There are those who are much worse, though. Yesterday, I was watching that show "Buried Alive: Hoarders." I'm looking at these people's homes and thinking, "This looks familiar."
No, my house isn't covered in crap. My daughter's room, though, looks like a toy store and a recycling bag blew up in it. Is it just me, or do children seem to hoard?
My daughter comes home with two to three pieces of homework four nights a week. (She's only in first grade. That's a completely different rant.) If I let her, she would keep every single piece of homework. Our house is small, but even if we lived in a friggin' mansion, where the hell would we keep all of that paper?
But it doesn't end with paper. Paper is only the beginning. Grandma used to take her once a week to McDonald's, and she would get a Happy MealTM. You know what kind of shitty toys they put in those Happy MealsTM. Crap made in China that probably has lead in it, right? So, every week, she'd come home with one of those stupid toys, and the only way to get rid of them was to wait until she was out of the house and to surreptitiously recycle them.
Not only are those things crap, they are ugly and, sometimes, they stink. I remember one that was a Strawberry Shortcake advertisement. I don't remember the character beyond the fact that she smelled chemically sweet. For some reason, children seem to love this. God knows, I don't. That toy stayed in her room for nearly a year. When I found it one day in one of the piles, I palmed it and passed it off to my husband to recycle. She never knew. She has so much stuff she doesn't even miss it.
And then there're the cheap toys/party favors that come with every birthday party we attend. Parents, my child does not need a bag full of shit to bring home. If you would just let your child open the presents while the other kids were there, these stupid bags wouldn't be necessary. Matter of fact, I think these bags send the wrong message. Whenever I see these bags, I grit my teeth, as do all of the other parents. So, why are you giving them out? Nobody wants them, I've stopped doing it, and... this is a topic that deserves its own day. I will stop now before I burst a vein.
But it is a challenge. Her grandmothers like to buy her things: books, toys, clothes, etc. I finally had to tell them to stop. I do appreciate it, but we are being overrun with things. I am not Aaron Spelling with a Beverly Hills mansion. I don't have a room just for dolls. I don't want a room just for dolls.
On top of this, her school has been teaching about recycling and reusing trash as art or using it to create something else. Well, that's all fine and dandy, but we are not saving that plastic bottle for an art project. Nor are we going to keep that small plastic container for, I don't know, but we aren't keeping it. No, we are putting it in the recycle bin. Okay? That's what the recycle bin is for. I am not going to fill my house up with trash. And if you're school thinks this is such a great idea, I suggest we take all of the trash to them and let them find uses for it.
I do hoard a little bit, too. I admit it. I have a few things I cannot part with: my costumes from when I used to portray historical women, my wedding dress, sheet music, reference books, and the like. I won't ever be able to wear those costumes again unless I lose fifteen pounds, that is. I just can't see that happening. Toothpick was fine at one time, but not any more. (Not to mention that after childbirth, my hips and ribs will never be the same size, unless they are trimmed.) I won't ever wear my wedding dress, but I hope to give it to my daughter some day. I do pull out the sheet music and read it on occasion, and my reference books are frequently, well, referenced. There are some clothes I could probably part with, though. Perhaps later today when I'm done working, I'll start cleaning.
Now, after watching that show yesterday, I was galvanized to clean. Clean that pile of paper off of my dining room table. Clean the coffee table. Clean everything in sight. It's an eye opener. Many of these people could have very well started with a small pile. All of them turned into massive hoarders. I have no intention becoming one of them.
And how can I teach my daughter to get rid of stuff if I don't. Of course, when I clean, she's inspired to do so, but usually with my stuff. She'll pick something out and say, "Mommy, you could give this away, too."
"Except I wear that shirt all of the time. Why don't you look at your own stuff, huh? You're room is a mess."
And yet it doesn't happen. Her room is obviously still a mess.
Somehow, I think her idea is to clean all of my stuff out of the house so she can fill it up with hers. I mean, hasn't she already tried to leave her toys in my bedroom, the dining room, the living room, the bathroom, the...
Do we really need that much stuff? Yeah, um, no.
So, am I the only one with a hoarding child? And if not, how do you deal with that type of behavior?