, and I feel like the biggest loser for not feeling the thrill.
The shoes are on, and they are heading toward the door. “What about band practice?” I yell to Child #1. “Oh, that’s not until later.” How convenient.
I hear Child #2 telling my husband, “You’re the best,” as they walk out the door.
Child #3, too young to see the whole picture, tells me not to be too lonely while they are gone.
But, I ask you: Where was Pancake Dad when Child #1 needed help with algebra? That’s right, Special K was on the job. How about when Child #2 left his shoes home and needed them dropped off at school? Special K to the rescue. And when Child #3’s earrings got stuck? Um hmm: Give it up for Special K!
I can see the memoir now: Why Cereal Moms are Superior. That being said—it is still Saturday morning, and thanks to Pancake Dad, I have the whole house to myself. Boy do I love pancakes!