Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Picking up the pieces
I broke my six-year-old's favorite egg cup. This was not good. I was trying really hard at breakfast. I had scrambled some eggs for one of them, boiled an egg for another, made porridge on request, fed the baby, spread three different flavour jams (pear and raspberry, raspberry and strawberry) in stripes on one piece of bread. I had not laid down silent on the crumb-strewn floor. I remained upright and mobile at all times. Then I broke the egg cup. Technically, the baby broke it, but really it was me because I said to my eldest: "She'll be fine with it, don't be silly" when she grabbed it and he wanted to take it back from her. She looked straight into my eyes to thank me for my trust in her, slowly opened her porridgy fingers and dropped it. The cup, last year's gift from the Easter Bunny, smashed leaving a yellow spotted cheetah holding nothing but disappointment in his arms. My six-year-old gulped, he folded his arms together, laid them on the table and buried his head in them. The despair I think was half because of the egg-cup and half because of me. My four-year-old came over. He laid a consoling little hand on his brother's heaving back. "Never mind," he said, "you can share my lion."