I wonder how much it would cost to get a drain installed in our kitchen floor? I could probably justify a couple of benefits of having one but the primary reason is that more often than not, our little one needs to be hosed off before leaving the table after a meal. She is learning to use utensils and it is great to hear her gurgle out an “I got it!” as she bites down on a fork load of food. Let’s be honest though, she might as well be eating soup with a slotted spoon. Last night we had spaghetti and we are perfectly content with robbing our second of the cute picture of spaghetti all over her head and face. We let it happen with our first and there are just some things that you learn from aren’t worth repeating.
She was bibbed up and things started well as she managed to keep some cut up noodles on her spoon. Flash to 15 seconds later and she is downing sauced up pasta by the handful. The horror recedes from her mother’s eyes as we both realize that she is in fact eating and we know that utensils and cleanup are only battles but nourishment is the war. We try to help a bit but accept the mess she is making. That is, until our united family front begins to crack in weakness. Our well-behaved 5-year-old makes the mistake of laughing at the little one and one little chuckle is all the encouragement our little ham needs before she attempts her best spaghetti juggling routine and delights in the laughter of her sibling. Before long she has her parents laughing as well and she is relishing her role as the star of the show. We manage to get a few more bites down her hatch between giggles and then flip a coin to see who gets bath duty and who gets to clean up the dinner massacre.
I got kitchen cleanup and asked myself what CSI’s David Caruso would do? After taking my sunglasses on and off a few times and squinting my eyes to survey the damage I went to work. A roll of paper towels later we were finished and our freshly bathed kids still had a case of the giggles. It may have been an epic mess but at least she was eating and even if you have to navigate nostril peas and hair dipped in yogurt, knowing your kid is fed is sweet.
Is there anything worse? You find a sippy-cup under the couch or behind the toy-box and your prayer begins. Dear Heavenly Father, please show me your grace and mercy and let this cup be full of water, and if it has to be full of milk, please give me a sign so I can throw it away when my wife isn’t looking so I don’t have to wash a white festering clump of rot out of this thing. In Jesus name, amen. You may start and end your prayer differently or address it to someone or something else but there is no mistake that in that moment we all hope for some kind of divine intervention. You try to remember the last time you saw the cup in the active rotation and what was in it but it is no use, the princesses and the Dora’s and Minnie Mouse’s all run together you don’t have a clue. You walk to the sink and play a version of parenthood roulette as you twist open the lid and pray for the best.
I used to think that finding a forgotten sippy-cup was the worst thing possible, until last week when our little one upped the ante of horror and disgust. She walked into the living room holding a sippy-cup that neither of us had just given to her. My wife and I exchanged glances and like a scene from a movie both lunged as the word NOOOOOOOOOOOO bellowed out of each of us. Diving to save our little one, I batted the cup from her hand but it was too late. The sip of septic gross combined with the scare of having her dad punch a cup millimeters away from her face may very well result in a hefty therapy bill one day. Not sure if this one had juice of milk in it but the sour odor was already escaping the nozzle and the fruit flies swarming around it made the decision to throw it away an easy one. Contrary to any opinions that may be forming, we are not unfit parents and go through lots of wipes and elbow grease trying to maintain a suitable living environment for our little mess machines. Cleaning a house with little kids in it is like tossing buckets of water over the side of a sinking boat. No matter how fast you go or how much headway you make, you are still taking on water. Most messes are all in a day’s work and just part of the gig but the rogue sippy-cup is totally weak.