Thursday, May 20, 2010

14 Eggs

We still need refrigerator locks at our house. Big time.

Today Bardo lured me outside. "Mom, play football with me." I thought he wanted to play catch. Oh no. He wanted to play "tackle." There are some games Moms just do not play, but I tried. I'd grab him and then gently set him on the ground. That wasn't good enough. "No Mom, TACKLE! Like this." And then Bardo would run around the lawn and purposefully fall. After a few minutes of this game, Boo tired (don't worry, we weren't tackling her) and decided that she needed to transport the dirt from our tomatoes onto the patio. I ran to put a stop to this, and then decided to water my tomatoes. Bardo disappeared into the house. When I returned, this is what I saw:
I took a deep breath. I took another deep breath. Bardo watched, eyes wide. "Wow this is a big mess," I said. " What are you going to do?"

"Clean it up." Bardo replied solemnly. He found the paper towels, sat next to the mess, and stuck a paper towel on the egg. It just didn't clean up like water or any other spill.

"Would you like to me to help you with that? Let's start by picking the egg shells out of the slime."

But Bardo wanted nothing to do with that slimey yucky mess. Now, I have a rule. And that rule is that I help people that work hard. Bardo was frozen, not helping at all. I felt the rage building inside of me, and I erupted. "Look. YOU made this mess. You can clean it or you can get a spanking." He looked at me and did what any self-respecting three year old should do when his mother is behaving irrationally. He ran. I caught that boy, turned him over my knee and gave him a spank on the bum and then stuck him in his room. I left, hearing him cry out, "Your mean!"

And I felt mean. I knew I was behaving badly and I wanted to be better. I wanted Bardo to learn from this. And I felt that maybe I had taken away his opportunity to fix something by just not being patient--but this stuff is egg, I mean, if you don't clean it up fast, it dries and is even harder to clean up.

So I go and get my camera. I take my picture of that slimey eggy mess. And I plucked out all the eggs shells as I decided how I was going to end this story.

I went back up to Bardo's room, and I hugged that terrific little boy. I told him I was sorry and admitted that I was mean. He was sorry I was mean, too and told me so.

I told him he still had to clean up his mess. We walked down the stairs hand in hand. "Buddy. This is a big mess. You've made a mess that is much too big for you to clean up by yourself. And this mess would take me a long time to clean up. So here's the deal. You are going to do everything I tell you to do and be my biggest helper and we're going to clean this up fast."

And so I sprinkled salt all over the eggs (a trick I learned from Martha Stewart many years ago when Stacy threw eggs on the floor). The slime slid right into the paper towels; I rolled them up so egg wouldn't drip everywhere and Bardo carried them to our trash can. Then Bardo sprinkled Comet all over the floor and we scrubbed the floor together. Boo watched from her high chair. After a few short minutes the floor was better than before.
May this be the last time I ever have to clean up a carton of eggs. May this be the last time I have brain fog and can't think of anything better to do than lose my temper.

7 comments:

Amberly said...

in my humble parenting opinion, you handled that quite well. perhaps a minor eruption, but it gave you a minute to regain clarity and handle it just right. and I appreciate the salt trick. hope I never have to use it, but appreciate it.

eryka said...

I have so much experience cleaning up egg it's sad. That was Isaac's favorite pastime. Great job on the parenting. We all lose it sometimes but when we apologize after an even bigger lesson is learned. Thanks for sharing the story and the salt tip!

tenacious d said...

You pulled things together quickly, and ended up teaching a lesson with love. Well done!

Lisa said...

Bardo is lucky to have you. I have so far only had one egg at a time messes which I let the dog clean up. Is that terrible? I am still hoping my boys never learn to open the fridge, but I am sure that hope is futile. I am just going to enjoy it while I can.

Witty said...

Was it really 14 eggs?

The Silly Witch said...

Yes it really was 14 eggs.

Christine said...

You handled this messy situation extremely well! What a good mom you are to "tackle."