In honor of my youngest son’s birthday, here’s a little story about what a curious, never-a-dull-moment child he was. He is and always will be my blessing. I am proud of the man he has become. And that he’s still a never-a-dull-moment guy.
Warning to mothers: think twice before showing your three-year-old how to use the egg slicer.
Thomas giggled when I pulled the metal wires of the slicer over the peeled hardboiled egg to create uniform slices white and yolk. He laughed even more when I let him do it himself. I laughed, too, at his joy, watching him line up the slices from small to big before eating them.
But the joy of teaching him something new turned sideways the next day.
About twenty minutes before a client was to arrive at my home business for a resumé consultation, I heard tiny footsteps, and swiveled around from my desk. There I saw Thomas standing sheepishly outside my office door.
“I spilled a egg.” His voice was very small and he stared at the floor.
“Ah oh,” I said. “Let’s go take a look.” Not good timing for a little mess, I thought, following him to the kitchen. When I turned the corner from the living room, where my older son was quietly playing with his action figures, and into the kitchen, another “ah oh” caught in my throat.
He spilled more than “a egg.” More than a “little mess.”
Smashed eggs were everywhere. Cracked eggs shells and eggs whites and egg yolks dripped from every surface. Blobs of yolks puddled on a kitchen chair pushed beside the refrigerator, and a mixture of shell and yolk ran down the front. Smashed eggs slimed down the counter and against the cabinets. Gooeyness slid from the edges of the kitchen table. Pooled on the floor were globs of yellow. The floor which unfortunately was hideously-patterned carpet we didn’t have money to replace.
Eighteen eggs murdered at the hands of a determined three-year-old.
And there on the table was the egg slicer with a crushed egg oozing in its center.
I was speechless. And so was Thomas as he stood beside me. We both stared at his handiwork. I sat down and pulled him to my lap.
“Did you want a hardboiled egg?” I asked.
“I touldn’t find one,” he admitted. “Sawwee.” He put his arms around my neck and leaned into my shoulder, a repentant hug.
“No,” I chucked, just a little, “I guess you couldn’t.” No use crying over spilled eggs.
Because I knew I didn’t have time to clean the mess before my client arrived, I called a friend. “Hey, Mac, how do you feel about raw eggs?” She came minutes ahead of my appointment, her dog’s pooper scooper in hand, and started the cleanup. Expressing extreme gratitude, I went back to my office to wait for my client. A subdued Thomas went to play with his brother.
When the client interview ended, Mac stood in my doorway with an empty paper towel roll. “I think your kitchen carpet will be rather shiny for a while,” she said with a laugh. “Good thing that boy of yours is so cute.”
Later, I put the boys down for a nap, and explained to Thomas once again the don’t get-in-the-refrigerator-without-asking-Mommy’s-permission rule. Then I called John.
“You’ll need to pick up some eggs on your way home from work.”
“But we still have more than a dozen, don’t we?” he asked.
“Yep,” I said. And thusly regaled him with the story of Thomas and the eggs.
Lesson to mothers: Make sure to show your three-year-old that the hardboiled eggs are the ones with a big crayoned “X” on them!