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:

  • This post has just made me so excited! My version of Jon will now be making Blueberry Pancakes on Sunday morning, as I am the cereal spouse.

    Wheee! Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Paula

    Others beat me to the punch, but you have to get some of that Batter Blaster and keep it in the fridge. (See Regis and Kelly trying it out here:

    My friend’s son, Nate (a “classically trained culinary wiz” from San Francisco), developed it and it ain’t bad! Is it as good as the ones you make from scratch? No. But it sure beats messing up the kitchen for one or two pancakes and then throwing most of the batter down the sink anyway when the kids say “I’m full!!!”

    And, as pancakes go, they are reasonably healthy. Nate also developed a whole line of kid-friendly vegetarian “meat” products that you can get at Wild Oats.
    You should try them!!
    Check them out here:
    Happy Blasting!

  • If you want a catchy little pancake ditty that will be stuck in your head FOREVER, check out Pancake, Pancake, Waffle!

    We own a breakfast place in Oregon. If you’re ever in Oregon, please come by so I can treat you all to the best pancakes in town!

  • My 3 year old eats the store bought ready-made frozen pancakes every single morning. She’s almost at the point where she can pop ’em in the microwave herself. I’ve already started the lessons on things that are not allowed in the microwave in prep for her becoming self sufficient in the pancake department. She has a healthy fear of electricity and fireworks and things that go “BOOM” so I think I’ve scared her enough in my detailed explanation of the explosion and meltdown that will ensue if she puts anything other than “this specific plate” and “this many pancakes on the plate” in the microwave and pushes “anything other than this button”, so that we’re safe. If we;ve run out of pancakes , I find myself in serious trouble. I’ve ruined her day. Unless I get the cookie cutter out and let her make “star” and “heart” toast with jam. I agree with the other commenters – maybe Jon should just make a big ol’ batch of 3 dozen pancakes and freeze ’em!

    Bobbin won’t eat syrup on her pancakes. She’s weird that way – hates juice, sweet syrup, candy, cake, chocolate, peanut butter. She’ll only eat snickerdoodle cookies, and she loves strawberry ice cream. But ask her if she wants a peach or a piece of chocolate or candy and she’ll go for the peach every time. Which means there’s more chocolate left for me.

  • Amy AZ

    You know they make them like frozen waffles now right?? Maybe she can learn to use the toaster & make them for YOU!

  • Liz

    lol heather, good luck with that! When I was younger, one of my best friend’s little sisters – who was at least six or seven at the time, probably old enough to know better – tried to cook macaroni in the microwave with no water. It went about as well as you’d expect. I can’t remember when I first started using the microwave, but I do remember that I never screwed it up too badly. Mom, on the other hand, put a jar of chocolate sauce in there that had real foil in the label. Whoops.

  • I love the “Do it for Michael Phelps.”

    Because I totally would.

    No matter what “it” was.

  • Rick W

    Thanks for the pancake post. My two year old is OBSESSED with pancakes. While I try to limit the pancake meals to one per day, he thinks that everything can be made into pancakes if you can mash it up and throw some sort of liquid on it. Broccoli–beat it with a spoon and add milk=pancakes. Raisin Bran+milk=pancakes. Dogfood+crying=pancakes. Your post was a quick bit of relief that put his challenging behavior in a new perspective. Going through a divorce and am scarred about how much I’ll get to see him…your post made me realize that no matter what and when I might have a moment, they are all to be savored.

  • M@

    Oh My God, she is growing up so fast!

  • HollyGolightly

    Seriously – I have this urge to sing


    All day long!!

    That made my day!


  • Uh … have you ever contemplated just saying, No! to your sweet child?

  • “you can’t make pancakes” – LOL I love it. She’s so damn cute!

    Also, ready-made frozen pancakes and ready-made pancake batter in a carton are NOWHERE near as good as making them yourself. Dammit…now I want pancakes again…

  • Watching the Olympics has been fun and exciting, but very time consuming.

    Your not alone, it has also changed our sleeping habits.

  • Stacy

    I’m not a fan of pancakes even with syrup. It’s a texture thing and pancakes have a mushy texture that doesn’t agree with me. I prefer waffles or french toast.

    I think Leta grew a few inches overnight…

  • Tom

    My friend Jen has you as a link on her blog. She talks about you pretty regularly. After reading all the nasty things written by CL about this site, I figured I’d wander over here and check out your side of things. Post after post, page after page, I read wondering if it could possibly be just a big hoax or what. Because Holy Crap! CL is right! Get some parenting skills for the love of Mike! You were right in calling yourself the cop out parent. This is about the most negative, self serving, cruel to your kid, blog I’ve ever seen. Are there posts here where you like your child? Or your husband? By the sound of things you are way too good for them. When does your sainthood kick in? And I wonder about the readers here who seem to worship the keys you type on. Are they reading the same words? Are they also so far superior to their spouses and kids that they can actually relate to this drivel? Sad state of affairs for the blogging world if you are the Queen. Of course, then I see that many are linking to their own blogs, how big your coat tails must be! Guess I’ll try and start my own country, where people respect their children for their talents and foibles, not exploit them. A world where spouses are at least equals, if not put on even the shortest of pedestals. A place, well, very far from this one. Good Luck in the future Leta. See you on the news after your rifle and high tower incident when you realize what mommy dearest did to you growing up. 115 is wrong. This blog isn’t mediocre. It is drivel. Now… let the Tom Bashing begin you sycophants.
    By the way, pancakes are about as hard to make as toast you moron. And no. I won’t be back.

  • oh, i almost forgot. WHAT AN ARTICLE in the NYT biz section. Cover article! You so rock it is not funny. Great pic, (love the necklace – that looks awfully familiar. It looks better on you than on the dog). And the soundbites were perfect. They did not mess it up or spin you the wrong way. A wonderful thing. You should be very proud.

  • I know how to make pancakes. I pick up the phone and call my mama and she makes them for me. Voila….easy peasy.

  • Leta is the best.

  • I’m posting again because I just accidentally scrolled through some of the other comments and I saw some of the cruel ones. Dude. Who are these people?

    Mediocrity? Life is about taking the mediocre moments and making them beautiful. It’s about taking the tears and turning them into laughter. What kind of people can’t take a second to laugh at the mundane yet ridiculous aspects of life?

    I know you’ve been attacked before and probably don’t even care at this point, but I needed to take a moment to defend you. I’m a young writer who suffers from depression and you’ve made my life just a little bit better. I’m sure there are a lot of others who feel the same way so please never stop what you’re doing.

    You’re a fantastic mom.

  • “he soooo barked at me.”

    i want one.
    serious, my new biggest fear is that when i have children they will have the personality of a future cheerleader instead of leta’s.

  • thleen

    Hello #115.
    I was amused that you could not recognize mediocrity on your own and that your husband had to tell you what it was you were looking at.
    We mediocre people stick together and make fun of excellent people with sticks in their butts. Stay in your bubble.
    and Tom, join 115.

  • Hahahahaaaaaaaahhhahahahhaarrrrrrgghghhhhaaahahaharrrh


  • >>>I explained very clearly that her daddy is the pancake parent and me? I’m the cop out cereal parent.

    Is this really what you said to Leta? Maybe you’re just saying this to be humorous. If not, I’m wondering why you didn’t choose the honesty route and say, “I’m really sorry, honey, I’m very tired this morning because I stayed up too late last night, and I’ve never made pancakes and am so tired that I don’t want to try to learn how right now, so I would like to make them another morning instead, and have cereal this morning.”

    Seems like an opportunity missed. Kids whose parents are honest with them generally become kids who are honest with their parents, which is particularly helpful later during the teenage years.

  • katliz

    Memo to Tom (#165) and oh, while I’m at it, the hundreds of people protesting “Tropic Thunder”:


    1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
    2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.
    3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.

    Watch the news. See all of the awful crap that’s going on in the world? The wars, children being imprisoned by incestuous parents, starvation, financial collapse… shall I go on?

    Some people with a brain would like to occasionally have an escape from this unfathomable reality where it is safe and cathartic to laugh at the less traumatic foibles of the human condition. We get the difference between satire and cruelty, between farce and real hatred. It’s okay if you don’t get it, just admit to it rather than attacking those who do.

  • Rachel

    Someone beat me to it, but I must second the Pancakes video by GIR2007, I believe his name is James. It’s amazing. Actually all his videos are..

  • Love it- making pancakes now- thanks Leta for the inspiration!

    BTW- I agree with post #169- you are a great mom- you just have a humorous edge- which is needed more in this world. ‘Boooo’ if other readers don’t get that. 😉

  • And he barks.

    When did he bark?


    Best. Answer. EVER.

  • Beth

    I’m right with you guys on the Olympics, staying up way too late. I just don’t want to miss anything, especially my Olympic boyfriend, Michael Phelps.

    Only Daddy makes pancakes at our house too, Mom is not a morning person!

  • OMG…Leta is just delicious. Like, better than a short stack smothered in syrup delicious. 🙂

    That pancake song? I just busted a blood vessel laughing so hard.

    As for the haters…I will just never understand why people feel the need to spread their bile. If you don’t like a website…MOVE ON. Nobody is forcing you to read and you coming along and saying cruel things isn’t going to change anyone’s mind who supports and likes Heather, and it sure as hell isn’t going to change the way she writes.

    A sycophant

  • Liz in NoWhere PA

    The pancake parent at our house (not me) makes a double batch. Then we stack them in piles of 3 (a serving) and freeze them. They all stick together so it is easiest to stack in the exact size pile that you have to fight in the morning. Two runs through the toaster and instant happiness.

    Since the pancake parent has to wait to eat until all the pancakes are cooked, it’s one more way we know he loves us. Or, he just tortures himself.

    I’m also happy to know that there are other homes with pancake parents and nonpancake parents. I’m not so lonely now.

  • birdgal

    I’m guessing ‘Tom’ will be back to read all the sycophantic comments defending Heather though! Moron.

    I’m surprised you have to stay up so late to see the marquee Olympic events (LIVE) since you’re what, two hours behind the east coast? All the good stuff happens after 10pm EST–it sucks! I mean good for China and everything, but the whole 12 hour time difference is so overrated ;)!

    Oh, and pancakes are certainly NOT overrated. I totally agree w/Leta on that one!

  • My Grandmother has a magic pancake recipe. I once ate 14 pancakes at one sitting. On the morning of my wedding she fixed me my favorite breakfast…pancakes…and I ate 10 pancakes and still fit into my wedding dress that evening!!
    Her secret…you don’t even want to know how. Your arteries and heart would run far, far away!

  • Daph-

    Haven’t read all the comments so this may have already been mentioned. Try Aunt Jemima frozen pancakes…you cook them in the microwave. They are lovely.

  • And now I want pancakes…
    Are you doing subliminal advertising now? Cuz it’s working.

  • It is for moments like these that you teach them where the cereal box is and convince them that milk isn’t REALLY a necessary part of cereal. If you can get them to turn on their own cartoons too, then life is simply golden!

  • Leslie

    I sent the Make a Pancake kid a myspace message to tell him he’s famous in the blogosphere. He thought it was pretty funny and said he’s considering a follow up about koolaid.

  • kelly r

    sorry if you get this comment twice, it won’t let me post and i promise i’m human. i love dooce, have never left a comment but i find your take on family/kids/life inspiring. wondering if you have ever seen not mine but i follow it and as a mom, her posts tear into my heart. they are doing a great campaign in september, cookies for a cure, might be interesting for you. worthwhile, anyway. thanks again.

  • Kim

    I loved this post and your last one. I also have a daughter that only eats a few things. She exists on beans (not green, of course) and pasta. She is now 11yo and grown three inches in the last four months. It took me a long time to let go, realize she was healthy and preserve my sanity. Just my two cents, over the years, I’ve learned that I’ve had to take the same approach on homework and clothes. When I stopped being the homework witch and the dress warden things got oh so much better. God, I sound like a control freak…actually I am, sort of. Good luck, I can’t say that I don’t still cringe when my child will eat pasta with butter three meals a day for four days. However, now I have more important things to worry about…like getting her to stop molesting her new cellphone.

  • I think it’s sad that Heather posts a cute video about breakfast with Leta, and people like Anonymous (#115) and Tom feel the need to go out of their way to make a negative comment about it.

    I guess some people are just so miserable with their own situations that they have to try to take people down with them. It’s unfortunate, really. As much as I have had problems and trials and disappointments in my life, I’ve NEVER tried to hurt/ridicule/condemn other people.

    Heather, I love your “mediocrity” because it’s the same as mine. The things you talk about are the things that resonate with me because my life is like this, too. I know you know this, but your words make a difference to many people out there because we need to hear that we’re not alone. Our dysfunction is more tolerable when we know that there are other people out there who have the same damn issues happening to them.

    I’m sorry you get such asshole comments. I really am.

  • Our girls always demand Dunkin’ Donuts first thing on Saturday morning. They usually have to suffer with a bowl of cereal… The youngest will pick out all of the “lucky” (mashmellows) from Lucky Charms and eat only that. Then, she will declare she is full and wants pancakes/waffles/donuts.

    PS. I love your blog, I love reading what you have to say and the witty twist that you put on it. So, as a friend of mine would say, “Don’t let the bastards keep you down.” I know that you won’t because you are dooce but, just in case you needed to hear it, there it is.

  • Ali/il

    Pancakes freeze very well. Have Jon make a big batch of them, cool them, separate them with wax paper and throw them in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Microwave them for a few seconds and voila – breakfast you can prepare even on 4 hours of sleep.

  • it seems the moms are always up early in the morning, and the dads get the glory of the pancakes. 🙂

  • I’m really surprised that you didn’t use that line in the last four years – especially with her eating ‘challenges’ – I think it’s definitely time you crossed that milestone.
    🙂 Becky

  • Totally off the pancake subject, but I thought of you & Leta immediately when I saw this…

    I always knew those Disney Princesses were too good to be true!!

    p.s. Maybe you could use this bit of information against Leta when necessary 🙂

  • cat

    I’m sitting at work checking your blog and I swear some brain cells just died while watching that… It is oddly captivating…

  • My only beef with this kid — I prefer to use a whisk when mixing the batter, it keeps your pancakes lighter and fluffier.

  • Way to go “unfiltered’ girl – Heather!!!
    “popular” subject on the New York Times…

    (yes this is off topic to your post re the extraordinary athletes at the Olympics – but you are a celebrity too…

    to many more people after today… (how will it go to your head?)

    It will be interesting yo see who reads NYT (I read online) and finds your blog. Imagine! The newspaper has plenty of links to the advertisers – but not to the core of the story… the women we love who write to/for us – like you.

    Celebration time!

    another fan

  • Kay

    I love Leta! The best part about this video is when she took that big bite of soggy life cereal! Nothing was more disgusting to me as a kid than soggy cereal! She certainly has unique tastes; wouldn’t try pancakes for years, but will down soggy cereal. I don’t know how your brain doesn’t explode. Mine would – you’re awesome!

  • cute movie of Leta. She’s so articulate…

  • bexy

    O dang it anyhow. Now I need a pancake. Where’s the Bisquick…

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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