Engaging Each Day with Action Words

React. — Call in The Dog or the shopvac?!

on August 1, 2013

Last night at dinner, the girl-child was in a good mood and was telling us a funny story with great enthusiasm.  She swung her arms out at the exact millisecond that Felix was walking past her with a freshly cooked, full bowl of Trader Joe’s organic corn. In seemingly slow motion, but before anyone could do anything…her hand made contact with the bowl and it went flying through the air. I think it may have completed one and a half somersaults worthy of a gold medal, before it landed upside down on the wooden floor.

Corn. Everywhere.

Corn Juice. Every. Where.

It was one of those moments where we all just froze. We just stood there. Looking.


I heard a tiny voice whisper, “I’m sorry.”

And then we started laughing. Well, some of us laughed. Then the girl-child got embarrassed and ran upstairs to hide in her room.

Felix and I literally stood there for a minute or two, trying to think of the best way to clean this mess up.

We really didn’t have a clue as to how to attack this kind of a mess.

X called out his suggestion of “Bring in The Dog!”, which I actually considered for a minute or two. But then I thought, it is probably not a good idea to give The Dog endless amounts of corn. I was thinking of the digestion interruptions that might cause him and then ultimately the additional messes that might make for me. Plus he will step in it and have it on his feet and then walk all over my living room. Yeah. The Dog is not the way to go.

How about the shop vac? But then there is corn in the shop vac and then we will have to clean that up later.

Broom? Map? Shovel?

We finally went with a combination of paper towels and the dust pan to scoop it up. Followed up with a mopping.

And within 20 minutes or so, it was cleaned up and we were on our way with dinner. Of course, we had to go upstairs and coax the girl-child back downstairs to finish her dinner, but all was right back on track.

I have to be honest, because that is what I do here. I’m always a little proud of us, when we don’t overreact to these messy things of life with kids.

Is it silly that I like to think that we get some points for remaining calm. We get some points for taking a deep breath and just taking care of it. We get some points for not yelling or getting upset. We get some points just for taking the messy things in life in stride.

Crazy Mess of Corn = 0.

X and Y Parents = 1.

We also get a ton of points for the time 5 years ago, when Y, innocently wrote her name on the hood of our car.

With a rock.

She was so proud of herself, completely unaware that she had not written, but scratched her name on the hood of our car.

We just looked at each other. Shook our heads. Smiled. And said, “Good handwriting, honey!” and “Good job spelling your name right.”

Her name is to this day scratched into the hood of our car. Helps us distinguish between the minivans!


So, I showed you mine, now show me yours! What is your parenting style when it comes to messes?

How do you react?


8 responses to “React. — Call in The Dog or the shopvac?!

  1. rarasaur says:

    Since that whole corn experience could have been a page right out of my child– I thank you. 🙂 My parents were laugh-ers, too, but I’d be embarrassed anyway.

    Still, one time I was at a friend’s house and did something similar, and her mom was really upset. She didn’t hit or yell at me, but I could tell it was only because she didn’t want to wrangle with my parents over it… and she told everyone to stop eating so she could clean. I offered to help, but she didn’t want anyone’s help and she grumbled the whole way through about patience, sanity, manners, dexterity, grace, etc. Awful!

    The next day, I went home, and (characteristically) spilled a glass of water (ie– projected a glass of water across the room), and when my parents laughed, I got up and gave ’em a hug. Some awesome things you don’t notice till you get much older. 🙂

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Ugh. Just reading about your experience at your friend’s house made me feel anxious. I’m so sorry that happened to you, but so glad that this wasn’t your norm and your parents were more of the laughing sort. Thanks for sharing your story! 🙂

  2. Jan says:

    I would have yelled. 😦 I was a yeller. But I’m not surprised you and Felix didn’t yell. Kudos to you both!!!!

  3. Lead Our Lives says:

    GREAT story. Shows your grace as parents and the sensitivities of Y’s heart – or the hearts of most Y’s. I was not a yeller…had too much of that growing up and was committed to changing it for my children. Loved this!

  4. I could have pictured this even without the picture! lol I usually react with a sigh…sometimes in frustration, sometimes with a smile…but usually with a sigh…like the time Big Guy threw up all over me in a restaurant with people I had just met. I just sighed and hugged him tighter…and then we cleaned up (and I rolled my eyes a little at the people who were ready to throw up too – get over it!)

    • MommyVerbs says:

      I think you still get points for sighs. I have my sighing moments too! Last night I was pouring some milk for Y and she moved the glass in mid-pour! So, it went all over the place. I’m sure I sighed…then said, “Get some paper towels. Start some cleaning.”

      Poor Big Guy, when he was probably a little guy. Yeah…throw up is a Mom rite of passage for sure. One time I drew a line in the proverbial sand and made X finish his dinner …and then he promptly threw up all over me and the couch 15 minutes later. It happens.

  5. LOVE your parenting style and your temperment. I need to bookmark this and come back to it often for perspective and reminder…suffice it to say, I’ve been working on it but this parenting style does not come naturally to me…practicepractiecpractice… Good for you & F!!

Comment Challenge: Start your comment with one action word. Then Proceed. Go:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: