I grew up in a family that could cook. My mom, my dad, they could both throw down in the kitchen. All of my other 7 brothers and sisters can as well. Sundays were usually my dad making us pancakes and bacon, waffles, eggs you name it. He’d have the griddle going, dish towel draped over his shoulder, singing the same two lines to the same Italian song, and giving my sister Mary Grace the same joke when she appeared in the kitchen; “Mary Grace Mary Grace, all the chickens are having a race.”
I can still hear my dad giving me the business because I always asked for fried eggs when he was making scrambled, then I would cut the fried eggs up to minuscule bits. He would go nuts. “There is no difference between that and a scrambled egg!” Yes dad yes there is. The yoke is different when it’s fried compared to it being scrambled. It does make the egg taste different. It does, I’m tellin ya!
That was breakfast at our house way back when. Much more way back, much more when.
Basically by osmosis I learned to cook too. Not so much a wannabe chef as I am a short order cook in the style Vic Tayback from Mel’s diner. Turns out it was good training for having kids. The day both kids agree on what they want for breakfast is the day humanity achieves the singularity, and thus signals the end of humanity. Who knew pancakes vs waffles could be so pivotal.
Anyway, with school starting the tables have turned a bit. No surprise here, Anne Marie is the beneficiary of the breakfast inequality.
With Frank having to be at the bus stop by 7:00am coupled with his desire to sleep till 8:00 am, his breakfast options are limited. Many was the day that me and some of my familial tribe ran out the door as my brother screeched, “Bus is at the corner!” with nothing more than a pop-tart in our hands. By the way, the bus was NEVER at the corner.
I’m not too concerned that Frank is retracing the path of some of his tribe. He’s a cinnamon iced pop-tart man like we were. There are times he’ll sleep-eat his way though a yogurt or cereal. It’s those moments that make me proud of my parental skills. Yogurt, hell that almost makes him a health food nut job.
The inequality comes in after Frank gets on the bus at 7:05. Anne Marie doesn’t have to be to school until 9:00. And she is much more demanding and short on humor at that hour.
“Daddy I’m hungry!”
Well miss hungry what do you want?
“I’m not miss hungry! I’m Anne Marie Linardo!”
Yes I’m aware. What would you like to eat Anne Maire Linardo?
“Can I have eggs and sauseeeeeege daddy?”
No sauseeeege today. Just bacon.
And so it goes. In minutes the bacon is sizzlin and the eggs are being cracked. Then the request. “Daddy can I have cinnamon toast while I wait for my pancakes?”
You asked for eggs Anne Marie.
“But I want pancakes!”
Sorry the cook does not recognize the phrase “I want.” And your tone will get you back in your room. Try again.
“Daddy can I please have pancakes?”
See I am the king of my domain. Sort of. OK I guess I’m eating eggs and she’s having pancakes I’m about to start making. Either way she’s eating much better than Frank. And when I say better I am in no way speaking of nutritional value. I never consider nutritional value. All I’m saying is a dry pop-tart can’t really compare to pancakes and Benton’s bacon with a side of eat while you wait cinnamon toast.
Sometimes I wonder what will happen if and when Frank stumbles across this blog in a few years. Don’t think for a second I’m not trying to figure a way to blame this all on her. I know she’ll do the same to me.