My kids have been at my parents' house for the last few days and whenever I tell someone, they comment about how much I must be relaxing and taking it easy. First of all, that goes against my tightly wound personality, and second, this is the only time of year when I can ransack my kids' rooms. As soon as I wave goodbye and the car driving my kids away disappears, I start grabbing bags. This year, 15 bags are leaving this house, making me feel like I lost 20 pounds.
This was the year we said goodbye to anything not aimed at kids ages five and up. All board books, Little People, and wooden fruit for pretend cutting were collected and put into various bags. Some for a cousin, a bag of girl clothes for a friend, some to hold onto in the attic, a good chunk to garbage and recycling, but most of it to charity. My kids rooms still look perfectly full, but no longer full in the overflowing way that makes it look like a Hoarders audition. The beauty of doing the purge while they're gone for a few days is that they don't exactly remember what was where, so they cannot pinpoint what's missing. If I did this during a school day, they're likely to remember that the mound of buttons hot glue gunned together sat on the windowsill. Only I know that it's gone to the garbage.
Among the many things I found that were funny included a diary (it was open), where Clover used up several enteries complaining that I owed her $8 and never paid her back. Each day, the entry noted that I had once again not paid her. In fact, it was the only thing she was reporting, so clearly this was a major life event. Judy Blume books never covered the dirty secrets of a financial diary. I was tempted to make an entry myself noting that I had paid her back, just to clear my good name. The reason I borrowed money is because the girl has wads of $1 bills around her room. This is perfectly reasonable in an eight year old's room, but 10 years from now, the sight of so many ones in her room could send me into a parental freak out.
Some of the highlights:
From a school file, the Notes to Parents section, presumably for important school information that we needed. Clover added her own note. She was probably going to use the $8 I repaid her without receiving proper credit.
She's been obsessed with getting to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and she's not discouraged when I ask if she knows how much it would cost to go to Florida. Determined and prepared, she made a shopping list. My favorite is the general, keep-the-options-open, "Stuff that I don't know of." It's always best to budget for the unexpected, especially when it's not your own money that's at risk.
This one was a little startling. She spent a good amount of time on this, writing just so, then getting the glitter dots just right. This is the front:
My first thought was "Oh Jesus," but it quickly turned to God when I flipped the page over.
As in, "Oh my God, does she need professional help?" Kevin wants to know if the third person from the left is crying or just cannot bear to look. I wonder why someone needs to hold the rope if it's also tied to the wood? The job seems kind of risky.
The great purge is over for another year. We now have two bins reserved solely for weapons. They grow up so fast.