Surviving Alex

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.


Filed under the little stuff

21 responses to “Surviving Alex

  1. Oh, it’s no biggie. It’s a small thing in the grand scheme of things. He’s asleep now so it’s easier for me to say that. 🙂

  2. I’m sorry. It may not be a huge thing in the grand scheme of things but it’s still sad.

    I have a difficult child like Alex. It’s rough.

    • Thanks Ariana. I figure the things that make it more work for me will someday serve him well in life — lots of energy, strength, determination, curiosity, perseverance… 🙂 Sorry it sounds like you’ve been having some tough days too.

  3. Lonni

    I know this scene all too well! I guess if you’re lucky, your kids teach you to not put nearly as much value on Stuff, to not fall in love with Stuff so much that losing it ruins much more than a minute of your day, and you learn not to hold petty things against them. Maybe this is training for all the bigger upsets that happen as they grow up. lol!
    Still, I hope you get another one and bet they’ll be on the lookout for one for you. ❤ If you promise not to get too jealous or stick them in your armpits and take them home with you, when you come over again I'll show you my miniature watermelon dish set. :o)

  4. You know, I have a little one in my home who likes to get very hands-on with things around the house. Recently she broke two of my mother-in-law’s crystal candlesticks and I tried to console my MIL with a little saying we use in our house when things get broken by The Gidge:

    “That’s why we don’t have nice things, Pepper!”
    It’s from the movie Mafia!, when she throws a crystal vase at her husband’s head and it breaks. The husband yells this to her.
    We use the saying quite a bit around here. Thought I would share and hope you get a little chuckle out of it.

  5. Chelsea

    That’s so hard. I remember when my little guy broke my favourite mug. The mug itself was really nothing special in the scheme of things, but somehow I was just really attached to it, and he knew it. He dropped it on purpose. Love is messy and beautiful. Maybe you could make a mosaic with the pieces? A garden stone?

    • Oh, what a shame about your mug! A mosaic is a neat idea. I might do that if we were in warmer weather, but I’m learning to let go of things I don’t love or need (and I don’t love the bashed and broken version!), even for someday projects. Otherwise my home tends to morph into Clutter Central. 🙂

  6. Karen

    Aw! feel for you. One of my daughters was areal hand-full when she was a young one. While I was clearing one mishap up, she would be creating another in another room. she would be awake at 6 in the morning and run me ragged for the day! She’s grown up now and a lovely lady. All kids are so different. My youngest who I’m home-schooling now is the most laid back, chilled ,wise person I’ve ever met. It is lovely to treat yourself to things which particularly take your eye, but really objects are n’t too important. And that quiet house, well it’s okay in small doses :0) but can be quite lonely when it finally does arrive! Best wishes xx

  7. Bright side, the knife is fine 😉
    And I bet all your friends reading this are searching the web, ebay etc to find that same bowl. What does it say on the bottom?

  8. Hmm, it seems collectible vegetables is a ceramic/glassware brand. I found some single watermelon bowls, but not the one on your picture. Will have another quick look after dinner 😉

  9. Your comment at the end, about the leafy knife, made me giggle – thanks for brightening the day of another, tired, kid-worn, mother 🙂

  10. Kiki J

    Thank-you for your lovely honesty with this post. I love your blog, and am so grateful for all you share – but this was something extra special. I wish you a good night’s rest and a fresh start tomorrow…and another one the next day.

  11. katherine marie

    ahhhhhh… I’m so sorry! I’ve been there friend— “just hanging on until bed time.” I’m going to watch for a special WATERMELON dish for you!! There has got to be one!

  12. Rose

    Oh-Big Hugs!

    I can so relate to your feelings!

    As a mommy to a 6yo boy, 4yo girl, 2yo boy, and a little girl due in early 2011, I have resigned myself to not get attached to anything while my kids are still so little-and some items remain packed away until the “Bam-Bam” stage has passed. Each one of my little ones is different and I have had to tweak my parenting approach when they hit the 2-3 year stage:) Right now my toddler is very much a rough and tumble unlike my other 2-and I have had to re-think my approach and mindset. Nice to know I am not alone in this challenge:) These little beings teach us so much!

    I had bought these beautiful grape leaf dishes-for fun serving items-just little dishes for fall and spring-and sadly they have not survived little hands. I am glad they were on clearance-doesn’t smart so much. They just were not as hardy as I thought-lol.

    I have a small curio with my pretty little fragile items I pass each day-a couple of rose tea cups by Royal Albert, some small antique porcelain-etc. Just some eye candy I can look at esp. when the day is hairy.

    Sometimes it is hard to fill our own parenting bucket!



    • Oh, you have quite a few at those tricky ages, don’t you? 🙂 Yes, it can be hard to fill our parenting buckets. Sorry about your leaf dishes. It does sting! Good idea about keeping some breakable treasures where you can see them and they can still be safe. Hugs from one mama of a rough-and-tumble boy to another. 🙂

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