It was one of those I-can’t-believe-I-just-did-that kind of moments.
I pulled the whole milk from its shelf as I prepared Isabelle’s breakfast. Suddenly, I lost my grasp on it. The container flew out of my hand and into the cabinet. It splattered all over the floor, two kitchen cabinets, and the oven.
“What’s wrong?” Isabelle called from her playroom.
“I dropped the milk and it’s — everywhere!”
“Do you need help?” she asked.
I thought of the times my dear Dad has said, “you can help by not helping.” I wanted to say that to Isabelle, but I didn’t think she was old enough to understand that I was saying it because I could do it faster myself. Um… you could hand me some towels,” I called.
“Um… you could hand me some towels,” I called.
Isabelle scampered into the kitchen, saw the huge puddle of milk on the floor and the lines of milk streaming down the cabinets, and stared. “Oh, that’s not good, Mommy.”
I laughed. It really wasn’t good.
I lifted the carton from the floor and righted it only to discover it had split open on the side seam of the carton. More milk came gushing out as I hustled toward the kitchen sink.
“Oh dear!” Isabelle said. (Yes, she said oh dear. Sometimes I think she’s a 95-year-old woman trapped inside of a five-year-old body.)
I held the dripping container over the kitchen sink, grabbed one of her cups, and poured some fresh milk into the cup. Then, I dumped the rest of the milk into the sink, crushed the container, and carried it to the garbage can.
“You made a mess,” Isabelle said.
“I really did,” I replied. “Try not to step in it,” I said gesturing to, well, the entire kitchen floor.
“You know, Mommy. I’m gonna to sit down at the table while you clean up.”
It was as if she read my mind. Somehow, she knew I didn’t want help. And she let me. And for that reason, I cleaned up the spilt milk — using every dish towel in the kitchen — by myself.
I used every dish towel in the kitchen for the clean-up. But I’m happy to report, my cabinets and floor are milk-free now.