Two bits of information about me: First, I inherited a love of tablecloths from my grandmother. Few things can put me in a good mood as quickly as a clean tablecloth and a pretty bowl on the table. Second, most of the time, I’m usually a pretty laid back mom. When a child spills something, or makes a mess, I typically say, “That’s okay. Go get a towel.” Thanks to my mom who taught me making a mess was okay as long as you cleaned it up.
But there are sometimes when my kids imitate my “That’s okay” and it drives me crazy! For example, we don’t typically use sippee cups. I have glass juice cups that we use (it doesn’t matter if they break because we never use them otherwise) and for the most part they’re careful (and we keep an eye on the cups to make sure they’re not on the edge of the table). We don’t have many spills.
However, when David can go through two tablecloths in a single meal and wastes two perfectly good cups of milk, simply because he was careless, I rue my laid-back attitude, because he says, “That’s okay, Mommy.” I’m at a loss to convey the need to be careful, but at the same time not make a big deal out of accidents beyond our control.