An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Pull a chair up with the hyrup

The Olympics is slowly killing both Jon and me by pushing us three and four hours past our normal bedtime. We’ve been trying to keep up with all the excitement, and two nights ago I finally had to call it quits at one in the morning and hit the sheets. I remember thinking as I checked the clock, oh God, please Leta, sleep in until at least 7:30, do it for Michael Phelps. She answered that prayer by screaming out at 5:00 AM and then refusing to go back to sleep. I brought her back into bed with us and for two hours she asked, CAN I HAVE A PANCAKE NOW? HOW ABOUT NOW? I WANT A PANCAKE. MY OWN PANCAKE. PANCAKE. PANCAKE. PANCAKE. I won’t lie, I did have the sudden urge to punch Jon in the gut at about 6:30 and go THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT. In fact, two days later, I’m still fighting that urge.

I couldn’t sleep through the PANCAKE monologue, so I finally took her upstairs at about 7:00 to eat breakfast. Jon was wiped out, had been working on about six different projects, so I let him sleep despite the fact that THIS WAS ALL HIS FAULT. And then when we got upstairs I realized, oops, I don’t know how to make pancakes. Sure, I could read the directions on the box, but on four hours of sleep I couldn’t see straight. And was in no state to operate a piece of machinery whose main component is fire.

So I suggested that we eat some cereal together. And she protested a tiny bit until I explained very clearly that her daddy is the pancake parent and me? I’m the cop out cereal parent. Pancakes taste better when made by daddy, and cereal poured into a bowl by anyone other than me will just not taste as glorious. Also, I’m tired, be quiet, be glad you have food to eat, if you want I can give you the speech my dad used to give me about starving children in Africa, I haven’t yet uttered that sentence to you, and it would give me great pleasure this morning to cross off that rite of passage.

So we had cereal. And some casual conversation (note, she is watching herself in the viewfinder the entire time):

Also, thanks to several kind readers who sent me the link, I think I now know how to make pancakes because of the following amazing video. Be prepared for the most sensational three minutes and forty-six seconds of your life, I promise you it is worth the investment of your time. Someone get this kid a recording contract STAT:

  • diplocrat

    Aww man, now I wanna make a pancake, make, make a pancake, and I’m living overseas…not always the easiest place to get the items to make the pancake!!

    Thanks for the laugh! 🙂

  • Tom

    Pancakes rule!!

  • CUTE!!! Chuck barfs…funny…you can tell that Leta is mesmerized looking at herself in the viewfinder. Too cute! Hi Leta.

  • Yes, my 4-year old now loves Leta (hey, maybe we should get them together! It’s only…2000 miles for a playdate. Worth it!), and he REALLY loves that Make a pancake, Make-make a pancake song. He made me play it 3 times.

    I also highly recommend finding some real maple syrup to go with your pancakes – Aunt Jemima is a verboten word in this household. If you can’t find any, we’ll ship you some 🙂

    PS I concur with the freezing pancakes idea. It’s what we do in this house, because god knows I’d rather fry an egg than use it to make pancakes.

    PPS We did try the ready-made pancake mix, that comes premixed and you just pour it out (excellent for car camping). They tasted fine, so you could always have some on hand for emergency Jon-less mornings.

  • It’s not so much the making of the pancakes that alludes me, its the flipping of the pancake that causes all the trouble.

    My mom used to make lemon and honey tea (ie Hot water, half a squeezed lemon and a spoonful of honey) when I was sick. And it does not taste nearly as a good as when I do it.

  • I say absolutely no backing down when it comes to the pancakes. Jon must be the one. My husband makes the pancakes in this house, and it keeps me sane! It’s a task I have no part of. Some boundaries must be maintained.

    p.s. Might I say, we have a kick-ass recipe for Amaranth pancakes. Holler and I will deliver. And by that I mean the recipe. Not the pancakes.

    Thanks for your entertainment as always.

  • Brea

    Both my children know that mom does not make pancakes, and it’s not that I’m the cereal parent either – I’ve really tried. Short of taking notes while my husband MAKES MAKES A PANCAKE, I have yet to get it right.

    Likely, it is because I lack patience and cook them too fast, which yeilds a uncooked center. No one likes a doughy pancake!

    Go Leta!

  • I’m going to be singing, “Make a pancake… make, make a pancake” until I make some pancakes. Then I’ll move on to the “Ice cream and cake, do the ice cream & cake!” Those dudes need to put out a kid’s album.

  • Gretta Dorff

    She’s growing up so fast but still as adorable as ever!

  • I just started reading your blog, my sister introduced me to it.

    Just a thought on the pancakes to make it easier for those early mornings…they refrigerate quite well, make extras and she can have re-heated leftovers (whether it be in the microwave or toaster oven).

  • Renae

    To this day I firmly believe that “daddy pancakes” are the best pancakes in the world. Doesn’t matter if you use the same recipe, they just aren’t as good if he doesn’t make them.

    Once, when my brother and I were little, my dad was away on a business trip, it was a Sunday night (the usual timing for daddy pancakes) we were missing our dad so mom made pancakes for us. We informed her that they were ok, but dad’s were WAY better. We were such charming children. To this day (more than 20 years later) my mother refuses to make pancakes.

  • Triptikgirl

    The Olympics are killing me too! I just can’t seem to turn the TV off before 1am.

  • My husband makes a mean pancake, too, and I’m a decent cook – but can’t make pancakes. Can make a bowl of cereal. LOL

  • Sheri

    My kids also believe that Daddy is the only one who makes good pancakes because mine suck! It’s a great excuse, especially when it’s true.

  • Anonymous

    I read about your blog today in the New York Times and I went to check it out.
    Please know that I read many wonderful blogs every day – blogs about design, politics, kids, gossip. But yours is not amongst them. In fact, after reading through quite a number of entries, I find that your blog is about nothing other than your own, very unfascinating life.
    So why, I asked myself, is your blog so popular? My husband just reminded me — mediocrity is so prevalent in the world today and most people are pretty mediocre. I guess that explains why you have so many readers. Mediocrity speaks to mediocrity.

  • so glad the pancake demo involves the milk and egg version, not the water only version. cuz that makes the pancakes like broccoli! and not like, um, life cereal…

  • Joe

    I still have the crown thing in my head, you know the thing you color with. After this clip I’m wondering where your wonderful accent is? I would have gone on to say I like the morning voice but I didn’t know if that would go over so well.

    Reply to comment 115. Get the cob out of you ass and have a nice day.

  • “When did he barf?”


    Ummm… that cuteness is making me want a kid… or two.

    *snort at anon*

  • Dear comment 115:
    Glad to see you are so much better than the rest of mediocre folks on here. I wonder what life is like for you-Is it all rainbows and sunshine from up there on your throne? Well that’s nice, I am glad you and your not so mediocre husband found each other. Seriously. Congratulations.

  • Wow, Comment 115…so nice of you to share your insight with everyone. I bet your life is just fascinating.

    Heather, Leta is so damn cute! She’s at a fabulous age. Enjoy EVERY MINUTE of it!

  • sarah

    “I love Chuck” .. now THAT was adorable, straight from the heart!

    “And Chuck barfs” .. ha ha .. she’s killing me with cuteness!

  • Lori

    I don’t keep a lot of sugar in the house, so when Matti saw that I bought her Lucky Charms, I believe I saw her do a dance. (hey, it was on sale AND I had a coupon)

  • Chris

    Is that the edge of a great IKEA bowl I see by Leta?

  • oh my dog, it is almost nine o frikken clock and now i gotta go make pancakes.

    make a pancake. make, make, make a pancake

    hope you are happy.

  • The Niffer

    That was one crazy song.

    Leta is adorable as always. Did she really say “he is so pleasing to me”? How do you not eat HER for breakfast?

    Also, you must use the word “mediocrity” in next month’s banner. So happy to know, as one of your avid readers, that I’m not worth pissing on.

  • Crossing out “cop out” was hilarious. That really made me giggle.

    Great post.

  • Man I can’t really figure out why people like pancakes. I just don’t get it.

    Am I weird?

    I know they are popular around the world but to me it is just like eating plain bread. Sticky plain bread.


  • Karen

    GIRL… you are on the front page of the New York Times Business Section!! I have been a fan of yours for a few years now, but I am now incredibly impressed!!!!

  • Kristie

    Dear commenter #115 –

    As you have deemed yourself so far above us “mediocre” folks out here, please don’t let us deter you from the great humanitarian works you must perform on a daily basis. We would hate for our favorite blog writer to hinder your ability to cure cancer, solve the global-warming crisis, etc. Please go about your holier-than-thou existence and leave the rest of us to enjoy the witty banter!

  • When I watched the pancake video the first time, I thought the oil was Jose Cuervo. But I didn’t see the kid take a shot. You know, like it’s okay for a kid to down a shot of Jose Cuervo in my world. So I did a double check and found out it was only oil. I am so disappointed. I’d be willing to make pancakes at 6 a.m. if there was booze in them.


  • dooce

    Everyone, please ignore comment #115. That is obviously my Granny cruising the Internet after one too many Postums. Bless her heart.

  • My daughter has now asked me to play the pancake song 3 times in a row. I think it’s going to be a repeat offender. LOL

  • And I thought it was just me who couldn’t say “Chuck” without sounding like an old cowboy. I love Chuck too, Leta, it’s hard not to.

  • Kat

    My 3 year old boy was riveted by Leta’s adorable face. Then he ran to get his guitar to rock out to the pancake song!

  • sara

    Do you have a description of the layout of your house… just intersted about why a master bedroom (I assume) and kitchen are on separate floors..

  • He barfs TOMORROW! I love it. Leta is hysterical. And the “cuz you can’t make pancakes” intonation? Priceless.

  • Shit. Now I want a pancake.

  • Just what our house needs–another earworm. Try this: sing “Willy Wonka. Willy Wonka” while someone else sings “make a pancake.” Add on another earworm for each member of your family and hilar-, no, insanity ensues.

  • When I was little I was afraid to let my Dad know that he was the inferior parent when it came to making chocolate milk (he just drizzled it in the cup but never mixed it) because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. When my mom was sick a few years ago and I came home to take care and give Dad a break and I’d make her milk. So my whole Dad Sucks At Chocolate Milk theory came out…to everyone but him. This video thinks I should have come clean a long time ago and let Mom have the credit. 🙂

  • Is it against the rules to post twice? Because when I watched/read this when it was posted I thought of (you know, and the milk too) the video but forgot…

  • Dude, 20 bucks says #115 is the most mediocre mother fucker of us all.

    (can you say that here?)

  • Jennifer B.

    The funny part of this whole story, is that we have been letting our kids stay up with us to watch the Olympics. At least we get the privilege to have them sleep in with us in the morning! What are the benefits of working from home, if you can’t sleep in during the Olympics!

    P.S. I’m not criticizing, I’m giving pointers!!!

    Love your site.

    Jennifer B.

  • Please gawd don’t tell me I’m the only one who “makes” toaster pancakes when daddy-pancake-maker isn’t home??!!

  • Next time, you could pull out the Chinese gymnastics card. Tell Leta that she should be glad she’s not in China where she’d be shipped off to tumbling school, all year long, without her princess dolls and her own pancake.

  • I loved it when she said “I love Chuch; he’s my favourite”
    Soo cute 🙂

  • Due to the fact that I’m still nursing a lactose intolerant child, I have had no culinary delights in 11 months other than wheat free, dairy free Newman O’s and the gluten free, dairy free frozen pancakes I found the other day which SURPRISE have three pancakes inside each wrapper. Jackpot. You should totes get those. Toaster oven on convection…seven minutes…done. Don’t forget the real maple syrup even though I love a lady in a do-rag.

  • LOVED that. Especially the dancing with the rake.

    note to self: teach husband to make pancakes.

  • Stacy

    My 7 year old is running around the house singing, “make a pancake.” Could be worse…

  • That is why I love frozen pancakes that go in a toaster oven…. I am the worst pancake maker in the world!

  • I’m the only one in my house who eats pancakes, so I make a batch and freeze them with parchment or waxpaper between them. Take a couple of them out of the freezer and pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds and you CAN NOT tell the difference. Swear.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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