Good news. All the emergency notification alarms in our house work.
It was bright and early Sunday morning. I had two sprightly and awake muppets â€“ who do not understand the concept of a lazy Sunday. Perhaps it was the lack of caffeine in my system prior to the dayâ€™s dawn, but I was suddenly struck by inspiration to have a stereotypical suburban family morning.
Mickey Mouse pancakes for everyone!
(Well, almost everyone. Jon worked the graveyard shift, so he was attempting to catch a couple hours of sleep.)
Naturally, being the culinary genius I am, I decided it would be a fantastic idea to prepare these Disney delectables from scratch. So I pulled the â€œJust Add Waterâ€ Safeway mix out of the cupboard and began to mix. (Typically Eggo waffles are liberated from the freezer and muppets help me â€œcookâ€ by pushing the toaster button down.)
Still feeling footloose and fancy free, I went wild â€“ a mashed overripe banana was added to my water/mix mush. (Itâ€™s healthier because it makes the cakes sweeter, thus no syrup is needed.)
After a lengthy debate, I convinced the boys to give me back my Mickey Mouse cookie cutter (oh come on, you didnâ€™t think I was going to cook AND attempt artistry) instead of placing it on the floor of the bathroom while they pottied (because ew).
The grilling pan was scrubbed, lubricated with a dab of olive oil, and the gas stove was lit aflame. The banana batter was dolloped upon the griddle, flipped and then expertly flopped onto the cookie sheet, where it was cookie-cuttered into the desired Mickey shape.
As I prepared for a repeat performance upon the sizzling pan in front of me, the upstairs smoke alarm went off.
Simultaneously shoeing my suddenly very interested little helpers away from the NON-SMOKING pancake situation and flinging windows open, I raced up the stairs to silence the alarm. In my hurry I grabbed the nearest item to wave at the angry (and apparently exquisitely sensitive) smoke detector.
And such as it was when the bedroom door opened â€“ framing a confused Jon, still drunk with sleep, standing there squinting at me as I furiously fanned the cardboard remains from a case of Diet Coke at the high-pitched beeping.
â€œItâ€™s the one in the other room,â€ Jon mumbled, pointing toward the nursery, before stumbling back to bed.
I sheepishly returned downstairs and resumed my quest for pancakes.
Not three seconds later, the shrill beep began again in earnest. I yelled for Search and Destroy to sit at the table, since I would once again be leaving the hot hot stove with mouth-watering banana pancakes unattended, willing neither my 3-year-olds nor the dogs to sacrifice themselves for the cause to imbibe the carbs.
â€œIs the house on fire?â€ Jon asked, reappearing in the doorway.
â€œThereâ€™s not even any smoke. I burned nothing!â€ I retorted in between thwacking the alarm with my cardboard.
Say cheers, there were only two ears left to make. So when the alarm went off for the third time, the boys happily announced, â€œBreakfastâ€™s ready! The fire alarm went off.â€
I only made it halfway up the stairs (this time wanting to throw a bottle of Jack Daniels at the damn thing to go along with the Cokeâ€™s cardboard remnants) before Jon ripped the battery out of the over-eager alarmâ€™s brains.
Donâ€™t worry. It still works. We learned this when it was reassembled at naptime.
But dammit, we had pancakes.
And they werenâ€™t burned. No matter what the smoke alarm screams.