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Set aside spatula, frying pan, large container of vanilla yogurt and one small dog.

Put two slices of bread in the toaster and then open the refrigerator to remove the strawberry jam and margarine for applying to the toast that your injured daughter requested you bring to her. Discover that the container of yogurt is blocking the jam and margarine. Remove it with one hand, then pull out the other items one at a time and balance the three items in two hands while attempting to return the yogurt to the fridge shelf.

Take one step forward so that your right foot comes into contact with the small dog who has wandered silently between you and the fridge. Let the yogurt container slip from your grip and feel it burst open at your bare feet as its contents spill out like Ghostbuster slime on the floor you’d mopped the day before. Now, who are you going to call to help clean up this mess?

Said daughter has been ordered by the doctor to lie with her broken ankle positioned above her heart for two weeks. She can’t play volleyball for months and she certainly can’t manage a mop right now. Significant other is engrossed in the Broncos game in the living room, and besides, you’re praying he won’t walk in the kitchen anyway and poke fun at your predicament.

But this mess isn’t going to clean itself up. Well, not entirely. The small dog begins lapping his small tongue over the crime scene that he caused. Can dogs even have yogurt? You will have to look that up later. For now, think how to wipe up this mess without wasting a pile of paper towels or smearing it even more with kitchen towels.

Think. Think, Look up. There! The rack of pans and hooks with spatulas hanging down seem to glow under the fluorescent lighting. Grab one of each and shovel and flip the yogurt up into the tilted pan. Dump yogurt into the sink and rinse the dishes as the small dog removes remaining evidence from the floor.

Pluck toast from toaster, cover with margarine and jam and carry to your daughter. Watch as she pulls herself up in bed and takes the plate from you. Listen as she says, “Thanks, Mom.”

Respond, “No problem.”

Turn to walk away, but stop in your tracks as she asks, “Did you drop something?”

Hesitate before answering. “Yes.” Point down at the small dog who you are now aware is at your feet. “He tripped me.”

When she nods, you nod. Worry as she shifts her leg on a mountain of pillows and grimaces. “Ouch.”

Oh, you think, if only I could take her pain away.

Suddenly she laughs. Ask her why. Listen as she replies between giggles, “You’ve got white stuff all up and down your legs!” You smile.

Pain? What pain? Stress? What stress?

Return to the kitchen and count your blessings, including that you’ve acquired a new skill: flipping yogurt.


Author’s note: No animals were harmed during the happening of this actual event. A Google search of reputable pet websites concur that yogurts with active bacteria can act as a probiotic and are good for a dog’s digestive system.