"Mom, can I have a yogurt?"
"Mom, can I play out front?"
"Mom, I'm going to shoot baskets?"
"Mom, where's my brother?"
So, I get some much needed rest and, to be honest, I could've laid in bed all day long. I rouse myself out of bed and head downstairs. Everyone's engaged and happy. Awesome! While I'm talking to the kids about what we should do, I see red on my oldest son's hands.
"What's this?" I ask. "Crystal Light. I spilled some," he replies.
"Must have been quite a spill - that's really red."
Then I head to the kitchen and I see red residue on the counter. And on the wood floor. It's soaked in. It was never wiped up. I start spraying cleaner on it, all while loudly instructing him about how this stuff will stain.
I feel good about how I handled this. I didn't overreact. I didn't rant and rave. I instructed, I had him help clean. In my mind I'm saying, "Good Job, Mom!" The kids pile into the car to head out and as we walk out the door, I see it. The front porch. Has a large red stain on it. He spilled the Crystal Light on the cement stoop and it soaked into the cement.
That puffed up feeling I'd had, deflated quickly and I went into "punishment mode." He scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed some more, only to realize that this was a stain that wasn't coming out. He knew his Dad would be upset when he returned home and was getting distraught. And honestly, I wasn't helping the situation. I let him sweat it.
You see, he hadn't actually made the Crystal Light to drink, he'd emptied the little packet into a cylinder and mixed it with about two teaspoons of water. It was full strength STAIN! I was more than a little upset.
I decided to go on with the day as planned - no need to punish my younger children for his mistake. But when we got home, he got put to work. He scrubbed that stain with cleanser and bleach until it was gone. Then he had to power-wash the stoop. He cleaned out the car, stowed away all the winter gear in the attic, picked up dog poop, and put away all the tools we used for cleaning. Penance complete. Along with no TV.
I love that boy. He's so good. He took it all like a man. Never complaining. Never talking back. Thank you, God for giving me such awesome children made in your image. I hope I never let their stains really get in the way.