17 April 2011

A Small Tragedy: The 24-hour dad mug

I knew it was only a matter of time. In some ways I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. And yet it's still a raw shock that it's time with us was so brief.

Last Saturday was a beautiful day, and I decided to take Karol for some mommy-daughter time to a place called Little Shop of Crafts not far from where we live. It's a really neat place where you can hang out as long as you want, listen to music, and make crafty things. But it's not cheap. The trade for not having a sitting fee or materials fee is that the pottery or other products for painting/decorating are a little overpriced. In the long run, however, it's totally worth it not to have to ration your paint or watch the clock. If you don't finish the day you come in, you can even bring your stuff back another day and continue working!

Karol spent 20 minutes picking out a small mug with sharks engraved in it to paint as a special gift for Daddy, then we had a barrel of fun painting it for a couple of hours! It would be ready for pick-up a week later: yesterday.

After a long conversation about carrying with two hands and walking slowly, Karol delivered the gift to Matt, who of course loved it and put it in the cabinet with the rest of the mugs.

Today, desperate for any form of caffeine, Matt used his new, favorite mug to brew some tea, left it perilously close to the edge of the counter and left the room.

Enter Patrick. My sweet, sweet Patrick. He came into the kitchen with a dirty dish and I told him to put it in the sink. I noticed he was due for a diaper change, so I left the kitchen to get a new diaper, just one room away. Then it happened.

*CRASH* *TEARS* I bolt back into the kitchen to find Pat a little wet from the scalding hot water and completely and totally distraught, overwhelmed by emotion. I scoop him up only a moment before Karol comes in to see what's going on and finds her precious new mug shattered into at least a dozen pieces. Emotional breakdown number 2, tears and wailing commence.

I hand Patrick off to Matt who checks him for burns from the water (he was totally fine) and scoop up the second heartbroken baby saying, "it's okay, it's just a mug, we can make another one. Yes it's very sad, but it was an accident."

And then we switch. Naturally, Matt assuages Karol by telling her how much he loved the mug, but now she can make a new one, and they begin cleaning up the mess.

Patrick is still balling his eyes out and so while changing his diaper (he still needed a change, after all) I tried to listen through the tears at what he was saying. "I broke Karol's cup, I broke Karol's cup," he kept repeating. He was obviously very guilt stricken and upset. Even though it was an accident, he felt terrible! Now that I think about it, it was a surprisingly kind-hearted and mature emotion for a (should-be) self-absorbed 2-year-old to have - but that's my Patrick :)

It was clear he needed redemption so I told him that it was an accident and it was not his fault but if he felt bad he should go tell Karol he's sorry. After a heartfelt "I sorry, Kawol" and a hug, the tears dried up quickly.

Bear in mind, this all happened within like a 4-minute span of time, at the most. What kills me is how I felt throughout this whole ordeal. It could not have been a more pitiful situation, with both children involved, and both legitimately upset, and no one really did anything wrong, per se. But to see and to know how upset and grieved they both were was more painful for me as a mother to watch than for them to experience, it seemed!

In short, a lot of good, hard lessons learned today, for everyone. I'm certainly not looking forward to the many heartbreaks yet to come, even more serious than this.

Oh, and if you're wondering where Max was for all of this, thankfully, he napped through the entire thing.

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