Thursday 08 Dec 2016

Broken Stuff
Jennifer Flaten

I try not to be too concerned about material possessions; after all, I have three children. The chances on any given day, they will destroy something of mine are good.

I like to think of myself as Zen, but really, I am broke. Having three kids who demand things like food and clothes, doesn’t leave much room for “stuff.”

Besides, I know better than to have nice stuff. Unfortunately, all of the boring household items, things we use every day are technically mine. If they “accidentally” set fire to the sofa-not that they have done that, of course, the day is still young-that counts as damage to my stuff.

The list of things they have broken over the course of their short little lives is extensive and includes everything from the mundane-a glass, to the unusual, my meat mallet.

I know at this point, you must be asking yourself, how it’s possible for a kid to break a meat mallet. I am sure you are imagining that I had them tenderizing a large slab of buffalo or something.

If only, at least than I would get a tasty steak out of it. No, what happened was one kid decided it would be a great idea to make a “stew,” for the local wildlife. Yes, poor squirrels can’t fend for themselves; let’s make them a nice bouillabaisse.

To accomplish this, said kid used my meat mallet to pound an assortment of nuts and berries to a paste on our front steps. Such was her enthusiasm that she broke the meat mallet in half and permanently imbedded some cherries in our front stoop.

In an effort to conceal her crime, she hot glued the meat mallet back together and snuck it back into its drawer. Hilarity ensued the next time I needed to pound out some chicken breasts.

I do expect a little breakage. I just don’t expect it to all occur within minutes. Alas, that is just what happened yesterday. With Godzilla like efficiency the kids, managed over the course of only 30 minutes to break not one item but three.

How is this possible you ask? Let’s see, someone slammed a door so hard it rattled the shelf on the wall next to the door, causing a vase to fall. While I was cleaning up the shattered remains of my vase, another kid was in hot pursuit of his sister.

She, in her mad attempt to escape his cootie filled clutches, crashed into my plant stand sending the plant crashing. In the process of cleaning up that mess, I found the broken vase.

In all fairness, the third broken item didn’t even get broken yesterday. I discovered it yesterday. It was another attempt to conceal a crime. Master criminals these kids aren’t, if you get my drift.

To say, I was miffed is an understatement. Somehow, each of the items they broke managed to be something I’ve had for a long time. In the case of the broken vase, I’ve had that longer than I’ve had the kids. I’ve moved it 8 times without breaking it. The girls use it once to display flowers in their room and it gets broken.

Not an auspicious start to the summer at all I was hoping we would be a little further into the summer before I considered testing the post office’s “if it fits, it ships” campaign

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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