Whenever one of my kids spills something on the floor, I experience a range of emotions.
On one hand, the spill represents something else “to do” – a new task – in a world where we already have more to do than we will ever get done. And my wife and I, as the sole local representatives of fully-functional human beings, with highly-developed motor abilities and the advanced attention to reality required to adequately and safely clean the spill, will be the ones stuck with the task. Furthermore, the cause of the spill is often, but not always, tied to behavior the likes of which the guilty party/parties should have known better to participate in, and for which they have been admonished many times over in the past, thus rendering the situation a core irritant, and an example of how often children fail to listen and/or apply what you are trying to teach them. Additionally, it serves as a reminder of the “throw away” culture we live in, one in which we tend to believe the consequences our actions, even if they involve the destruction of perfectly good material possessions (in this case domestic structures and/or furnishings), can at very least be immediately disregarded, because the items are “easily” replaced.
On the other hand, after wiping up the spill, I think, “Man, that small section of floor looks amazing now!. . .wait, so, THAT’s what color this vinyl is? I love it – good work, kids!”
Yeah. Parenting is truly a fickle* ** ride.
*Note: I rarely use the word “fickle.” Seeing it here not once but twice, one instance being in the title, I realize why it should be sparingly utilized. Well, it cannot be helped now. Next time, I might take “mercurial” for a spin.
**Note: I also questioned, after the fact, the correctness of the word “fickle” in this case. Can it be used when not in reference to people, or at very least to objects which you are trying to personify? I’m not sure, and perhaps I should have chosen my language more wisely. Grammar is certainly a fickle ride . . . dang it!