Friday, September 5, 2014


Graham has recently graduated from plastic toddler spoons to "big boy spoons." He's been really excited to use metal spoons from the legit silverware drawer (his plastic spoons are stored in his play kitchen). One day, though, he noticed our "special" set of red-handled silverware tucked in the drawer. Let me explain: Nathan's family has this tradition of using a special red place setting (red-handled silverware, red fancy napkin with ring, and a red plate that says "You are special today" around the edge, and a place mat) whenever someone in the family had a "special" day (birthdays, giving a talk in church, gallbladder removal, etc.). When Nathan and I got married, his mom gave us our own special place setting to continue the tradition.

Apparently this is a widespread tradition. See here for more info, and here for the "original" manufacturer site.

I made the mistake of letting Graham use the special spoon one time about a week ago, on a completely non-special day ... meaning Graham came to expect to use the spoon every single day.

But anyone born before 1990 knows that if every day is special, then no day is special.

I get where Graham is coming from. There's something irresistible about an interesting spoon. My siblings and I fought bitterly as children over a plastic spoon with a space shuttle for a handle (though we were dummies and called it "the airplane spoon"). We would hide it from each other, whine about whose turn it was to use it, etc. In the end my mother got so tired of the fighting that she threw it away. So we failed our King Solomon baby test, but whatever, we still turned out pretty well except for my lingering obsession with the spoon ... which manifested itself just now when I stopped writing this post to check ebay for the space shuttle spoon of my childhood. I found two, and bought them both immediately. I plan on keeping an eye out for a third, so my sisters and I can all have one for our greedy little selves. Nice try, Mom, but you can't keep us from our airplane spoons!

This spoon was probably used at the Last Supper.

Back to the present: Nathan, caretaker of the special place setting tradition, put his foot down, and explained to Graham the concept of saving the spoon for a "special day." So now Graham kind of gets it ... except that every morning now, Graham chirps at me in his still adorably high-pitched voice, "Is today a special day, Mom?" And I have to be the Grinch mother who answers, "No, Graham, today is a mediocre, absolutely ordinary and boring day when nothing special will happen. Go get a plain metal spoon and eat your undercooked oatmeal in silence while I plan out the most un-special day in the history of days."

From left to right: Toddler spoon, a spoon from the Oneida Icarus collection, the red spoon of desire, and finally a thrift store spoon that is my absolute favorite: perfect weight and balance, optimal bowl depth and shape, vintage etching (also available with a longer handle, which is optimal for eating ice cream straight from the carton).

You might think that this is where I wax poetic about how then I realized that every day really is a special day full of potential and lyrical joy unicorns and Godiva chocolate cheesecake, but you would be wrong (though I do have Godiva chocolate cheesecake in the fridge right now because WE ARE BUYING A HOUSE! Updates in my next post ...).

A great quote from past prophet Gordon B. Hinckley: "Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey…delays…sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."

At least you don't have to eat that tough beef with a spoon, red-handled or otherwise! #soblessed