Last week, we stopped in front of the town drugstore to peek at a sidewalk sale going on. I saw a delightfully whimsical watermelon serving dish with a leaf-handled spreading knife and checked the tag — on clearance for $4.99. I have no use for watermelon serving dishes but I loved the look of it.
Daryl could tell and he bought it for me.
I was in love with it. So in love with it, as a matter of fact, that I had him drive back home to drop it off before we left for grocery shopping, lest it get broken during the day’s trek.
At the grocery store, I indulged in spreads and cheeses and organic crackers to make a lovely appetizer feast for us to christen the watermelon bowls with. I picked out a mascarpone cheese to mix with real maple syrup for one bowl, planned dips and spreads for the others.
All week I have protected my dish. I am not a fan of putting things away to use “someday” and I know the risks I take in using things with four children in the house. I happily put my colorful treasure out, but watched it like a hawk.
All of the children watched out for it. They knew how special it was to me and they treated it with extra care.
Except one. Of course. Three year-old Alex has no concept of words like breakable, no matter how many times he has real world experience with it — and he has a lot.
And of course, you know what’s coming. He broke it, tonight, while my girls were helping to decorate for a friend’s wedding reception and the boys were playing playdough at the table.
He didn’t just accidentally knock it off the table or anything innocent like that. He put his playdough in it and stabbed it repeatedly with its own little leaf-handled spreading knife, while I was in the next room. The sound registered too late.
So much for whimsical watermelon serving dishes.
He apologized a lot. I know he’s sorry. We cleaned it up.
The children were all very upset on my behalf. They gave me hugs. They offered to glue it. They glared at Alex.
I have learned so much from parenting each of my children. We tend to learn the most from the hardest times. And there are some times that don’t teach us anything new and we just have to get through.
I usually try to find some lesson in the times that make me craziest. I look for bright sides and deeper meanings. I put a spin on it. I come to deep realizations. Yadda yadda.
Tonight there was no deep message. This child tires me out. He is more exhausting than any child I’ve met, and I’ve met a lot of them. Heck, I’ve had a lot of them!
Sometimes you just have to hang on till bedtime.
Someday I’ll have a quiet house and I can fill it with watermelon serving dishes. Alex owes me one.
In the meantime, at least I have a leafy spreading knife.