As a young boy I used to often think, “When am I going to stop spilling milk?” At least three times a week at dinner, I would reach for something and knock over my glass of milk.
I wasn’t a bed wetter, I was a milk spiller. I don’t know which would be worse. The bed wetter can’t really be blamed for his accident; he was asleep for crispy sake. The milk spiller is awake and just careless. The bed wetter does not get yelled at, or at least he shouldn’t get yelled at, the milk spiller is responsible for his mess.
Bed wetter’s are cleaned up and cuddled by mom. They are told it is all right, that you’ll grow out of it.
Milk spillers get yelled at.
“Watch what you’re doing! Damn, when are you going to learn there is a glass of milk between you and the butter dish?”
Milk spillers have to clean up their mess.
“Get some towels and clean up this mess!”
As I cleaned up the mess I wondered, “When am I ever going to stop milk spilling?”
I never spilled the milk on purpose. I tried not to spill it, but then suddenly I had a desperate need for some salt and reached for it without thinking and in slow motion I see my sleeve hit the glass, the milk spill out and I hear my dad yell out, “J O E…T h e m i l k !”
Or, I asked to be excused and pushed myself away from the table too hard and toppled the glass, or I tripped while clearing the table. It was mortifying. I was afraid to go out to eat, and I turned down invitations from friends to stay for dinner.
I wonder, was I the only one so inflicted? I finally grew out of the problem but not until the age of at least ten.
For a while I was afraid my milk spilling period would scar* me for life, fortunately it did not.
Of course I no longer drink milk with dinner, just an occasional sippy-cup of wine.