Happy Accidents

I’ve learned that when you spend the day with a preschooler, you find yourself knee deep in “teachable moments.” Depending on my energy level and how “teacherly” I feel in the moment, I find that some I jump on and some I let pass. Today was a day I jumped.

Lucy and I were busy making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for our neighbor and adopted grandmother two doors down for her birthday. It’s a Halm (my maiden name) family tradition to under-bake most desserts, as to ensure a gooey center, especially with cookies and brownies. So, in true Halm fashion, I set the timer for 2 minutes less than the recommended timeframe.

As I was spatula-ing one of the gooey mounds of wonderfulness from the cookie tray to the cooling rack, one of them fell on the kitchen floor and broke into lots of crumbly pieces. Lucy reacted by making the adorable 3-1/2-year-old “oops face” that she makes quite often these days.

And then I realized the opportunity for another teachable moment. One that I could not miss…

The “Happy Accident.”

I went on to tell her that sometimes accidents happen. And sometimes, when they do, something about what happened makes us happy.

She was a bit confused…okay, A LOT confused. It was hard to explain.

“Are we going to pick up the cookie?” she asked, frustrated.

“No,” I replied.

Her head about exploded.

I poured a cup of milk, grabbed a napkin, and sat on the floor next to the cookie, inviting her to join me.

Shocked and still puzzled (but THRILLED), she sat next to me with a grin as big as a golden retriever and we devoured (very quickly, I might add) the warm ooey gooey crumbs of the fallen cookie. “Mmmm…the chips are still warm,” she noted.

Happy accidents are the best. They happen more often than we take time to appreciate. Kids sure have a way of helping us notice these little joys and savoring them.

Maybe next time we bake cookies I’ll “accidentally” drop one again, so we can relive the fun…


  1. Kim– I think your floors are cleaner than mine!
    Lucy is adorable!!