Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Crying over spilled milk

This little girl didn't do it.  She stood by and observed though as it happened. 

Yes, this little Squdge did it.  And while he dutifully cleaned up his mess, he didn't realize he was pouring milk out of his cup.  That's when these pictures stopped so I could help him.

Taking the pictures helped me not yell at him. 

Unfortunately, I didn't think about pictures fast enough this time before losing my temper and I reduced my Squdge to tears.  It was more than 1/2 a gallon of milk in this incidence.

Since then, I've stopped crying and yelling about spilled milk.  I just keep a handy stack of prefolds (cloth diapers) available for such an occasion.  We've had plenty of practice since then.  And the four big kids know exactly where to find them.

And I realize, half a gallon of milk is a little less than $2.
But a Squdge's heart is worth a lot more. 


Lisa said...

I always have such a strange emotion well up inside of me as I comfort one of my children who is crying because they did something naughty and were scolded. I know it is my fault that they are crying. But it is their fault that I had to discipline. And in that moment that I have to humble myself enough to soothe the tears that I caused (even if they "deserve" it), all I can think of is, "So THIS is what it means to be a Mother."

A. said...

When I start getting upset with little ones I ask myself some questions:

1) Am I setting them up for success of failure?

2) Am I being realistic with how much responsibility I'm putting upon them?

3) Do they really need discipline in this moment, or do they need more training in the skill?

For our house with drinks (milk in particular), I started buying only the twist top lids instead of pop top lids so that they can't accidently spill by tipping it over. I also only give about 1/4 cup of liquid at a time because ti won't make much mess if spilled, and if they are still thirsty we can always get more. Also, no open cups for kids under 5 unless it's supervised.

These two make such a mischievious team! i love that you are keeping pictures of it all! (Mostly so i can see in on it. :) ).

Nikki said...


1) I believe my negative reinforcement with a reaction instead of an action sets them up for failure.

2) It's not their responsibility to pour milk until they've passed bathtub gallon-pouring practice (around age 5).

3) I AM considering training them to pour nonw instead of trying to prohibit them from touching it.

They get in the fridge because we no longer have a fridge lock. They broke the lock off. They get the milk (with the screw on lids), find a cup and fill it.

When I'm serving milk at a meal, I actually only serve them like 1/2 an inch in the bottom of the cup at a time.

One other thing I'm considering is keeping all milk (and juice if we have it) in the garage fridge. They can't open the garage. yet.

A. said...

I knew a seasoned mom like you would need no such advice. :) I say go for the garage fridge. If they broke the lock on the house one and help themselves, they are some determined little guys!

I'm on opposite sides of the boys; the girls are old enough to serve themselves every morning, and Sam can't have milk nor can he open the fridge yet. I'll have to revisit this post in a year or two. lol

Julie V. said...

how about you get a little pitcher with a lid that has pour spout and put a little milk in it...then tell the kids that if they need to get their own drink, to use the little pitcher...then if they spill, at least not so much will get wasted, and the kids will think it's cool to have their own pitcher! You just have to keep it refilled. Let me know if this works.