May 16, 2008

No Use Crying Over Spilled Milk

This is an old essay written almost two years ago. However, it still makes me laugh and, with a second 2-year-old now reigning terror upon our condiments, I know this is certain to repeat itself.

Whenever a two-year-old lives in your home, each morning starts with the certainty of adventure. I have found it is better to just accept this fact rather than try to fruitlessly fight it. It never fails mud will somehow be slopped all over the carpet within two hours of any vacuuming. It is on the principle alone that I refuse to do any carpet shampooing. There's absolutely no telling what would happen. Although the mishaps can at times be frustrating, I think I do a good job of laughing them off, for the most part. This week as been a perfect example for me of how much worse these mishaps could be.
In the past few months, because of my two-year-old Ridge's new-found obsession, Thomas the Train has taken over our lives like a Russian coup. (Until this, I had never realized Thomas was virtually everywhere, but that's another story for another time.) Although this can be frustrating when Ridge wants to watch Thomas while I am trying to take in the evening news, it does have its perk. On Wednesday, after I got the eight-month-old Rolan down for a nap, I put Thomas on the television and decided I would take a shower. Normally Ridge is so spellbound by Thomas a bomb could go off and he wouldn't notice, but remember, to every rule there is an exception. Two minutes in, Ridge presses his face against the shower door, holding a near-full milk gallon in his hand. Apparently, he wanted a glass of milk. With a hair sudden in shampoo, I tried to convince the toddler to set the milk on the floor, but in spite of that, Ridge left the room dragging the gallon behind him. I turned the water on high in hopes of washing the shampoo out of my hair before disaster struck, but unfortunately that scalding was in vain. As I walked out of my bedroom and down the hall, Ridge was sitting in an ocean of milk with the near-empty jug right beside him and an enormous grin upon his face. Looking back, I don't really know why I ran to him in light of the fact the milk was so obviously already spilled, but I did anyways. I quickly went to the laundry room, grabbed every towel I could find and then threw it upon Ridge's little mess. In keeping with my ole buddy Murphy's law, the washing machine went on the fritz that very day. Although at the time I did not know this, apparently if milk-soaked towels aren't washed immediately, your house will almost instantly smell like a rotten bowl of cottage cheese.
Although the scent of soured milk was serving as a reminder of the events of the day before, early Thursday morning better served as a sound reminder of how little these accidents really mean. Ever since Ridge learned how to shimmy out of his crib a few months ago, Rowdy and I are awakened almost nightly by a two-year-old climbing into bed with us. At 2am Thursday morning, Rowdy took Ridge back to his bed for the first time that night. When the baby woke me up a few hours later, Ridge was laying cross ways at the foot of our bed. I guess he thought if he just went to sleep down there, we wouldn't notice his return. I almost picked him up and took him back to his bed, but I worried if I did he would be up for the day. Rather than risking a grumpy two-year-old that evening, I let him rest. I wish now I hadn't. A few moments later, Ridge rolled off the bed and landed most likely upon my husband's boots. He broke his left collar bone. As most of you parents are probably nodding in agreement, there really is nothing worse than watching your baby hurt. With this chubby little finger pointing near his shoulder area and tears in his sweet little eyes, he told my husband and me, "It hurt." Having suffered two broken collar bones in his childhood, that was Rowdy's instant suspicion. A few hours and x-rays later, that was confirmed. With a brace he absolutely hated around his shoulder, Ridge showed signs of pain throughout the rest of the day. However, when he woke up on Friday, it was almost a memory for him. Periodically he still forgets the injury, picks up a toy with his left hand and then winces, but for the most part, he is the same little boy who was dragging the milk down the hall. In fact, the brace has really bothered him more than the injury, but this is a battle he is losing. Ridge has another x-ray on Thursday. Dr.Ahn said within three to four weeks, his collar bone will most likely be healed.
Although this injury will thankfully be better faster than the stinch of old dairy products will leave our carpet, it taught me a valuable lesson. Life is too precious to worry about the things you can't do anything about or to get upset about things that really don't matter. After all, there's no use crying over spilled milk.

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