Dear Jo: The Great Pumpkin Pancake Experiment

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May 24, 3 years A.B. (after-baby)

Dear Jo,

Last night you made the mistake of trying something new. Dinnertime was approaching and everyone was hungry, including Lyla, of course. That girl always wants to eat. That could explain why she is off-the-charts in weight. But that doesn’t explain why you still aren’t back to your pre-pregnancy weight. One benefit of nursing was supposed to be increased calorie burn and weight loss. You find yourself hangry quite often, but that doesn’t mean you’ve seen the inches disappearing.

As you nursed Lyla, you contemplated dinner. Everyone was getting tired of the same old dishes. No one wanted chicken and pasta. Again. Then you remembered the cookbook. Paul’s mom had given it to you for Christmas. Of course at the time you simply smiled through gritted teeth. Was she trying to tell you something about your cooking?

“I heard about this on the morning show. It’s a way to hide vegetables in different dishes. You know? For Emerson. Since he’s so picky.”

So, not only was this a statement on your cooking, but also the fact that you had created a picky eater. After all, Paul was never picky….

Just the other day you had browsed through it and found a recipe for pumpkin pancakes. While squash muffins seemed a bit of a stretch for any of your tastebuds, the pancakes seemed like they might have potential. So once Lyla finished her meal, you headed to the kitchen and began making the batter.

The Great Pumpkin Pancake Experiment

“What’s for dinner?” Emerson asked.


“YES!!” he said, running out of the kitchen. That was a much better reaction than the typical wrinkle of the nose and “Do I have to try that?” question.

Of course once he saw the different color of the pancakes on his plate, the nose wrinkle returned.

“What are these?”

“Pancakes. You’re favorite.”

“No, they’re not.”

“Yes, they are.”

“But they’re orange.”

“Right. Well, I thought I’d make orange ones today instead of brown.”

“I don’t like orange pancakes.”

“Have you ever had orange pancakes?”


“Well, then you don’t know if you like them until you try them.”

“I know I don’t like them.”

“Try them.”

“Do I have to?”

“Yes. This is dinner.”

Then Paul sat down.

“What are these?”


“Why are they orange?”

Instead of crying, like you wanted to, you poured the syrup, bowed your head and said the prayer before everyone tentatively tasted the odd-colored pancakes. You had seconds. Paul had only his first serving and Emerson swirled his fork in his syrup. It was when he spaced out during his fourth bite that you finally called experimental dinner to a conclusion and decided that tonight’s meal would be leftover chicken and pasta. Again.

Dear Jo: A {fictional} Diary of a Modern Mom

“Dear Jo: A Diary of a Modern Mom” is a serial fiction story written by Meagan Church. Stay tuned for the next diary entry of one mom’s attempt to chronicle what she has been told are the days she shouldn’t forget…spit-up, tantrums, milestones and all. Visit the Dear Jo page to catch up on the already-published entries. And, be sure to subscribe today, so you don’t miss a single installment:


Have you download my free eBook “Motherhood Doesn’t Come with Sick Days…and other lessons from parenting”? Also, be sure to join the Unexpectant Facebook community today.

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{Photo credit: ©vm2002 –}

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