Bad Pancake Days

PancakesYou can usually tell what kind of day it’s going to be by your response to the breakfast pancakes.  I can remember watching my sister flip pancakes for the first time and how irritated she got.  Sometimes, it’s just not as easy as it looks.  The first pancake is usually sacrificed to heat and oil calibration.  It’s so ugly, nobody will eat the first one.  Then, on a good day, you get the temperature adjusted or add a little more oil, and you’re good-to-golden-pancakes go.  But some days, none of those blasted pancakes want to do anything right.  They fold and they burn.  You step away from the kitchen for a moment (or ten), and they’re scorched.  Toasted.  These are bad days; you can always see it coming.  The whole rest of the day is usually just trash.  All because of those stupid pancakes.  So much easier when everybody just eats bananas for breakfast.  Why do kids think they need pancakes?  Why?  They’re not even that healthy for you.

Today, I was having a bad pancake morning.  The kind where you wham your spatula into every single pancake in the pan to help it along on its destructive journey.  Wham.  Wham.  My first two pancakes wouldn’t flip and I was about to wham them.  Then, an unseen force held my arm in high swing: “Turn this day around.”  Hmmm.  Can I?  I stopped.  I critically analyzed the situation and decided to do three very logical, productive things:

  1.  Turn up the heat a little.
  2.  Make sure there was oil distributed where I poured pancake batter.
  3.  Get a bigger spatula.

Beautiful golden pancakes that my daughters adored all the way to the last bit of batter.

I’m busy.  I don’t want to make pancakes.  My heart isn’t in it. 

The pancakes know it, and they mirror that and self-destruct.  I’ve decided–those darn pancakes are simply an early day self-reflection of my attitude.  If I can turn my attitude around and analyze the situation early, my day will go a whole lot better.

Is there too much heat?  Too much stress.  Too much going on.  Maybe I need to turn it down.

Is there not enough heat?  Maybe I’m lackluster.  I’ve blowing things off that need me.  Maybe I need to get on the ball and throw myself into a situation.

Am I rushing in to flip too fast?  I’m too impatient.  Thinking I can hurry things along which just shouldn’t be hurried.  I need to back off, killer.

Am I filling up the time with other stuff, not flipping thus in time, and burning the pancakes?  I don’t seriously know why I think I can shower and make pancakes at the same time.  Why do I?  Why do I think I can take on so many things and then get frustrated when my family seems to implode?

Am I making them too big?  Sometimes, the stairway and mantle Christmas decorations need to be kept in the storage box for the year.  Or the tomatoes need to not be canned.  There are simply times to scale projects down.

Do I need more oil?  Sometimes, a little down-time and pampering are needed.  A little self-TLC (not THC).  If I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be caring for others.  And everybody needs me in their problems–you know, right?–ha!– so I’d better take care of myself!

Do I need less oil?  Sometimes I can drown in self-pity and self-entitlement.  Oh, me.  Oh, my.  Why-oh-why?  Probably days I can let that go.  Pancakes don’t do well with too much oil drowning them, and neither do I.

It’s not the pancakes.  It’s me. 

Slow down.  Speed up.  Lube life up a little more or a little less.  Turn up the heat.  Turn down the heat.  Stay focused on the pancakes and life will be golden.

Did you know that making pancakes could be such a challenging and thought-stimulating production?  This stay-at-home gig is better than a paid college course in psychology.  I never do know why colleges charge so much per credit hour.

What activity in your daily life is trying to tell you something?

What mundane activity in your life commonly reflects your inner mood?  Have any?  Care to share?


17 thoughts on “Bad Pancake Days

  1. mommytrainingwheels

    Lovely, I never thought to metaphore my days with pancakes. It was almost poetic 😉 But you’re right, when something isn’t going how you want it to, it’s usually a good idea to see if a shift in attitude can do some good.

  2. Jo tB

    Don’t you just love it, when everything goes wrong!! We all want to be perfect, but all we are are human, with our ups and downs.
    I tried to make a sourdough starter. Reading up various recipes I thought: easy peasy, this will be a doddle to make. NOT. On the second day my starter had risen, so I yelled yippie! Too soon, as it turned out. My starter went flat and no amount of extra feeding would get it to rise again, and it never developed the “yeasty” smell. So today, day 6, of the experiment I had to admit defeat and tossed it. After reading some more on the internet, I have found a possible solution and so tomorrow I will start again with a new batch.
    I will get the hang of it, just like you do with your pancakes. Have a happy weekend.


    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I had to chuckle. I feel like I can relate : “…easy…doddle…going good…yippie…flat…try again…”

      I’m trying to sprout buckwheat for the first time today–wish me luck! It’s got to be a “doddle” to make, right?!

      I hope your starter turns out this time! I’m wondering if you are using just the “natural air contents” or if you purchased some to help start.

      Merry Christmas, Jo. All the best to you. All the best.


      1. Jo tB

        Hi Terri, sprouting should be a doddle!! One other thing I have been doing lately is sprouting, and that has been a doddle for me. Every seed I’ve tried (not buckwheat yet) has sprouted beautively: alfalfa, broccoli, green lentils, peas, etc, in fact sometimes it went TOO good.. I have had to reduce to teaspoons instead of tablespoons of alfalfa otherwise I just had too much of it. Definitely yippie material. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Oh, I hope it works this time! I think it sounds exciting. (Or course, pancakes are exciting at our house, too.) It’s kind of fun to sit here and think about what organisms you have over there versus what I’d have.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Yes! Today at the long line of traffic, I told myself to chill! Why did a long line of traffic–when I was in no hurry and had nowhere really to go–make my spine go stiff? LOL seriously! Many lessons, all day long! Love it!

  3. kemkem

    I love the line about the first’s always a sacrificial one 🙂 . Here, they don’t do pancakes which sucks as l had a terrible desire to have one last year! There is no maple syrup either, just honey :-(. We had to have Fede’s mom ship us some from Rome …. I love them, but it’s to much of a headache to make. I love the metaphors too..never thought of them that way.. 😉

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Agh! No pancakes! Then we have to travel more to get away from them, and our Spanish is getting pretty good…

      For a year, as I did this special diet for some health issues, I had to give up maple syrup. I had a whole new appreciation for it! My dad makes it at home in Indiana. It’s so yummy and has such sentiment for me.

      Hmm. I wonder what a life without pancakes and syrup from Rome means. (Ha!)

      Merry Christmas-time! So nice of you to stop by and read.

  4. All Seasons Cyclist

    I don’t think there is enough maple syrup to hide those “pancakes.” However, you do have my sympathy since our sons’s service dog expects a freshly prepared breakfast every morning (two eggs, with sweet potato, green beans, carrots, and broccoli — topped with a bit of Parmesan cheese, salmon oil, and cranberry powder — with a side of cottage cheese, plain yogurt, and frozen blueberries). Yeah, our dog has a healthier breakfast than 99.99% of Americans — and I do it all be myself every single morning!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      He’s not a dog. He’s a king.

      What you need to help you, what you need, sir, is your toddler grandchild to come help you. Yes. It would make your morning job so much easier. But the dog cannot help you with the toddler while the toddler helps you. No. That would be too easy.

      I hope your entire family is doing good, feeling well, and delighting in each other’s company.

      I enjoyed the fancy light (biking) post! I’ll have need of one of those one day!

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