The Split Pea Incident

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The other day I had an idea to put some old split peas to use by allowing Samuel to engage in open-ended play at the table. I gave him a bowl, a spoon, some measuring cups, and the split peas. I watched him for awhile, felt pleased with my idea, and walked away. My kid was an open-ended player, what more could a Mom want?

About five minutes later, I heard the sound of split peas being dumped on the table. Samuel called out, "I'm sorrrrryyyyy, Mommy! I accidently spilled some on the table." Since I'd already prepared myself for cleaning up a small mess, I called back that it was okay and we'd clean it up later.

It was then that Samuel decided it was fun to watch the split peas bounce as they hit a hard surface. First, I heard him pour the whole jar of split peas out (this is when I got up and started running), then I heard him simultaneously brush thousands to the floor with his hands.

I arrived in the dining room and told him to stop at once. He looked me in the eye and kept doing it. He was marched right to the couch for time-out, and I took a time-out in the kitchen.

Oh, I had an idea! We'd clean up the mess together. It might even be fun to teach him to use the hand broom and dustpan.

At first, my idea of cleaning up together seemed to work, then one minute later, he was swimming in the peas on the floor, casting them to all ends of our hard wood floors, and to the depths beyond.

I wanted to pull my hair out. I wanted to scream. I thought about taking my mandatory government loan, I mean stimulus money, and purchasing a one-way ticket to Europe.

Samuel was sent to the couch again. He didn't stay.

I got on my hands and knees and swept up every last one of those split peas. Some of them were trapped in a crack between the door frame and the floor. I got those, too.

I looked up at my white dining curtains from my hands-and-knees position on the dining floor and saw the boysenberry-applesauce and Nutella fingerprint stains all over them--an accumulation of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners the past few months during which Samuel gave into curiousity and opened them up during a meal to check on the latest bug to be trapped in our window spiderweb, leftover from last summer's batch of garden spiders.

I went into the kitchen, did the dishes, washed out my French press from my morning coffee, flipped on the garbage disposal, and grinds mixed with dirty water shot up out of the neighboring sink all over my green REI shirt.

Is it really possible that some day, twenty years from now, when Samuel and Juniper are living lives of their own, that I will miss these days?

I went out with my friend Sharla after dinner, just Juniper and I, and we talked for four hours like old times at Pix Patisserie on Division (love that place!). On the way home I listened to Loveline with Striker (used to be Adam Carolla) and Dr. Drew and recalled fondly the days when Landon and I would listen to it on the way home from a late night at Biddy McGraw's. I'd pretend to be innocently appalled and Landon would laugh.

These days, we're laughing at Flight of the Conchords (we love it, Annagrace!), our latest HBO favorite:


Annagrace said...

I think I've actually LIVED this post before...I was completely there for every second!

And glad you like "Flight"--we're kind of slowly making our way through the two discs as J's been on call this week but everything we've seen is amazing! Totally different genre, but we've also been totally immersed in "Foyle's War" via Netflix--it's SO so so good and so very different from all the other WWII stuff.

Jeremy said...

Oh Karli! I'm cringing inside! It's amazing to see how similar the boys are right now at this age. Ian is doing those same things and it's beyond frustrating. It seems every "project" is 10 times the work just to clean it up.

Days like this seem very very long. I'm glad you took pictures. That mess is unbelievable!

Anonymous said...

That story is CLASSIC, Karli!!! It illustrates this stage in their lives. Did I ever show you the picture of our nook wall that Evan decided to take a crayon to one day when I went up to do laundry? Ya gotta love 'em. --Stefanie

Anonymous said...

Ava must have read your blog because we also had one of "those" days. I called Joel to tell him that I was taking our tax refund and going on a cruise. ALONE.

I think that the same hormone that makes us forget the pain of labor also makes us forget the childrearing. RIGHT??


Claudia said...

You have such a very flavorful way of putting all of the frustration of childrearing into words. You should write a book some day!! Seriously!! I guess you got your writing skills from all the English Papers you had to write in College.
I so remember days like that but due to the fact I had four girls in four and three-fourths years ~~ it left me little or not time to write and for sure ---- NO ENERGY, once everyone was in bed. Laundry, clean up and drop into bed myself for all of the getting-up during the night routine.
I am, for sure, enjoying reading and remembering all of the days of loving our little lovables!!
And to answer your question, YES!!, you will forget the 'pain' of the exhausting days when they are older and just laugh at such expermentation of the little minds!

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