Nothing like it, is there? Accidents happen to everyone. I’m talking about the kind of accidents that could have been prevented.
For instance, yesterday I went to the refrigerator to get some water out of my Brita pitcher. It was next to my blue plastic pitcher which happened to have chicken soup in it…delicious homemade chicken noodle soup with fresh veggies, no fat and lots of alphabet noodles. I thought I could pull the water out without moving the soup. Wrong. The blue pitcher fell on the floor, broke and there was chicken soup all over the floor next to the fridge, as well as in the bottom part of the cooling contraption. A few choice words left my lips and then I called out to my grandson to come to the kitchen.
He came, looked at the mess and muttered under his breath, “Seems like all I do is clean up messes.”
I shot him a nasty look and said, “What do you mean by that? You haven’t been doing nothing but cleaning up messes while you’ve been here.”
He said, “I mean since I came down to Atlanta and now here.”
“Well,” I said, “accidents happen. But most accidents happen because people aren’t really paying attention.” And then I proceeded to instruct him for ten minutes about one of life’s little lessons. When a mess happens, clean it up and make sure you look for the cause at some point to avoid it happening again in the future.
So, he learned how to use rags instead of paper towels for cleaning up big messes. He also wound up learning how to clean the bottom of the refrigerator under the veggie drawers. When I took one out to clean up the soup, I realized the whole bottom of the fridge needed cleaning. The stuff was like glue, so he learned how to use hot water, vinegar and a table knife to loosen the grime.
Bingo! At the end of almost 45 minutes, we were finished. I also explained that we really should thoroughly clean the rest of the refrigerator, but that we couldn’t because then I’d be late for my hair cut appointment. We had some laughs during our time together, shared a hug before I left and he went back to drawing.
Last night he decided he wanted some tri-chocolate frozen yogurt with brownies and chocolate sauce (that new wonderful kind that gets hard after a few seconds on cold ice cream). He fixed his dessert and then put the brownies back on top of the half-cleaned cooling machine. Then he opened the freezer door to put the frozen yogurt back into it, and you guessed it. The brownies fell to the floor, the plastic container they were in opened and there was another mess to clean up. This time a few choice words came out of his mouth.
I explained again how his accident happened the same way mine did. We weren’t really paying attention, and so we had messes to clean up.
All in all, it was a busy day made busier by our messes. I relearned the lesson about the fact that you should clean up your messes as soon as possible after they occur. That way, there’s no residue for later. That goes for all kinds of spills, including emotions that boil over during an argument, feelings that come out when we feel we’ve been wronged and chicken soup and brownies all over the floor.
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