The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Packing it in

"Just throw stuff out," many of you said in response to my shelving saga. In my heart, I know you're all right. But I just... can't.

It's long been established that I'm a pack rat (unsurprisingly, that drawer is a total nightmare again 5 months later). I fully admit my failings in this area and I really do aspire to improve. On occasion, I even get as far as entering the playroom with a garbage bag and as much steely resolve as I can muster. But then I stand in front of the sea of toys and I can picture my children playing happily with each one and I start to feel a nostalgic ache in my heart. I think about how happy they were to receive these things, about the good money that someone -- usually not me -- spent on them and my heart twists even more. I think about all of the creative ways that we could use these toys in the future, all the joy that they still hold in them, and my heart leaps at the thought that maybe there is still a reason to keep them. And at the end of all of this drama, I find that I have not stuffed a single thing into the garbage bag.

Not the stacking cups which I know both of my children have long since outgrown but which make such lovely color teaching toys and props for tea parties. Not the See And Say which no one has touched in two years but which might, I now realize, be the key to teaching Evan that not every animal says moo. Certainly not the Little People dollhouse which holds as many happy memories as dust mites. Not even (and this last one even I am at a loss to explain) the container full of small plastic toys collected from birthday party favor bags and that basket of crap they give out at the pediatrician's office. I'm too attached to all of it. It all has meaning and value. It all must stay.

I imagine there must be a 12-step program for people like me, or some sort of alternative shock therapy treatment. But in the end, I think it's probably just cheaper and easier to build more shelves. Lots and lots and lots of shelves.


At 3:39 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

I'm coming over to your house RIGHT NOW, with garbage bag in hand. Yeah, you need to be committed. And in that way committed...

At 4:15 PM, Blogger Steph said...

I could apparently use the shock therapy treatment, too. I can't bear to get rid of any of my kids' toys either. We've got the party favor and small plastic junk collection too. I just don't know why.

At 8:07 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

I can't bear to part with anything, either. Part of the reason is that I'm waiting for certain members of Jeff's family to have children and thus be the recipients of heaps of benevolent, gently used gifts. In the meantime, there they sit, completely disorganized.

At 10:32 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh no, even party favors?! Egads, woman! ;) Truly, it is a happy day in my house when the kids are away somewhere and I walk around tossing in everything small and plastic directly into the garbage. I do that often and it feels sooo good. Try it just once - just with the party favors ;) - you might be surprised.

At 12:34 AM, Blogger Rosemary said...

What you need to do is to deputize various members of the family to go around and clean up other people's sh*t (i.e not my stuff). We can all be so wonderfully radical about throwing away other people's clutter.

Wait... that's right... you *don't* want to get rid of your kids' crap. So.... you don't get to be a deputy.


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