What I Learned From Smashed Carrots on the Rug

I was having lunch with my 9 month old daughter, AJ.  She was strapped in to the booster enjoying her puffs and I was getting a glass of water when I heard a thud.  I looked to see that AJ had smashed carrots all over her hands, face and clothes.  She had grabbed her plate and thrown it on the floor flinging mashed carrots and turkey all over the chair, booster and wool rug. 

I grumbled and deployed my first strategy for handling spilled food:  I called the dogs over.  We have two big lab mix dogs who normally eat anything and everything.  Not a chance this time.  They would not touch it.  Makes a person wonder about something that a dog won't eat.  The only other thing I can recall them not eating was a chicken finger that my nephew refused to eat at a restaurant.  That time, it was a good call.  Hmmm.

I grumbled again but chuckled a little too.  The rug was colorful with lots of pattern.  Surprisingly, the carrot and turkey colors blended in pretty well.  I wiped up the mess and used one of the 5 bottles of animal stain carpet cleaner that we have.  As I was down on my hands and knees scrubbing and grumbling, I glanced up at my daughter in her booster.  She had the biggest sweetest smile on her face and was looking right at me.  My heart instantly melted and I smiled back at her. 

I was immediately jerked back into a sense of what is really important in life and it isn't grumbling over spilled carrots.  I am finding that I learn more great lessons about happiness from the irritations in the day than I do from anything else.  Here are a few key learnings from the carrot incident:

1.      Put the plate much further away from your baby than you think you need to.

2.      Consider making your own baby food if the dogs won't eat what is spilled.

3.      Smashed carrots and turkey clean up remarkably well.

4.      If you have a baby to clean up after, you are truly blessed.  There are thousands of women who desperately want a child but can't conceive.

5.      Focus on the smiles and don't take yourself too seriously.  If the biggest problem of the day is spilled carrots, life is really good.

Once everything was cleaned and I washed AJ's little hands and face, I thought about how hard I tried to get her and how blessed I am to have her to clean up after.  I thanked God for the spilled carrots and my little AJ.  And the animal stain carpet cleaner. 


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