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I Cry Over Spilt Milk

I used to think that this expression was ridiculous.  I mean really, who cries over spilt milk? It’s milk.

But lately, I’ve had to remind myself of this phrase almost daily. Sometimes twice a day. We spill milk in our house almost as often as a teenage girl texts her BFF.  Okay maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it happens a lot.

Most of the time I don’t see it happen.  I am in the kitchen getting lunch ready and I hear the unmistakable sound of a plastic cup hitting to the ground.  That sound is followed by one of my children screaming “My milk spilled!” This phrase sometimes varies slightly with something like “MOM, he spilled my milk!!!”

Most days, it doesn’t bother me.  It’s easy enough to grab a few paper towels and wipe it up.

But some days, the sound of that cup hitting the floor is the last straw. I know that my son’s sandwich is now ruined and I’ll have to make him a new one.  Or the last cookie is soaked with water and someone will have a melt down.  I want to explode and scream “It’s a cup! Is it really that hard to not knock over?  You drink out of cups everyday at preschool! Do you knock it over there? What is so hard about keeping liquid in a cup?”

Every time I’m about to explode, I am reminded of the expression and I am able to calm down.  In that moment I realize how ridiculous it is to yell at a two-year-old for spilling her drink.  As frustrating as it is, it won’t last forever. They will eventually make it through a meal without spilling.  I refuse to go back to sippy cups.  For one thing, we only have about 4 sippy cups left.  The rest have either been lost under the couch for too long to be saved or they have been chewed on so much that my kids refuse to drink from them.  You’d think we owned a puppy based on how disgusting some of these tops have been chewed.

I used to think the phrase originated in farming communities and referred to when someone spills the bucket of milk that they just filled from milking a cow.  My new theory is that it was coined by a mother of preschoolers who was desperate to stay calm during meal time.

But even as I’m calming myself down, I still feel like crying. So if you ever see me with tear stained checks after a meal, you know why.