When we got married, some wonderful friends of my wife’s threw an all-out bridal shower. Pillows, mixers, cookie jars, dishes . . . you name it, we got it.

Now, they didn’t just get us a standard set of dishes with service for eight. Hoping that we would have either lots of kids or lots of guests—ideally, both—they got us settings for twelve. Also, since the laws of keeping kosher dictate that we not cook or eat dairy on the same dishes that we use for meat, they got us two sets with service for twelve each.

So we have twelve dairy bowls, twenty-four dairy plates (two sizes) and twelve mugs. For a long time, it was just perfect. We were just two very occasional coffee drinkers, so we were in clover when it came to mugs.

But then the kids came along, and they also wanted to have coffee with us. Now, if you are like me, you have been raised with the superstition that kids can never ever go near coffee, lest they stop growing. I have yet to meet a grownup wearing Children’s Place clothing due to sneaking espresso in fifth grade, but we still don’t give the kids coffee because it is an “adult beverage.” So they have milk and hot water in their mugs.

Now, kids don’t normally drop their mugs, so it kind of crept up on us gradually. But the other day there was a crash in the kitchen, and there went the last dairy mug. One by one, all twelve matching mugs, six Ikea drinking glasses and two hand-painted extra-tall mugs had made the one-way trip to the city dump.

This Sunday we took a family trip to Ikea. And I have to tell you that when it comes to me and the great blue and yellow monster, it has been love at first sight. I love the way everything is so smartly designed. I mean, they manage to pack a dining room table with room for a football team into a box practically the size of a credit card—and it comes with chairs as well. Okay, I exaggerated, but you get the point. If you are male, you probably agree with me. Ikea is genius. If you are female you probably agree, but for a host of different reasons.

So, we went the other day to get some things. Among the important purchases—stools for bathroom and kitchen, measuring cups, kiddie aprons, and trivets—were some new teacups and glasses.

I stuck them on the counter, and there they sat. Every day the kids would stare at them bug-eyed and ask if they could use them, and T would answer, “Not yet. We have to take them to the mikvah.” You see, when we purchase new dishes made of certain materials, we do not use them until we dip them in a mikvah, a special ritual pool of water.

Today I decided that it was finally time to stop procrastinating, and I took them to the mikvah and lowered them into the waters in a mesh basket.

As I was unloading the basket, I noticed that some of the cups still had their labels on. Bummer! If the sticker is still on the cup, then not all the cup was embraced by the purifying waters. So, there I sat scratching and scraping until the cups’ bottoms were smooth as smooth, and dipped them again.

I cannot wait to get home tonight. I am sure that there are going to be some happy kids. (And maybe a broken glass or two—but who’s looking?)