I set the table for breakfast yesterday morning and I got the spoons wrong again. I laid out a small spoon for Dee and a big soup spoon for Rob.

“Honey,” Rob called from the dining room as I headed back to get the oatmeal. “Can you bring me a small spoon.”

“Oh, it’s the small spoon for oatmeal, isn’t it?” I said as I headed back with oatmeal and proper spoon.

“Yep, it’s small spoon for ice cream and oatmeal and big spoons for cereal and soup,” Rob said as I dished up breakfast to Dee.

“You’d think I would know that after all this time,” I said.

And yet, it hasn’t been all that long. Two years and small change of married life and just a smidge more as a couple. It just feels like we’ve been together since the dawn of existence, and it’s moments like this which remind me that I am a johnny-come-lately to Rob’s life.

The spoons thing isn’t a big deal. Dee has an obsession with a particular spoon that she would eat with exclusively if I felt like catering to her. I don’t. The big spoon/little spoon thing is something that Rob learned as a child and it stuck tenaciously. We all carry our families’ odd quirks or specific ways of doing things with us as we make our way in the world. If we are lucky, we don’t completely warp our own children with them.

Dee watches Rob like paparazzi stalking the Jolie-Pitts. Very little escapes her notice and she imitates him and adopts his preferences.

Over the weekend she was at a sleep-over and took a nasty tumble on the new sidewalks in front of her friend’s home. She barked the hell out of her knee, ankle and the back of her thigh. Nearly as I can tell, she almost went end over end. Friend’s mother cleaned and dressed the wound with the appropriate Hanna Montana band-aids but as Dee is the kind of child to let bandages wear off, neither Rob nor I checked the extent of the wounds. She said she was fine and we took her at her word.

Tuesday evening, Rob peeled them off her after her bath and discovered weeping, pus-pocked wounds. That and a nasty case of pool-induced conjunctivitis kept Dee away from swim lessons on Wednesday and might scuttle this round of lessons. Rob expertly cleaned, disinfected and dressed Dee’s knee. When I went to clean it off the next afternoon and reapply polysporin this is what I heard,

“That’s not how Rob does it, Mom. Just listen to me and I will tell you what he does.”

Right. What he does is right and you do … not right.

Right now she loves that little spoon, but I can see the soup spoons on the horizon.

8 thoughts on “Spoons

  1. “It just feels like we’ve been together since the dawn of existence, and it’s moments like this which remind me that I am a johnny-come-lately to Rob’s life.”

    I know that feeling too. I’ve known my husband (second marriage for both) almost four and a half years, and we’ve been married for nearly three. Sometimes it feels like forever, sometimes it feels like just last week. I certainly hope we have a lot of future, but sometimes I miss the past we didn’t have together (if that makes sense).

  2. I love the way children are impressionable when it comes to the things that are important to them. My daughter insists on using a small fork when she eats at my house, bringing back memories of childhood I suppose. My husband and daughter have certain soup spoons they like to use, spoons that have been handed down and have a history. I use a small spoon for everything. In our house the big spoons that come with a set of stainless are for serving.

  3. I find comfort in spoons. Way more than a grown up ever should.

    And I like teeny tiny ones for sweet stuff and the small ones for everything else because my mouth is tiny and I don’t like how the big ones clang against my teeth

  4. those little rituals. i think somehow they pin us… ground us… i smiled at the concept of setting the table for breakfast, something that happened only on special occasional in my world. i fought like a demon to make sure the four of us ate dinner together nightly.

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