A Lesson from the Giant Cheerio Spill


Guest Post by Kristen of Celebrate Every day with Me


Well, I don’t even know how to start the explanation behind this without sounding 1) careless, 2) ignorant to the uncoordinated body of a toddler or 3) an “oops, I forgot the lid wasn’t put back on” mom.


So, let’s just forgo the set up to our story and jump to the part where the over-one pound of cheerios was spilled over my floor.  We’ve all been in these situations . . . giant messes are made, red fabric paint is finger-painted all over your white carpetfully dressed kids are found sitting in the sink playing with the running water  . . . you know, the kinds of things other people laugh at when you tell the tale.



One of the trickiest things about parenting, in my opinion, is how you handle those moments.  I mean let’s be real.  You can yell, you can cry, you can be matter of fact or if there is no actual wrong-doing going on, you can take it in stride and make it fun.

SINCE the cheerios were already on the floor, I figured ‘why not play a little.”   We waved our hands to make rainbows in the cheerios and dust (did I mention how much dust comes with 1lb of cheerios?).  And yes, I let the kids eat the cheerios off the floor like dogs (thankfully, a clean floor until the spill).   I even saved the collected cheerios in a big bowl trying to think of something crafty, clever or educational with them . . . but, they just ended up in the garbage a week later.



When the messes, the disasters and the unexpected happen, a great reminder for us comes from James 1:19-20.  “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” 


I am constantly working on my reaction to the way I handle my kids’ behaviors and actions.  You know one thing I have noticed:  I have a lot less stress when I don’t get angry!  When I can handle things in a matter-of-fact way and remind myself that it is my job to TRAIN, the weight of the parenting burden is so much lighter.  Outcomes improve, teaching moments are more effective and we are all happier.


Have you found this to be true?   



Kristen is a former Wedding Planner turned stay-at-home mom of two incredible young kids. She shares ideas for party planning, children’s activities and creating memorable moments at Celebrate Every Day With Me.



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  1. says

    I recently had a giant spill of Cheerios a couple months ago (seems like yesterday) and kids jumping into the bath tub with their clothes on, water running… And I think you are right about making the best of each moment! Kids are only young once!

  2. says

    This is so true! Typically our kids already know when the mess is a problem and when they are in trouble, getting angry only gets everyone more upset. Great post!

  3. Megin says

    I wrote about much the same thing in my book Heart of a Toddler: The Zen in Them. Ours was with a huge jug of water that emptied out in seconds all over the floor which taught me to “appreciate the glug”.

  4. says

    So true! I have taken this philosophy as well, and have plenty of pictures to prove it;) Seems like at our house it’s spilled milk the most often, although I just today spilled hot tea all down my jeans. I find even taking the pictures of the mess or chaos is therapeutic to me. Capturing how life is perfectly imperfect, to me, is another way to show and share gratitude for the little things.

  5. Suzanne says

    Thank you for sharing!!! I find the calmer I can be when something like this happens, the better example I can set for me 4 year old. I have to totally depend on the Lord to give me the patience to handle these little incidents!!! I only wish I would have handled this better with our older children (now all grown and gone).

  6. Jennifer says

    Great story!! And a fun art project with Cheerios is mixing them with paint!! Make all kinds of designs and when dry the paint should stick the Cheerios to the paper. When I worked in preschool I used to use red paint on green wreaths for holiday projects!

  7. says

    We had a giant corn chex spill. With a one year old there is always some mess. It is so much better to take it in stride! I should start taking some pictures!

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