Thursday, October 8, 2009

Taking a Cooker Down a Notch

Daddy: Daddy's a good cooker.

Sophie: Yes, but did you remember that you spilled the flour?

If you read any of the earlier posts, you'll remember that Sophie often remarks that I'm a good cooker after a particular meal that she's enjoyed. On occasion, Doug will take over kitchen and prepare pancakes for us. I was at my desk working while Doug and Sophie were making pancakes one day and while I couldn't see them, I had no problem hearing what was going on. As per usual, when it comes to the both of them in the kitchen, it was a bit like listening to Abbott and Costello.

At one point, it was obvious that something had been spilled and an attempt was being made to clean up. Sophie, being three and having learned the all-important three-letter word, kept asking her Daddy why he had spilled and it was obvious that while he was trying his best to be gentle, the question was getting old. But he persevered and soon there were golden delicious pancakes on the table for us to have for dinner (if you've never had this breakfast treat for dinner, you've been missing out, trust me).

We all sat down to eat and were commenting on how good the pancakes tasted. Since Sophie wasn't coming out with her trademark compliment, teasingly Doug decided that he would initiate it himself and so proclaimed that, "Daddy is a good cooker." Without losing a beat Sophie took on the job of taking him down a notch and helped him realize that compliments work best when they come from someone else, not from the same person being complimented.

We're working hard to teach Sophie that it's generally not appropriate to take people down a notch, but what she said did hit home for me. Sometimes the mistakes we make on the way to the end of something we're doing stick in others' minds more than the accomplishment. It's human nature to look for the negative, and that's a bad thing. Sophie needs to learn that everyone spills flour, or sugar or baking powder, but what we concentrate on is if they were able to clean it up, recover and create something delicious and beautiful.

When it comes to pancakes, Daddy IS a good cooker!

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