In just three short years, Mr. C has accumulated a tremendous amount of stuff. Between his birthday, Christmas, and people just giving him random gifts, the pile has reached a tipping point. In an earlier post, I explained how proud I was of being able to keep track of all the parts of his various toys, how naive I was! That was before his most recent birthday, now he has an additional 3,000 or so more tiny pieces for me to step on, either breaking the piece, or getting it impressed into the bottom of my foot, or worse than that unknowingly vacuuming up some crucial piece, never to be seen again!
I’m not about to stop anyone from giving him things. Everyone loves to see how happy he gets when he gets a gift, but we’re running out of space to put it all. We try to keep everything as neat as possible, using a variety of plastic bins to hold the smaller toys, and putting them just about anywhere we can squeeze them. Under his bed, in the closets, under my desk, piled up in front of the TV, under the dining room table. Maybe our house is just too small!
I’ve taken the advice of my sister in law and taken to putting some of his toys in the basement for awhile, mostly the ones he is not currently playing with. The idea being that after a few months I’ll then bring back out. He’s caught on to me though and seems to know when I have my eye on something for temporary exile. He’ll bring out something that up until now has been neglected and announce that it is in fact his favorite toy, and proceed to play with it for the next four hours. OK, that one doesn’t get picked for exile, he must think.
Some things that are from his infant months are consigned to charity or even discarded if they are too used. We’ve made a few trips to the Salvation Army, to the local consignment stores, the library for his any books in good condition, even some things go to the local YMCA for their day care.
At this young age he’s already attached to many things. While I certainly don’t want to traumatize him, I don’t want to encourage him to be end up on the ‘Hoarders: Buried Alive!” show. Sometimes, though it’s just as hard for me to discard things as it is for him. This past weekend, my wife and I were going through some older items and filled up a kitty litter tub with items.
As I was going through the pile though, I’d come across things that I’d decide really had to stay.
The ‘Brown Bear’ by Eric Carle book? No, that’s one of his first books, we have to keep that.
His first rubber duck ? No, that stays too. Ms. J pointed out that it was covered in mold, and really should be thrown out, so I will reluctantly have to get rid of that.
His first little wooden fire truck ? But my mom got him that. It was hand made in Vermont! Oh, all right, I guess we can give it away. See the little teeth marks on it though? How can we get rid of that ? Ok, ok…
Each time I go through the pile, something else gets put back in the ‘keep’ pile.
Hopefully I’m not the one who will end up on the ‘Hoarders: Buried Alive!’ show.
We just need a bigger house.