chocolate pudding

So I’m standing in the kitchen having an interesting conversation with my son, electric mixer in hand, a package of Jello-O instant chocolate pudding finding its right life in one of my metal mixing bowls. And it’s jell-o-ing nicely, which no doubt explains why I fail to notice that the bowl has begun inching its way toward the edge of the counter. Picture it: my son, earnest and attentive; me, very invested in our theme; the pudding, sneakily itching to spill itself. When it’s already too everlastingly late, the bowl slips off, arcs toward the floor, and upon making contact, detonates the pudding, which, like a grenade, goes splattering everywhere, hitting every imaginable surface within a five foot radius. Instantly it congeals, leaving a veritable chocolate constellation arrayed across the entire kitchen. And I haven’t even realized (because I am staring open mouthed at this apocalyptic mess) that the mixer is still on. By the time I shut it off, I understand why the pudding has also, with centrifugal perfection, hit the stove top, the walls, the cupboards, the ceiling, and pretty much every surface north of my waist. One of the beaters has flown off, hit the floor, and skidded to a stop near the refrigerator. 

Pudding on the ceiling

Curiously, the bowl has landed right side up, a modest portion of undisturbed pudding still waiting (patiently, it seems) to be served up.

Pudding on the toaster

My son’s mouth also has fallen open. “Whoa!” he murmurs, admiring the art work.

Pudding Sandwich

“Oh . . . my gosh,” I say. “Oh my gosh. Oh . . . my . . . gosh,” I say over and over, the bewilderment temporarily nudging out any words but those three. My son and I look at each other and start to laugh. He’s been mowing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which he announces he intends to take one more bite of before plunging in to help me clean up.

Predictably, the demining effort moves slowly. It involves extracting, cleaning, mopping, more mopping, sweating. It involves large quantities of surface cleaner and paper towels. I feel like the Karate Mom: wipe on, wipe off.

Pudding Mop

The intervention in fact takes most of the afternoon because I cannot work on any one horizontal or vertical patch before getting so discouraged that I have to sit down and console myself with servings of leftover pudding, which go well with sides of whipped cream, which eventually (what nerve!) run out.

Two things I have learned. One, I must never, ever talk while operating an electric mixer. Two, my son definitely has a future as a fingerpainter.

Pudding Explosion Art

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