Spills…how many spills happen in one day with four little kids? Too many to count. It used to drive me crazy until I came up with a line, “It’s okay, everybody spills. I’ll help you clean it up.” Sometimes I said it more for me than the “spiller”.
One morning while rushing to get the two older kids off to school, my youngest decided to take matters into her own hands and get herself some breakfast. While I was combing hair, checking backpacks, letting the dogs out; she got on a chair, opened the pantry and reached for the Life cereal box. She firmly gripped the box and climbed down. It would have been a successful mission if the box hadn’t been upside down. The contents of the almost full box covered the kitchen floor.
Have you noticed, spills never happen at convenient times?

I felt exasperated. My two older kids needed to get on the bus, the third child needed a little help in the bathroom, and now I had spillage to deal with. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and said my line.
“That’s okay. Everybody spills. I’ll help you clean it up.”

The mess wasn’t going to go anywhere. It could wait for wiping a bottom and walking kids to the bus stop. After we waved my daughter and son off to school, the two littlest and I made our way back home. The squares of Life were still there. All over the kitchen.
I grabbed a broom and the camera. Now this memory is a precious one. No need to cry over spilled….anything!
Love is patient. Love is kind. 
What little annoyances are hard for you? How have you altered your perspective in order to gain patience?

This article was originally published on The Pearl Girls blog, September 24, 2012. 

© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.

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