O.K. Corral: The Ballad Of Hank The Tank, Part 4

Henry 'Pancakes' Bielanko down at the O.K. Corral

“Henry, do you want some breakfast, my man?”

I am standing at the kitchen island, trying to get to the coffeemaker before the onslaught of Kiddie Breakfast begins, but I can hear Violet coming down the steps and I know damn well that I am running out of time.

He looks at me and flings his binky about eight feet across the room, smiling.

“OTAAAAY,” he exclaims, which, in case you don’t know, is ‘okay’ in Hank-Talk.

“Cool, I figured you did. Pancakes?”

He grins at me, oblivious that there was a question aimed his way.

“Henry, do you want pancakes?” I stretch it out real nice and easy for him to understand.

“OTAAAAY!,” he tells me. “Mmmmmm! Pantakes!”

I admire his agreeable nature from across the room as I stick a couple of frozen flapjacks in the microwave. I tell him as much, too.

“I like how you’re a YesMan, little buddy. Do you know that? Daddy likes that you are cool with whatever.”

“OTAAAY!,” he shouts out, happy as a piss-clam.

Hey man,” I look right into  his brown eyeballs as I stick a butter knife into the plastic tub of fake butter stuff. “You want some butter on your pancakes?”

“OTAAAAY!” God, I think to myself, this is actually pretty darn wonderful, all this agreeing to go-with-the-flow crap. It’s not like I don’t want him to have his own opinions and preferences or anything, but the kid is one and a half and I feel like I should be able to take his readiness to green light just about every thing I suggest and really bask in it, you know. I mean, we all know these kind of days are ephemeral, and once they’re gone they’re gone, buddy.

“Syrup, dude?” I ask him as I hold up the big jug of supermarket brand maple.

He looks up at me and smiles. I think he’s coming in on the joke by the little look on his face. He seems playful, naughty.

“OTAAAAAY!” he bellows and so I squirt some out on top of the melting butter-goo.

“Yo Henry, do you want some hippopotamus poop on these bad boys or what?” I can’t help myself; it’s all too easy and so, you know,  it has to be done.


“Otay, Hippo poo coming right up!” I answer him back as I mush a couple of blueberries into a paste and toss them on the plate where they stick hard and fast to the syrup pooled up in still pools along the edge of the plate.

Before long, he’s tackling his pancakes like a lumberjack just back to camp. “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm,” he says. And,” Pantakes!” he announces mid-bite, so that he  lets half gobbled ‘pantake’ milkshake drip on down over his whole shirtless front. I remember then that I should have gotten him a bib so I rush to the drawer and yank one out.

“Bib, monsieur?” I ask him in my best Pepe Le Pew/Inspector Clouseau voice.

“Otaaaay!” he blurts, with pancake shrapnel flecking throughout his hair . We’re a minute in and he’s already sticky with about ten black lab hairs mortared to his chin.

But who cares?

I’m having pancakes with my sticky son who’s eating whatever I mange to throw down and “okayin'” everything I manage to ask him.

And I’ll take that any old day of the week.


You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.

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More from Serge:

The Ways Of Love: 20 Things My Kids Have Taught Me About Living

Before I Had You: Reflections On A Bachelor’s Life Before Kids

Come On Up For The Rising: Heading Home After the Fire

25 Things About My Son, Henry




Article Posted 4 years Ago
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