Friday, April 26, 2013

Be Careful!

Those words come out of my mouth a lot. "Be careful, you don't want to spill!" or "Be careful, you don't want to get hurt!" I say it to protect them and I say it to save myself from the disruption of clean-up. But today, I was the one who should have been careful.

My youngest son is now 20 months old and has decided he is too old for sippy cups. No one else in the house drinks out of sippy cups so why should he? We have found some middle ground in the water bottle arena and this has saved me from many many spills. At dinner last night, I tried giving him milk with a lid and he kept banging it on the table. "ON!" he yelled (which, of course, means "off"). "Top! On!" he continued incessantly as I tried to finish the story I was telling my husband. I gave in and took the lid off of the milk and gave him a straw to reduce the chance of spilling. Each time he took a drink, my husband or I would carefully grab the cup and set it down to make sure it didn't spill.

When dinner was over, I grabbed him out of his highchair and knocked a half full cup of milk all over the rug. "That's okay, Mommy," my oldest said. "Everybody spills sometimes." I thanked him for being so sweet and understanding and commenced clean up.

Later that night I was giving the boys a bath and trying to keep the majority of the water in the tub. This is not an easy feat with two little boys and fifty toys that squirt or pour water. While they played, I started filling up the humidifier tank for my youngest and I dropped the entire contents onto the bathroom floor. It looked like my bathroom had flooded. "Here, Mommy, let me help you clean up," said my oldest as he climbed out of the tub and grabbed a towel.

As I watched his little naked bum scooting around the floor cleaning up my mess I felt so thankful for his kindness. For a moment, our roles had been reversed. He was the one telling me it was okay. He was the one offering help and reassurance. And it felt really good.

So, the next time they spill, I will try to show that same level of understanding. I will try to offer assistance rather than frustration. Because my oldest son is right. We all mess up sometimes. It's nice to know our family is always there to help us clean it up.

How do your children sometimes take care of you? In what ways do they show you love and understanding?

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