Exhibit A: This is a science project made by Bitty. She is very proud of her work. I can't remember what it was supposed to do or its general purpose at all. It is hanging out around my house, to be found in such places as under stairs, on beds, in the middle of the kitchen floor, between towels; basically part of the basic household flotsam and jetsam. It drives me nuts. It's ugly. (I can only type that because my own children do not read this blog, and I don't think I will ever let them.) But do you know what happens if I try to get rid of it? Most parents can attest to the fact that fury accompanied by bouts of sobbing ensue. And I always wonder....has she forgotten about it yet? Can I throw it away...now? No? How about tomorrow? No...okay. I'll just keep tripping on it.
Exhibit B: You can't tell from this picture but this doll is as large as my 5 year old daughter. It arrived in our family one Christmas when I made the horrible mistake of letting the kids choose Christmas gifts for one another. I was trying to fill them with the Christmas spirit and somehow didn't have the heart to tell my son this thing was ugly and overwhelming when he approached me with excitement and the desire to give something to his sister he was sure she'd adore. It only took one afternoon of playing with it before seams began to split everywhere in a rather gruesome way - the neck was the first to go, followed by what appeared to be her lymph nodes spilling out from her armpits. I tried to fix it, but despite dutifully getting out needle and thread on an almost daily basis I couldn't help but wonder if it wouldn't be kinder to put the dolly out of her misery. This one I finally did file away in the large green can on our back porch and it was literally last week that my daughter approached me in search of her giant purple ballerina doll. Sorry honey....I'm not sure where it is right now....I'll keep an eye out....(waves of guilt washing over)
Exhibit C: The countless countless school projects. Some of them are tossers, day 1, no problem. But some of them they really worked hard on and are excited to show my and display in their rooms. For months. Until they are covered in dust and haven't been looked at. But it just feels disrespectful to toss it. Sure, I'll take a picture and store it in my computer, but wouldn't it be fun to save a precious few things in a keepsake box? How big should this keepsake box be?
Now, I have to confess to having some sympathy here. I grew up as a serious stuffed animal lover and I, like my children, had names for each of them and an absolute knowledge of where they had come from and how they came to be a part of my world. Even now, when I have cleaning time all alone at home and I think to myself, "Ah HA! I'm going to go sift through the dang stuffed animals and at least get rid of the ones they don't like anymore!" No such thing. Even if there is a toy that doesn't get played with regularly I myself remember that this Tinkerbell Doll came from our first Disney trip, or that little dinosaur was a gift from a dear neighbor, or whatever. I can't let go of them myself! That doesn't stop me from going through them, arguing silently (or sometimes out loud, which is a really bad sign) with myself about each toy. Should we keep this one? They love it! But it takes up space and has been sitting at the bottom of the toy chest for a year. They'll totally notice its absence the first day I send it off to the D.I. No, they probably won't. I don't know..... And thus three hours go by and nothing has been accomplished except more advancement in my condition known as CRAZY.