Spilling the milk of human kindness

This little cutie just dumped an entire quart of milk all over the (upholstered) dinette. His adorableness is a very great consolation, but he wouldn't even sit still for me to take a picture, and so this selfie was was the best I could get. (The sight of a selfie -taking toddler is a marvelous antidote to toddler-induced stress. Until you attempt to take the cell phone back, of course.)

Aside from their cuteness, another nice thing about toddlers is that most of the time they eventually grow up into helpful and intelligent teenagers who read Harry Potter, discuss epistemology, and help change the waterproof mattress pads on the dinette cushions.

The big kids worked hard and well to restore order, but not without a sigh or two.

"He's the master of disaster. He does all this crazy stuff, and there's no way we can stop him. He just... gets away with it."

That's not entirely true. Most of the time, we can and do stop him. Most of the time, we put the milk immediately away, and if the baby dashes between our knees to try to grab the eggs while we have the refrigerator open, we're usually quick enough to stop him.

But not always. And then... he gets away with it. We clean him (and everything else) up, shower him with kisses, and teach him how to take selfies.

It's messy and utterly unfair.

Grace always is.

Soon, he will develop the sense not to dump out jugs of milk for the fun of it. And then he will be apt to get into other kinds of messes. We'll do our best to protect against those, too, but inevitably we will mess up.

The goal isn't to raise kids who don't make messes, though. It's to raise kids full of mercy and grace, who know that they have been forgiven, and are ready to pitch in and help clean up their little brother.

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