I'm not sure why Tiny acts like a ferret and squirrels away all sorts of trinkets and trash, but its giving me heart palpitations. I'm starting to worry she may have inherited her fathers need to save things "just in case." He still talks about the coffee mugs I donated to charity two years ago. I am a pitch-er, and live in a house of savers. Clutter makes my skin crawl and so I get rid of things.
I've been caught multiple times by Tiny. "Mommy!! Why is my beautiful coloring page in the recycle bin?!" She can't expect me to save every single piece of "art" she brings home from school, can she? We hang the seasonal ones on the kitchen doors rotating as new projects come in, and the really sentimental ones I may hang onto a bit longer, but to her they are ALL special. Everytime she catches me I pretend they accidentally fell in the bin, or when I'm really desperate I throw hubs under the bus. (Note to self…start using the big recycle bin in the garage.) Now before you judge, I'm not a total monster...I take pictures of the really cute ones thinking someday I'll Pinterest what to do with them. Even I can't seem to part with anything made with a hand or footprint….I just can't bring myself to pitch baby toes…yet.
But its not just the art turned trash…she wants to save ACTUAL trash too. Two nights ago as I was kissing Tiny goodnight I felt something in her little hand scratch my neck. Upon further inspection she was carefully cuddling a tiny plastic hang tag that had been ripped from our latest Target couture. Me: Uh, why are you holding that piece of garbage? Tiny: It's not garbage mommmmy!! It's special. Me: Well, whatever it is, you can't sleep with it. Can mommy have it so I can put it on your bookshelf? Tiny: No. Me: Please. Tiny: No. I need to sleep with it. Me: uhhhhhh…ok but just don't stick it in your mouth. You could choke on that thing…and if you choke on that thing in the middle of the night I will be so mad at you. Tiny: Ok, I won't. I'm just going to snuggle with it.
An hour later, I hear whimpering coming from her room…oh god is she choking?!? I scale the stairs two by two prepared to do the heimlich. But she's not choking, she's upset because she "lost" her little piece of plastic garbage. Queue those crazy eyes again…this is weird, right?!? I want to scream, but instead calmly vow to find it in the morning. I did just that as I was making her bed, while Tiny was at school…and promptly threw it in the trash. Later, "Mommy did you find my plastic?" "No, honey it must have magically disappeared." (Here's where you can nominate me for mom of the year.)
She also has a knack for gathering a collection of things. Maybe she's preparing for the future behemoth handbag she'll lug around someday full of everything from spare clothes to wipes to naked barbies (and yes that is the current contents of my purse), but tiny loves to put teeny tiny bits of stuff into any little container she can find. There are tiny purses and gift bags and knick knack boxes all over my house that have been stuffed to the gils with little dolls, legos, crayons, puzzle pieces, wait! is that my diamond ring?, hair bows, scrabble tiles, cheerios and coins….and, it makes me feel crazy.
I'm not very type A but when it comes to toy organization I am a little kookoo. I can't stand to have toys all mixed together, and right now Tiny's favorite game is toy soup. Worst of all she "gifts" me these little treasure boxes of crap and I feign total joy. I know I'm supposed to be in the moment and I am, I really am, but I don't like toy soup. I don't want my "food" to touch.
So what's a clutter-phob to do? I'll tell you what…nothing. I just bury my feelings under piles of baby-toe artwork and take it. Someday she'll have something a whole lot worse in her bed and the contents of her purse will be as mysterious to me as a toddler's need to squirrel. Instead, I'll politely say thank you for the box of treasures and kiss tiny pieces of plastic good night.
*if you haven't seen Ferrets: The Pursuit of Excellence this title is in reference to, stop everything you are doing and watch it now.