Thursday, July 30, 2009

Spilled Milk

Once, before I had any children, I heard this great story. I'm way too lazy to look it up, so you're getting the 15+ years later version out of my memory.

It seems that once upon a time, long ago, but not too long, there was a little boy who wanted a drink of milk. He was old enough to want to help himself. So he reaches in to the Icebox (see? I'm making it all old-fashioned-y) and pulls out a bottle of milk, which promptly slips out of his chubby little fingers and crashes to the floor in an explosion of glass and butterfat. The mother, upon hearing this Most Favorite Sound, rushes to the kitchen to find her little guy, an island in a sea of milk.

What would you do?

She says to her little guy, We should probably clean this up, right? And he says, *sniffle* yes, Mother. And then she says, But don't you think we should play in it first? ** And she gets down on the floor with her boy and they experience the wonders of milk puddles.***

Moral? The kid grew up to be some Important Science Guy, because he had a mother who helped him 1. look at things in a playful way, 2. explore and delve, and 3. clean up his messes.

Before I had kids this was a terrifically inspiring story.

Maybe even for a little while in the life of Kid 1 I had moments like this - motherhood at its finest. But it didn't take long to recognize that spilled milk smells bad. That cleaning it up myself is not only faster and easier, but much more effective. That some games sound like a good idea until you try them.****

Even though I know that they need that kind of nurturing, teaching, gentle parenting, I'm okay with the fact that they're much more likely to get it when they're visiting Grandma.

**Please ignore the fears of glass shards that are running through your head. For all I know these were fictional glass shards to begin with.
***Maybe this story explains why I don't drink milk.
****Let us never again speak of Tattoo Parlor or the Home Surgery Kit.


  1. This reminds me of the time my littlest one thought it would be great to knock over a carton of Nesquick mix and make Native American style sand art on the kitchen floor. I didn't really see the beauty in it, either.

  2. Spilled milk stinks and broken eggs stick. To everything. Especially raw ones. On carpet.

  3. Your story is funny and we have the same blog theme background thingy, which means, somehow, we must share a small part of our brains. And I must come back.

  4. My trick now is to take a picture of the mess they made with them grinning in the middle of it. Then I put the camera away and hand them a wet cloth...


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