A clean kitchen floor

My kitchen floor is clean! Very clean, which is near miraculous since I clean my kitchen floor only in bits and pieces these days, sweeping one area now, another then, letting Patrick rub it with a wet rag when the mood hits him (which, fortunately, is often).

But today the majority of it is scrubbed–with Murphy’s oil soap no less. Yes, there is a story here.

Last night I planned on waffles, getting so far as mixing all the wet ingredients together before going to pick up Nina and Jane from their study hours. When I arrived at the Academy, I realized a soccer game was about to start, and both girls–and of course all the younger ones–wanted to go. “We’ll eat leftovers tonight and have waffles tomorrow,” I said, “and jet back here for the game.”

I put the waffle starter in the fridge overnight and today, when Patrick and I arrived home at a little before 1, I set it on the counter to warm up. Patrick came into the bedroom where I was going to do a quick workout video. He chattered like crazy for a few minutes and then disappeared. Then–clang! “What was that, buddy?” I called.

“Uh, Mom, can you come here?”

I trotted to the kitchen–and stopped. Patrick was standing next to the counter, his arms still up, one hand clutching a paper napkin. All around his feet, on the doors of the cupboards, splattered up his legs, was the waffle batter–all six eggs, four cups of milk, 1 1/2 cups of semi-congealed butter, and another 1/2 cup of oil.

I walked away. Two rooms away, I fussed and fumed. “Really! Why couldn’t he just leave it alone? Why did he have to mess with it? Seriously, God!”

On my way back to the kitchen, I muttered what might be a prayer. “You’re going to have to give grace, Lord. I’m not really inclined toward it myself right now.”

Well, I did fuss at him, stopping every once in a while to remind him–and myself–that “I really do love you, but I’m also pretty mad at the moment.”

I used a dustpan to carry the congealed butter and “slosh” to the sink. A half a roll of paper towels got the rest off the floor, and then I used Murphy’s so we wouldn’t skate on butter gloss every time we crossed the kitchen.

I made him sit in the corner while this was happening. I had finished fussing, had gone through the “what were you thinking?” (he wanted to wipe the condensation off the side of the bowl) and the “why didn’t you ask me?” when he finally said something.


I looked up, expecting, “I’m really sorry,” but no.

“Mom, does this mean I don’t get to watch a movie this afternoon?”

Um, no. Instead I made him sit in my bedroom while I worked out, and we had an interesting conversation. “Mom, what’s inside your brain?”

“Thoughts,” I answered.

“No, really!”

And now, one hour later, there is even more grace…

He’s asleep.

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