A Thousand Tiny Paper Cuts

The day my 4-year-old daughter dropped a glass and burst into tears, I just didn’t get it. Not just a little juice glass, but a big 16-ounce pilsner glass she was filling at the freezer-door ice dispenser to put on the table for supper.

My Lovely Bride was already home from work and tried to console her as I swept up the shards, which went all over the kitchen and into the dining room.

I had tried to tell my daughter in my gentlest voice, “It was an accident. You were doing exactly what I asked you to do. You’re not in trouble, sweetie.”

No luck.

She sobbed and wailed. And sobbed some more.

My wife finally clued me in.

“It’s not about the broken glass, Daddy.”


“It’s about all the other things that have gone wrong through the day. It’s like a thousand tiny paper cuts. And the broken glass broke it all loose. Right, Carla?”

“Uh-huuuuuuuh,” Carla sobbed.

I tried not to roll my eyes.

But I rolled my eyes.


Then I finished sweeping up the glass and put supper on the table.


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