Pancake progress

This morning Fenner was away at her sleepover and Ellen came downstairs for breakfast. “Here comes the pancake maker!” I said. “Moooom, noooo! Will you help me?” “Well, daddy and I are eating our breakfast, but we’re right here and we will answer your questions.” “But I don’t know … I don’t know how to make the batter … how much mix and how much milk, I don’t know!” “Remember how we did it?” said Jerry, “I think it was one cup mix and two cups milk.” “Ok,” said Ellen and got out the mixing bowl.

Jerry watched her from the table, but stayed seated and quiet. “You’re very quiet over here, I’m proud of you,” I said. He smiled, “Yeah … but I’m seeing something right now that … I’d better go outside.” And he did.

Meanwhile, Ellen was pouring batter into the pan. “This seems too watery … it’s not working!” Jerry came back in and walked over to look. He took the pan off the stove and scraped the pancake into the sink, “The problem is, you didn’t have the pan hot enough and you’re not using enough oil.” “Well I didn’t know!! I don’t know how to do this!” Jerry looked at me, “Can I help her out?” “Um, let’s go over here and talk a bit first.” We walked over into the living room and shut the door. “Ellen’s face right now looks really discouraged,” I said, “Vicki said to refrain from pointing out their mistakes. So when you say, ‘The problem is you did this wrong and you did that wrong’ then they just get more and more deflated. So we need to shift the language to be more positive.” “Ok, you mean like, ‘Let’s try getting the pan a little hotter’?” he asked. “Yeah, or ‘Here’s how much oil I usually use.’ For Ellen and Fenner especially, that’s really important.” “Ok, so can I show her?” “Yeah, just try not to take over.” “Ok.” We went back to the kitchen.

“Ok!” said Jerry, “Let’s get the pan hotter this time. I’ll show you how much oil to use, and you can add some mix to thicken that up a bit ‘cause I don’t think I gave you the right recipe.” When it was ready, Ellen got set to pour the batter. “Ok, dad, tell me when to stop.” She poured. “That looks good,” said Jerry and began to walk away. “Is it done already?” she asked. “Ellen, you decide,” I said, “You take it from there.” “Sayonara!” said Jerry and joined me at the table. She waited another minute and then flipped it over. It was a beautiful golden brown. “Ha, ha!!” she said, and did a little dance. When it was done she served herself and gobbled it up:


“I’m going to make another!” she said. Jerry and I were still sitting at the table. He watched her intently but stayed quiet. “Oh…she didn’t spray the pan … she’s not spraying the pan …” he whispered to me. “Ok, then she’ll learn,” I whispered back. A few seconds went by and then we heard her mumble to herself, “Ok, now … have to spray the pan first …” I looked at Jerry and we smiled and nodded. Then suddenly Jerry winced, “Oh she’s getting batter all over the … I better go.” He went outside again. (He demonstrated how he felt standing out there…)


Ellen flipped her pancake again, “Woohoo!” she said. It looked delicious. Jerry came back in. “Look what she made!” I said. “Wowowowow!” said Jerry. Ellen beamed with pride:


ps Later Jerry pulled me aside and said, “Can I give her a tip about how not to drip batter all over the stove?” “Uh…not today. Let her have her victory.” “Ok, no, I wasn’t going to do it today.” Next time…gotta take it slow…

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 5: Roadmap for Success

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