Sunday morning is pancake morning.
First, I slip out of bed to grab a cup of coffee. Steam rises from my mug as I sip. The children, sensing a force moving around them, start to stir. Eli sits up in bed and sleepily grins, with a small grunt which can only be interpreted as "put food in my belly- stat." I lift him free, his arms wrapping around my neck, his cheek pressed against mine, and his breath warming my ear. Then Addison is at her gate saying "Get out now, mommy. Get out! Toast! Cereal!" Still holding the baby, I let her out. "No toast. Today is pancake day!" which she then replies back with "pancake! church." because she knows that the two always pair together. Carter is then up on his gate shouting "ALL DONE MOMMY!" so I call to him that it is okay to leave his room. As he scrambles over, I thank him for waiting to leave his room until he had permission. He grins at me before scurrying away. His lopsided 3 year-old grin melts my heart. I set the baby down (who immediately dashes off to create trouble), and we get to work.
The next fifteen minutes can only be described as a flour-flying, egg-breaking circus. Throw ingredients into the bowl. Should we add oatmeal today? Applesauce? Extra baking powder to achieve a higher stack? All the while my children seem to multiply around me, holding onto my ankles like dead weights. (waiting ten minutes for food is hard! apparently) Then Carter always demands to stir- no matter that he is balanced precariously in an open drawer to reach up to the counter. Addison whines that "she wants a turn too." The batter is stirred by two eager helpers while I focus on keeping them away from the heating skillet.
Daddy arrives on the scene and takes over flipping and cooking while I chase down the baby- stopping to set some tunes on Pandora on the way by.
The plate stacks high with steaming pancakes as Addison sets the table. She takes the plates and forks to the Dining Room, and Carter then helps arrange them- one fork per plate. They almost get them all in the right spot.
Daddy carries the almost toppling tower of pancakes to the table. The toddlers climb up onto their chairs and patiently wait for their requests of "Cut pancake, Daddy. CUT!" to be carried out. The baby bangs his hands against the table.
I sit down with my now lukewarm cup of coffee after fetching milk cups for each child (and a big milk cup for Daddy.)
Pancakes are passed around, slightly drizzled with syrup over melted butter, cut to perfection. Within ten seconds, the entire table is coated in syrup. Carter focuses intently on eating. Addison chatters happily while taking hers at a much more leisurely pace. Eli gets tired of eating and decides to start throwing his pancake pieces on the floor. The floor instantly seems sticky too even though the baby didn't have any syrup on his pancakes.
Chaos ensues. Half of the talking is undecipherable. But as little bellies fill, my own pancakes slide down (calorie free, of course), and conversation still manages to happen between the adults- I look around at my sticky table and smile. This is my happy place. Hopelessly sticky. Fantastically messy. Gloriously awry. All of these words in perhaps another setting might not be positive in nature. But as they cross my mind over pancake breakfast- I equate them with perfection. The connection that we find over pancakes starts our week out with the warm fuzzy feeling of belonging. Family breakfast. Which always ends with tossing 3 sticky babies into a bubble bath to scrub down, towel dry, and dress in Sunday best.
Sunday morning is pancake morning. I think perhaps it is my favorite.