Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Spilled milk. No crying. Just cleaning.

Today, the littlest and I had a few errands to run. Not really an errand. More like a shopping trip to the golf store to pick up a few things before my annual trip south. (A tough job, but someone had to do it) There were two objectives to the trip:

1. To get a few things and to peruse the clearance items, and

2. To test the "She does not need the "plug" (Binky, Pacifier, Rubber sucker thing) anymore.

I have been saying, much to the chagrin of my spouse ("Cant we let her have it till she's 5?") that it is time to cut the tether. She's almost 18 months old. It's time to "Let It Go!" (I apologize for the Frozen reference. You all had just kicked that horrible habit, I hope.) And I have taken and hid said plug for the last week, at least in the car. She fusses at first, but it is very short lived, and getting shorter as the time passes. (Notch one in the belt for daddy!) And how happy was I when we got to the store and she was asleep. Without it. (Not so humble brag)

Any-hoo, I shopped, browsed and thumbed through a few things, debated a few things, and bought a few things.  Under budget.  Who knew I could go to the golf store and come out under budget? So I decided with the extra, new found (not really, but sort of) money we should have a lunch date. Just me and her. I had done it with each of the other ones, just never really had the chance to do it with her. And why not? So after a visit with Grandma at her work (where the little one was proudly shown off to anyone that was in the building and could not run the other way) we had our lunch date.

It was just a lunch date. At Panera. Nothing fancy. Sandwiches. Yogurt. Apple. Milk. A lunch of kings. (Ha!) My little date is not the cleanest eater.
She's gonna kill me for this picture when she gets older.

And she shouldn't be. She's a year and a half (in two weeks). So as I was clearing the table and putting her in the stroller, I noticed some milk had spilled (probably when she squeezed the box-o-milk, causing a geyser of moo juice). Being one not to cry over such spills, I did what any self-respecting Stay-At-Home parent would do; I cleaned it up. (Because that is what 85% of my day is about) The odd part was, as I cleaned it up, a mother who was also on a lunch date with her little one commented on how nice it was that I was cleaning a high chair. It struck me as odd that someone would not clean their child's mess in a restaurant. I know that people are paid to do such tasks, but during a busy lunch shift, things are bound to be overlooked. Maybe it was because I have waited tables in the past, or the fact that I am just looking out for the next parent, but I feel that my kid made that mess. It is my responsibility to clean it up. And this stranger was happy. She had, as most parents have, come across a dirty table, seat or highchair in the past and silently cursed the person before them.  Perhaps my insignificant random act of cleanliness will inspire her to do the same. Or not. Who is to know?

The moral of this semi-sensical story is this: One little thing will help the next person. And most of the time that little thing doesn't take much time or effort. And it usually is the right thing to do. Even if it is not for the next parent, it will make the bus person/waitstaff thankful for you lightning their load. It's like a silent "Thank You" to them. And the power of that simple phrase is immense. And if you don't know, you have not heard it enough. Go do some random acts of goodness. You will feel so much better. And who knows? It may just come back to you.

And that wouldn't be all that bad.

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