Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pack Rat

I think that all kids are, by nature, packrats.  They want to keep that one rock, and that broken plastic piece to a toy they can't even remember, and although there may not even be any real sentimental attachment to it, it CANNOT BE THROWN AWAY.  A child on the verge of losing a scrap of paper or the rubber remnants of a balloon will explode faster than C-4, despite the fact that the offense is less offensive than ripping the tag off of your new mattress.  (That's for you, Dad.)

Kids like this are incompatible with parents like me.  I want things tidy.  I despise clutter.  And while I wouldn't ever feel comfortable with a visitor scrutinizing the cleanliness of my bathrooms, I would challenge anyone to an organizational duel.  At the same time, I have a son in Kindergarten, which is a German word that I believes translates to "stack of junk", and the sheer volume of papers that come home from school with him is staggering.  Despite what my tone might lead you to believe, I actually love seeing his developing writing skill each day, and being able to keep on top of what he is learning is fantastic, but I simply can't keep it all.  Whenever something catches my eye as being special or unique, I keep it, but being as selective as I am, there are still papers multiplying in my kitchen, on my bookshelves and in the closets.

This is how hoarding starts, people.

So when I saw Cael rifling through the kitchen trash can yesterday, and knew that I was about to be caught having unceremoniously dumped a worksheet about the letters "ng", I panicked, trying to conjure up an excuse that would satisfy my son.  But Cael's guilt trip didn't give me a chance.

"Mom!  I can't believe you threw this away!  I did this!  I worked on it!  I wrote it on my paper with a pencil!  And then I put it in my backpack!  It's mine!  It's so amazing, too!  It's the best thing I've ever made and you threw it away.  Threw.  It.  Away.  In the trash.  Wow, Mom."

Who would have thought that my biggest parenting blunder would be cleaning my kitchen?

For a while I put it out of my mind, figuring that he would get over it, but I began to feel guilty myself.  Wasn't I the one that told Cael to be proud of all of his work, and that he should always try his best because every assignment was important?  I thought that maybe I should do something to make it up to him, and my mind ran wild trying to come up with a suitable consolation.  But it wasn't necessary, because Cael found his own way to even the score.

Guess I'll have to use the garage garbage can from now on.


  1. I think I missed something. What did he do to even the score?

    1. Haha, the last photo didn't load properly. It should be fixed now. Sorry about that!

    2. That makes much more sense. Wow, when he makes a statement, he makes it big!

  2. Take photos. Convince your kiddos that a quick cell phone snap of their work that will auto-upload into their very own Dropbox folder which will make it accessible to every computer, tablet or phone or anyone who they have ever met is the coolest thing ever. Not only was my stepson a schoolwork hoarder, so was my husband. Not anymore ;o)

    1. That's an amazing idea. Like, for real, I could have an entire online album of his papers, and then only keep the ones that are physically impressive, you know? Great idea!


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.