Outsmarted, Snips And Snails

The Wooden Spoon

There are some questions for which I have no answers.  And with a 5-year-old about the house, the list of those unanswerable questions grows daily.

We don’t have a house full of fancy furniture, but AD and I go to a lot of trouble to teach Sean to respect what we have so that it might become ingrained in his being to respect the property of others as well as public property.  We think this is important and wish deeply that everyone held the same view.

Since the sippy cup era, we’ve repeatedly asked Sean not to set his drink down on the wooden coffee tables because “water and wood don’t mix”.  Likewise, if there is a spill on the hardwood floors, we tell him to see to it quickly because “water and wood don’t mix.”  When liquid sits on wood, bad things happen.

This morning, Sean got up early to ride his bike. When he came in all red-faced and glistening from the morning sun, he said he thought some lemonade would be “refreshant!” I told him I thought that lemonade was great idea and that he should make some.

I got out the pitcher, the lemonade mix and a wooden spoon.  I gave him some direction and then tried to not take over.

He did a great job.  He could be destined to own a lemonade stand.  Or at least to make lemonade when life hands him Country Time Lemonade mix.

After he stirred up the lemonade, he pulled the wooden spoon out of the pitcher, licked it and then held it up.

“Mom,” he said thoughtfully, “I thought water and wood don’t mix.”

I didn’t quite know where he was going with this, so I looked at him and raised my eyebrows hoping for more information.

“Then why are there wooden spoons?” he asked pointing the spoon at me.

That’s a good question, I told him. A very good question.

“I don’t know the answer to that one,” I confessed, “but I like the way you think.”


17 thoughts on “The Wooden Spoon

  1. beautiful. this is the perfect question: the answer…Go ask your dad…seriously, I’d like to learn what you finally answer as well. Thanks for the smile it brought to me.

  2. Ask Sean to look again at the wooden spoon. Then to look at the wooden floors. Ask him if he sees any difference. Watch him discover the subtle effects of water on wood.

    And then shellac or wax on wood. Or polyurethane on wood. There is no end. . .

  3. Well, it’s ideal that they don’t. Otherwise the spoon would dissolve into the lemonade, and ruin the taste. Lemonade with a hint of cedar. Lemonade with a hint of cherry. See what I mean?

  4. He is listening to you! And he is making connections! And he is drawing conclusions! My first-grade-teacher’s heart would love to have a roomful just like him.

  5. I keep a little notebook in my purse and write down all of the questions like this one. I never do find out the answers, but it’s neat to look back over them.

  6. I’ll tell you what they’re for – whacking your kid with! Well, maybe not your kid, but my mom used to whip that utensil drawer open so fast, spatulas flying everywhere, so she could wield that spoon menacingly and get my brother back in line. I think I “tasted” that spoon once. Maybe twice. My brother was a slow learner, apparently. Fast forward 12 years and my brother goes off to college. My mother decides to redecorate the kitchen while he’s gone. She buys wooden spoons 10 for a buck and proceeds to glue flowers, ribbons, ladybugs and the like to the spoons and glue them onto all her cupboard doors. My brother came home for Thanksgiving and he nearly went into convulsions at the site of all the spoons in such easy reach. True story! He wouldn’t even let his bride register for them when he got married last year!

    Smart little boy you’ve got there… fortunately he won’t have a wooden spoon complex when he grows up! 😉

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