A Handful of Spaghetti and Other Toddler Delicacies


Well, At Least She is Eating 

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.


My Greatest Fear Has Become the Rogue Sippy Cup 

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.


About Simon

I am a husband and a dad of two little girls. I am a lone Y chromosome and am already planning my escape strategy to deal with the estrogen flood that is on its way. People say there is a lot of joy to be found in the simple things and I have found they can provide a healthy dose of anti-awesome as well. I am, in general, a pretty optimistic guy and needed a bit of a creative outlet; so here it is. Thanks for stopping by. View all posts by Simon

57 responses to “A Handful of Spaghetti and Other Toddler Delicacies

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    I hardly write remarks, but i did a few searching and wound up here A Handful of Spaghetti and Other
    Toddler Delicacies | sweetandweak. And I actually do have a couple
    of questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be only me or does it seem like a few of these remarks appear like left by brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are writing at other online sites, I would like to follow everything new you have to post. Could you make a list of every one of all your community sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  • mom

    of course I believe in the chance to “juggle” (love this!) spaghetti as a toddler wonder moment. After all isn’t cooking just kind of playing with food?? Such fun reading

  • Ruth Rutherford

    Ha! Love your take on what David Caruso would do.

    I can’t imagine the horror of seeing your kid drinking from a mystery sippy cup! That just cracked me up.

    Great post! Remember… what doesn’t kill ’em, makes ’em stronger. 🙂

  • crubin

    Oh, I remember those days well. For a couple years straight, we had a big plastic table cloth spread out on our kitchen floor underneath the highchair. It wasn’t pretty, but at least it caught all of that tossed food.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate it. 🙂

  • Heather

    Oh, how I know full well the peril of the rotten sippy cup. This also goes for cups with straws, squeeze on-the-go yogurt packages that somehow did not make it in the garbage, and the glass within the glass stacked next to the sink for immediate washing (which somehow did not get washed immediately).

    • Simon

      I almost feel bad at how easily you can relate. HaHa. How bad is it when the cup has a bendy straw and the gross is lining the inside of it? I think at that point you just throw it away right? Thanks for reading.

  • metan

    As soon as I read ‘that neither of us had just given to her’ I felt a little sick. I remember those days! Ick… Now it is old sandwiches in schoolbags. I don’t have to worry about the kids eating them, but you can guess who has to beat those unidentifiable masses into submission and force them into the bin can’t you? 🙂

  • Don

    Simon that picture you paint of your little one eating is absolutely marvellous. I can just see it. A memory of my son with pumpkin in his hair came to me as I read your description. You make me long for fatherhood again.

  • Michelle Gillies

    “Cleaning a house with (insert my husbands name here) 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”. We all have our challenges. 😉

    • Simon

      My wife would so agree with you. She tells me how the house stays so clean when I am out of town and the minute I get home it all goes out the window.

  • Patrick

    Your post brought back many memories…some really good and some not so good…like my son hurling (as in vomit) over my shoulder. Six feet later it makes quite a splash…my wife said “I’m going to work now”.

    Enjoy these times. Before you know it they will be in college.

    If you install the drain in the center of the kitchen, include a pressure washer in the budget. Makes quick work of the mess.

  • themiddlegeneration

    OMG, I tried to keep a straight face through the spaghetti story, but at the image of peas up the nose, I cracked up. The first thing that came to mind when I saw the “weak” title was milk- curdled and smelly. Believe me, I have found my share of those. Thankfully my kids no longer drink out of sippy cups; but finding old glasses of milk in their bedrooms (which can not be thrown away) is just as horrifying.

  • amaya73

    After three kids, spaghetti messes don’t bother me as badly, but the sippy cup mystery funk surprise is always a dreaded occurrence. Also, the backseat of my van, where I rarely venture, is populated by strange lifeforms growing in old cups and melted ice cream puddles, making the whole vehicle smell like fermented barf.

  • Brigitte

    Don’t know a thing about sippy cups but I did hurl spaghetti in a car once, does that count? Stop by if you get a chance and see if you recognize anything in my blog. :).

    • Simon

      Spaghetti vomit is a whole new kind of disgusting. I think it is bad enough that you can be a part of this sad club. heading over to your blog now.

  • Andrew

    I tried to write a comment earlier, so if it shows up twice, I apologize. My suggestion was to just get a sarlacc pit for the messes. Yes it may eat you, but way less clean up.

  • Andrew

    Hmm…I don’t have a good suggestion for sippy cups. That sounds rough. But for food messes, I was thinking you guys could just get a sarlacc pit. Way less clean up.

  • Lisa Smith Molinari

    My kids are post-sippy cup and on to, but you brought me straight back to long-suppressed memories of the many rancid sippy cups we found festering under couches and car seats. Yea. Thanks for that. ‘Preciate it.

  • lauriebest

    I loved this! For me, a case of deja vu. With three toddlers, this was my daily routine, uh, nightmare. I still have a picture of my son with food all over his face, clothes, hugh chair, floor. I used to bring it out to show his girlfriends when he was a teen. Did I mention he’s still single? But the biggest lesson to take away from this period in your life is that if you can laugh, you’ll survive — and so will your kids.

    • Simon

      Thanks Laurie, it is encouraging to know that you survived. It is a fun time for sure but not free of those moments when you need to breath through your mouth to keep from smelling something.

  • Maggie O'C

    You never forget the Bad Milk Sippy cups, never. Hot day, you know it’s in the car somewhere but you can’t find it. The smell says it’s in there but you can’t find it.
    My last car was once infested with moths. I called my bug guy and he said, “is there a source of food in the car?” Hells yeah! I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old. There are chicken mcnuggets from the 90s in there.

  • Fabulous Mommy

    Oh goodness! The soppy cup story had me laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my cheeks.


  • lexiesnana

    We have twin two year old grandkids and your blog sooo reminds me of their home.One day my daughter found one of those sippy cups in her couch and the lid fell off just as she was picking it up.They washed and scrubbed and fabreased until the cows came home and yet on a hot summer day you can still get a whiff of sour something.Good luck and God’s blessings.The time goes so fast enjoy enjoy enjoy.

    • Simon

      Spilling one would be the absolute worst, I can’t imagine having to relive that stench every time it got hot. thanks for reading and the hilarious comment. (I only can laugh because it hasn’t happened to us yet)

  • La La

    All I do is babysit and I find rogue sippy cups. Thankfully I can just leave them there and pretend I didn’t know about it….

  • countrygirllifeonthefarm

    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. What a famous two sentences and believe it comes back to haunt you all through their lives and then they start doing the same for you!! Scary isn’t it!!

  • thewhitetrashgourmet

    OMG, Simon this cracked me up. I remember the days of the stray sippy cup. Having the rancid milk gunk exploding in my car on a hot summer day. There aren’t many things that have me gagging into the kitchen sink but those cups of some sort of homemade cheese did the trick.

    I also have the obligatory picture of my eldest, happy as a clam, covered in red sauce. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to matter that my children are capable of picking up after themselves, my house is still a mess.

    • Simon

      Thanks Kim, it really is one of the most disgusting things ever, sometimes I think she hides them on purpose or something. That’s funny, you can always find our youngest by following the trail of Cherios and our oldest by following the trail of shoes and toys etc.

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