Posted on | July 22, 2012 | 2 Comments
… no not play, of course not. I’m 45, for God’s sake, with two children. The closest I come to a wild time these days is having more than one glass of wine without falling asleep. (You think I’m joking).
No, when Hubby’s away, I de-clutter. And it’s so liberating. Hubby is a major hoarder, so he tends to argue against me purging the kids’ stuff (I don’t purge his; that’s his problem). But really, Munchkin’s bedroom was getting beyond the joke.
My 5-year-old boy likes to construct, make, invent, and is at a point in his little life where he can’t even see the lid of a yogurt carton being tossed into the recycling, never mind a whole cardboard box being flattened. He claims it for his own with a “I can make something with that, mom!”
Did I reveal that he and Sweetpea have been sharing a bedroom this summer? When they announced back in May that they wanted to sleep side by side and turn Munchkin’s room into “the playroom” (said rather grandly, as if they were in a game of ‘let’s pretend we’re rich’), I honestly gave it 48 hours. I thought for sure that Sweetpea would get sick of not having her privacy, and would turf her little brother out. But not only have they proved me wrong, it’s been quite sweeet, to the point where they wanted to be kept close to each other on our trip to the U.K. as well, and when they weren’t, Munchkin didn’t sleep.
So anyway, the new ”playroom” (said rather grandly, as if I too were in a game of ’let’s pretend we’re rich’) became something of a dumping ground. Munchkin abdicated responsibility for his clothes, apparently thinking that since this was now “the playroom” and not his room, he could simply toss clean laundry into a pile on the floor and leave. Between that and the slowly building mountain of cardboard and yogurt lids, it was looking less like the sort of room you might find in a production of Mary Poppins, and more like a slum in Calcutta.
Hubby gone (on a business trip), I carpe’d my diem, so to speak. I told Munchkin that we simply could not go on living like this because it did indeed resemble a slum. I was proud of myself for my quick thinking over the mountain of crap (I could see his eyes start to get glassy, and knew I couldn’t just toss it all).
“Here’s the deal: if it doesn’t fit underneath your table, we can’t keep it. OK?” He nodded. The table, lucky for me, has a top that’s about 2 ft wide, and stands about the same height off the ground. And so I joyously recycled a lot.
Then there was the matter of his preschool and summer camp art. How does one get a 5-year-old to be ruthless and chuck out, when every single scrap, every poor sad crumpled strip of construction paper, or paper plate with a scribble on the front, seems to mean the world to him?
Sounding in my mind like a slushy film (“Love means never having to say you’re sorry…”) I said something like: “Unless you really really love it, you must let it go. If you don’t really really love it, then look at it one last time, celebrate it, and then place it (oh God please, please do so) in this nice pile and Mummy will be kind to the environment and recycle it.”
By jove, he bought it. I still can’t believe he did. Maybe it’s still jet lag from our trip to the U.K. So he created a nice pile, and the stuff he claimed to really, really love is in its own Star Wars box. I told him when that gets full, the whole process starts again.
Poor Munchkin. Lucky, de-cluttered me.