It was National Wine Day – there’s always a “national” day for something. I had been reminded of it several times, and I looked down with a smile at my glass of red on the counter, taking a bite of leftovers….and BOOM! The full glass exploded into a million shards and I promptly choked on the beans I had not yet swallowed.
The kitchen quickly filled with four sets of eyes….wide and staring….waiting for me to finish coughing and spluttering…wondering how I would respond. The fact that pieces of food were in the wrong place within my interior anatomy and I sneezed out tiny fragments of green beans (I know, TMI, but the passages are all connected back there oddly enough…), all that choking made me hesitant to jump into a passionate tirade.
I had a moment to think as I cleared the airways. I had a chance to compose myself. I had a chance to prevent a human explosion. I had a chance to be calm, cool and collected. But I wasn’t. Instead, I broke into tears and melted…. “It’s just stupid,” I said. “Sometimes, this parenting thing is just stupid.” Now those inquisitive little boys weren’t expecting that. And I’m pretty sure they had no idea what I was talking about.
I cleared my throat. The culprit looked at me and said, “But, mom, it was an accident.”
“An accident? An accident?” exclamation, exclamation!!
“Wait….was the pillow in your hands?”
“Did you decide to throw the pillow?”
“Well, let me tell you something. When you came down the hill on the sled and hit into my legs the other day, and I fell into the snow – that, that my dear child was an accident. But when you run into the kitchen with a pillow in your hands and you throw at your brother….that is NOT an accident!” (I mean, it is…in a way, the whole glass exploding part of it….but that was not my current point!)
I stopped talking. I handed Super Tall Guy a handful of paper towels and was kind enough to pick up the shards of glass for him.
The other characters slunk off – show’s over – not as exciting as it could have been….not enough power and emotion there….sigh….maybe she’ll do it the next time crazy Super Tall Guy makes his next mess.
Too often I give them the fireworks they are looking for. Too often I pull out the ol’ soap box and climb aboard and give them all the drama of why such and such behavior was (almost) the worse thing that’s ever happened. But that’s not actually the message I want to give them, to be honest. Mistakes will happen. Accidents happen. We all do stupid things (pretty frequently, it turns out). It’s how we respond to the situation that’s important. And I need to watch this and model this a little better myself.
“You make a mess. You clean the mess.” That’s it. Whatever it was.
Drama over. Move on.
Here are the paper towels.