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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lesson Learned

Yesterday morning Lucas pulled a chair up to the sink and 'washed' the breakfast dishes. He's been pulling the chair up to the kitchen counters lately to 'help' with whatever I'm doing at the counter. Or to help himself with what ever he's up to.

Later that morning I was upstairs putting clothes away when Lucas went downstairs. I could hear him doing something, heard some water running, and knew I better hurry up and get back downstairs because there was no telling what he was getting in to.

Several minutes later he came back upstairs and proudly told me, "I cleaned up the mess." Uh oh I thought to myself. "What mess?" He said something purple and then something about soap. My first guess was he was under the sink and got a new bottle of dish soap out. I could feel my blood pressure rise as I imagined soap all over the kitchen.

I asked him again "what mess" and he just kept saying something about "the mess downstairs; I cleaned it all up." Doubting that he really cleaned it 'all' up, or figuring that he made it worse by his attempts to clean it up, I said, "See Lucas ... that's why I don't want you getting in to things like that. You make a mess and that upsets me. Now I have to go clean it up."

We headed downstairs and I braced myself for what I would find. Surprisingly not much. I noticed the dishes that I washed earlier were now back in the sink as he 'washed' those over. Ok not a big deal.

I noticed some contents of the fridge were out on the counter and went to take a closer look. The container that held some sliced apples was open, bag of baby carrots were out, and the bag of deli meat was open with a slice of half-eaten ham on top. Lucas got up on the chair that he had put in front of that spot on the counter and made a sweeping motion with his hand and said, "see I cleaned up that mess."

Seeing that all of those items were still on the counter I was still trying to figure out what 'mess' he was talking about. He mentioned something purple again. Finally he sheepishly said it was in the fridge. Oh great, that is where I'm going to find this mess he made.

Not really wanting to look I opened the door and that's when I saw it. A package of hot chocolate mix (with purple lettering) was sitting there with a big cut down the middle. I pulled it out of the fridge and that's when he picked up the pair of scissors from the counter. I asked him if he tried to cut it open and some of it spilled on the counter. That's when he assured me again, "It made the mess right here and I cleaned it up."

Wondering how he cleaned it up I thought maybe he swept it to the floor but didn't see any remnants there. I asked him how he cleaned it up and he looked to the sink and said, "With the soap. And a towel." My best guess is soap on the sponge and then the towel to wipe the wetness up from the sponge. He did a pretty good job because I couldn't tell there had been anything spilled on the counter at all.

I stood next to him and said, "So this spilled on the counter and you just cleaned it up all by yourself? Wow Lucas, thank you!" and I gave him a hug and a kiss.

My little man. The one who is growing up too fast and is too independent said, "See I cleaned it up and now you can be happy."

Sigh. That brought on the mommy guilt as I remembered earlier upstairs I told him it makes me upset when he makes a mess of the things he's not supposed to get in to.

I asked him if all of that was on the counter because he wanted lunch and of course he said, "Yes, and I going to help you make lunch." So I got out the plates and we made our lunch.

So my lesson learned: Sometimes the 'messes' really aren't all that bad. Sometimes he really did clean up the mess all by himself; without making an even bigger mess. And of course, don't jump to conclusions.

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stephanie said...

AWW, don't feel too bad, I'm the queen of jumping to conclusions, usually the wrong one. Lucas did do a great job. But i know how you must have felt when he told you about the mess.

Becca said...

I've done the same thing and felt the same guilt with Samantha! Got to remember not to underestimate her sometimes...

Way to go, Lucas! Great story!

nichole said...

Oh my gosh, Lucas is growing up so fast!

Izzy, Emmy 'N Alexander said...

Aww, that is such a sweet story! So proud of him. :)

Stuff could always be worse said...

This story is so touching. It brings tears to my eyes, my son would help me clean also. He is now in the Marine Boot Camp. I miss his messes. You did the right thing.
You know time flies with them, sorry to be sad.

Cindy said...

Awe! Great lessons mom! :)

Anonymous said...

A lesson taught by a almost 3 year old!! We sometimes can learn so much if we open our minds and assess the situation first, than react:)but, we are human :)And , yes, it does make us feel so GUILTY when we jump first!! Lucas is so FULL OF CHARACTER!! And, for that matter, so is Kayla! It is "fun" to watch from the outside. Just as the others have responded to your blog, the majority of Mom's have done the same thing... I have too!! Love Mom/grandma, memaw and according to Lucas-Graymaw (I guess my roots must be showing)

Sunny said...

So cute!

Nancy M. said...

It's hard to take a step back and the see the big picture sometimes. Lucas sounds like such a sweet little boy!