I didn't see his face when it happened. I was out of the room. I heard a loud crash, a breaking noise. He hadn't broken anything since those early weaning glass days. I never allowed him to help clean up, a weaning glass broke into a million sharp pieces. This was pottery, the edges were dull and soft. This time I wanted him to help.
"Did the bowl break?" I left a long pause so he had time to associate my words with the broken pieces on the floor. "Shall we clean it up?". With his dustpan, broom and trusty bucket we picked up the pieces and took the broken bowl to the bin.
The bowl is irreplaceable. It was handmade. It's a rare but tough lesson. I know he was carrying the bowl. He's usually careful. Now he knows the consequences if he's not.
Looking back, I didn't need to say anything. He learnt the lesson as soon as the bowl hit the floor. Even though I really liked that bowl I wouldn't change anything. Using pottery like this is a pleasure, it adds beauty to our meals and to our lives. I also feel that this is a lesson that children learn sooner or later. I'm pleased that Otis has learnt this early in life and hope that it helps him in the future.