We’ve all been there.
You’re super excited about having pancakes, but the first one has turned out like a flat, disgusting circle of yack. Somehow it’s both undercooked and burnt, it’s stuck to the frying pan and refusing to flip, and you’re certain that it will take industrial amounts of Nutella to make it even remotely appetising. In short, it feels like a waste of perfectly good pancake batter.
Which is why I qualify as a pretty dreadful person when I admit that for years I have referred to my big sister as the first pancake of the family.
But, in my defence, when you pause to consider the evidence it’s not hard to see why she gained the title.
She was that baby that never stopped squealing, whereas I was the chubby one who did nothing but gurgle and eat.
She was the one who turned buying new school shoes into a six hour tantrum, whereas I was the one who danced out the shop wearing the very first pair I saw.
She was the one who brought home a string of unsuitable boyfriends that only got progressively worse (she’ll agree with me there), and I was the one who stayed away from boys and spent my Friday nights deconstructing the works of John Milton.
You do all that stuff you’re basically a nightmare child who deserves to be called the first pancake, right?
And also wrong. (Much like how the first pancake is both undercooked and burnt. You see how I’m fully committed to this metaphor.)
You see, in calling her the first pancake I’ve actually been finishing her story prematurely.
There’s no denying that she was the first pancake. And, as far as first pancakes go, she was the worst. She didn’t just ruin the frying pan, she set fire to the whole kitchen. (Almost literally the first time she attempted to make chips.)
But over the last few years I’ve come to realise that she’s not just the first pancake.
She’s actually the whole stack.
And right now she’s way past that first pancake stage. She’s now that amazingly turned out second pancake. The one that everyone fights over.
It’s her birthday today. Which is why I’ve decided to memorialise her with this odd pancake stack metaphor. It’ll make her laugh because she’s got this wacky, juvenile sense of humour, but she’ll be even more excited when she realises that I basically won’t be able to call her the first pancake anymore. Not because she was ever particularly bothered about being called the first pancake, but because she’ll know I’m now basically screwed for all of our future sibling arguments. Since she got all the wit of the family, calling her the first pancake was the only good cheek I ever had.
But I only ever meant it with love.
Because when this whole pancake this is said and done, she’s not really the pancake girl to me anyway.
To me she will always be that idiotic doofus who danced across our landing in a bathroom towel to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, pretending to be Patrick Swayze.
And if all of this fails to make her smile, I know I can always rely on this…