Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk on Monday

Take a typical carton of orange juice and leave it alone for at least 24 hours, and you know what happens?  Thanks to the laws of gravity, the pulp sinks down and settles happily at the bottom.  That’s why, every time my 14-year old daughter Melissa picks up a container of orange juice, she shakes it before pouring.

A creature of habit, Melissa had taken to shaking containers before opening no matter what liquid may lurk inside… milk, iced tea, fruit juice, it doesn’t matter. 

So why I am sharing this seemingly mundane information about my daughter?  Well, Melissa’s “shaking” habit sets the stage for our story, which begins innocently enough on a Monday morning.

It’s a day most people like to hate, except the members of my household.  Now don’t get me wrong, we certainly do not embrace the thought of a Monday morning, nor do we jump for joy when setting the alarm clock for 6 am the night before.  However, we do feel a bit more energized after a relaxing weekend, and we’re ready to tackle the challenges the week has to throw at us.  (This positive attitude is usually shattered by Tuesday, mind you.)

On Sunday night, lunches are made, clothes are ironed, and bedtime comes a bit earlier.  In the morning, after my alarm clock rudely warns me to throw off my warm covers, I walk down the hall, enter my daughter’s bedroom and prod her out of bed.  Some mornings are quite productive for her, while others find her still fussing with her hair as the school bus makes its steady approach to our house. 

A couple of weeks ago, Melissa, determined to be on time, had awakened without protest, spent a limited amount of time on her hair, and went down stairs a staggering 20 minutes before her scheduled departure.  Looking forward to eating a leisurely meal, she happily poured herself a bowl of cereal.

As for me, my morning seemed to be going according to plan.  I had showered and dressed, and now stood in the bathroom, blow dryer in hand, trying to coax a curl out of my poker straight hair.  Suddenly I heard a spine chilling scream, and then the sound of footsteps pounding up the stairs.  My visibly upset daughter burst into the bathroom, covered from head to toe with a silky white substance.


Now at this point I opted not to remind her that she is the only person in the house who drinks the organic milk, therefore, no need to hire a private detection to determine who had committed the crime of forgetting to tighten the lid.  Instead, I surveyed the situation, thinking quickly on how I could devise the best way to remove every drop of milk in the five minutes that remained before the bus came, and trying with every ounce of my being not to laugh.

I knew that if my mouth twisted upwards to indicate even the slightest smile, I might lose all of my limbs.

From her reaction, I concluded that the incident had a horrible, tragic effect on:

1. Her hair
2. Her fake Ugg boots (yes, I am happy to admit I will not spend $150 on boots when the fakes work just as well)
3. Did I mention her hair?

Priorities! We tackled the hair first.  I grabbed the blow dryer while she maneuvered the brush, and together we rid each strand of milk.  Panicked, she yelled and whined and fretted and cursed.  By this point, I promised to drive her to school since the bus had come and gone.  With transportation issues out of the way, we turned our attention to her milk-stained fake uggs, with no success, forcing Melissa to take drastic action and, (egads!) wear sneakers, a middle school fashion faux pas.

By the time we climbed into the car, the evidence of the breakfast fiasco had all been wiped clean, and the foul mood that now gripped my offspring remained the only remnant of our eventful morning. 

Later that day, as we busied ourselves with the choreography of dinner, I observed my now calm, happy child. 

“Melissa,” I said quite timidly as I set the forks and knives on the table, “you have to admit, the incident this morning really was funny.”

“I actually got a lot of compliments on my hair today,” she said, laughing at the irony.  

The remainder of the week passed by uneventfully, with the exception of the extra effort made on both our parts to get out of bed and ready on time, lest another shaken container ruin another pair of fake Ugg boots.

The incident will become one for the record books, not so much because of the humor, although that reason does rank quite high.  It will forever stay in my memory because when a carton of milk decided to let loose on my child, she ran up the stairs to that one person in the world who she knew would have the answers, the one person who would stay calm, who would clean her up, who would make things right.  She ran up the stairs…. to me.

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  1. Definitely made me smile!!!!!

  2. If it makes you feel any better, the same thing happens in my house all the time! Drives me nuts...and we don't do real Uggs,either!

  3. I smiled through reading the whole fiasco and was in tears at the last paragraph! You're a great story-teller, Lisa!

  4. You got me with the last line! You are so right, that they still come to us with their problems and one day soon they won't need us at all! It does make the little crisis's much more poignant and much less bothersome! Great post, thanks!