Mika decided to shed herself of the abnormally normal sleep routine imposed by her lackadaisical authoritarian parents, choosing instead to put head to pillow long after Mom, and at an hour often eclipsing her Dad. Usually, there is dancing. A tap routine across a pillow top mattress, a few pirouettes through Mom’s hair, a high kick, jump and unintentional curtsy followed by uproarious belly laughs. Of course we made the mistake of encouraging this behavior by setting the routine to music. But, we find these actions more tolerable than blood boiling screams soliciting passive aggressive window slamming from the neighbors (they of the brick building across the alley). We tried to remedy this situation – the protests, screams and cries – when Mika first showed signs of usurping independence. My wife obsessive compulsively researched sane methodologies to address sleep issues in toddlers. We developed a routine and flow charts aimed at empowering a 20 month old. This worked, briefly. And then Mika figured out that she could protest the parts of the routine. The light was fun to turn off one day, the next? It needed to stay on. Tucking her stuffed bunny alongside in bed inspired her to fold ALL of her plush animals in a quilt so that one of her parents could read the same book to each and ever animal in bed. I tried ignoring her. Heeded advice to “cry it out,” yet, the cries, once fake, evolved into fits of panic, a fear of being abandoned by the people that brought her into the world.
We delved into the world of quackery. Created pseudo online accounts so we could rub shoulders with “starrymom420” and “naturaldadofsunandmoon.” They upward marketed us essential oils and advised us to cleanse our house with lavender. “You must rid yourself of bad chi. This is the only answer.”
I started to question where, in the span of 20 months, did I go wrong. Should I have napped in bed with Mika more? Less? When she was very young, I would read her the books I was reading. Maybe this explains why Mika wants to read every book in her library? Should she played have with the kid whose parents who unironically wore MAGA hats? Maybe all those protest marches I took her doomed her to a life of as a contrarian.
Eventually, we stopped trying to address the problem. Not because we are comfortable with a toddler shedding articles of clothing around the house while delightfully screaming at our annoyed cats. Rather, we hope this is a phase. That if we let her be, our headstrong daughter will fall into a habit by adapting parts of the routine we exposed to her. That, she will realize that perpetually avoiding a set of conventions, is in fact a routine.
If there is a parallel to Mika’s lack of sleep and a crepe like pancake common in Noridc cooking, it is this: For two consecutive days, Mika grabbed a Knaussgaard book (she was drawn to the close up photo of the author gracing the cover) at nap time and feel asleep before I could finish a paragraph.
I’ve made Mika traditional crepes, which she used as a straw for what was folded/rolled inside. She either loved the ham/spinach/gruyere/reggiano, or hated the crepe. (Probably both!) Pancakes/crepes/etc are great because if Mika is protesting foods from her father’s homeland on a Tuesday, chances are, she will be enamored with the thin sheets of fried egg batter the next.
Scandinavian pancakes use more eggs and includes sugar, which is the only remarkable difference with a crepe. I suppose you could add cardamom, dill, and reindeer if you really wanted to embrace Norwegian ingredients.
Anyway, the batter keeps for a few days and the pancakes even longer (and can be frozen). Fill them with what you desire: cheese, greens, an egg, fruit, jam, or pickled herring.
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
Combine the eggs and milk in the container of a blender. Add the flour, salt and sugar, and blend until smooth.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, and coat with cooking spray or butter. Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet, and tilt the pan to coat the bottom. Cook until the top looks dry, about 30 seconds. Carefully slide a spatula under the pancake and flip. Cook for a few seconds on the other side, just until browned. Remove to a plate, and repeat with remaining batter.