Wednesday, May 24, 2006

happy leaf day from the pack-rat

Our Little Boy has a problem. We are seeking to remedy it, but currently we are unsure that there is a cure or any treatment. It may be something we have to suffer until he moves out of our home.

It seems our sweet Little Boy has inherited the Pack-Rat Gene. And it's invading our home.

The Assistant Gardener and I are the anti-pack-rat. Throwing away is therapeutic, organizing is bliss, and an uncluttered minimalist home is beautiful.

Little Boy didn't inherit that gene. Instead he's taking after past generations (and a few cousins) and has become real life genuine pack-rat.

It all started with my tupperware and other plastic containers disappearing from my kitchen. Then I noticed Little Boy's hot wheel cars disappearing. I discovered he was filling tupperware with cars and stashing them on the top shelf in his closet. I took a deep breath and refrained from emptying the containers and putting them back everything back where it belongs. I also took a deep breath and vowed to stop looking on the top shelf in his closet.

That was just the tip of the iceberg. Soon, water bottles full of sticks, flowers, rocks, and leaves made their way to the top shelf. Books disappeared from our office bookshelf and were found in the closet. Coins, junk mail, strips of paper, rocks, pinecones, sticks were soon found on the top shelf in Little Boy's closet. When toys started disappearing from Fat Girl's room, guess where we found them?

A couple weeks ago, I left $60 on Steve's dresser and when I went to claim it a few days later, it was gone. Steve confessed to taking $20 of it for lunch, but said the rest was still there. It wasn't. We searched high and low until Steve suggested we look in Little Boy's closet. We did. And we found it. Not only is Little Boy a pack-rat, but he's apparently also a little Klepto.

The collections have spilled out onto Little Boy's dresser now. He borrowed Fat Girl's purse to hold all of his pinecones (maybe he did inherit a little bit of the organizing gene), and rocks and sticks have become a permanent fixture there.

As hard as it is for me---the borderline OCD mom who must have control---I have allowed this mess to continue. It's his room, afterall. But, when the pack-ratting migrates to my kitchen counter, things must change. This mom can't just take a deep breath to get through that.

As cute as I find it that after Little Boy has gathered ziploc bags full of leaves he declares it "Leaf Day," tells everyone "Happy Leaf Day!," and even makes Leaf Day cards, I still cannot relinquish control. I'm just not that cool of a mom.

We continue to hope and pray that Little Boy will outgrow this and be the organized-non-pack-ratting individual we know he has the potential to be.

Until then, we'll put on a happy face and wish you a Happy Leaf Day!


Nikkie said...

Happy Leaf Day!

I hope he out grow's his pack rat ways!

Mama Darlin' said...

I had a pack rat too. This how I helped my little guy.

I took old shoe boxes (if you don't have any walmart usually has boxes you can rummage through) and pictures of what seems he was collecting. I made it fun and he drew most of the pictures. I lined the spot (your case the top shelf in his closet) with them. He took right to this. Once they were full I said, "Why don't we go through it and find your favorite ones?" Once we did that he kept those in the box and we retired the others. This way he could find new favorite ones. Just keep repeating when the boxes get full. Also when he decided on a new thing to collect have him pick his favorite collecting boxes and change the one he is no longer collecting. Hope this helps. I also used leftover things for art projects and such.

But either way, Happy Leaf Day!

Rachelle said...

Happy Leaf Day! I hope he outgrow's the pack rat ways too!

Karen said...

This is totally my son too. It drives my husband batty.

ABC Momma said...

cute kid.

Doulabean said...

That is too fun! lol

What a sweet kid. And hey, at least he's organizing his stuff in tupperware! He may be pack-ratting it, but there is hope for him yet!

Stephanie said...

Happy Leaf Day!

We had the beginnings of a packrat. Someday I will have to post a picture of WHAT I found in her bedroom drawer (tell me that when you open up a drawer to find a latex glove filled with water and tied with a rubber band that you wouldn't freak!). That was the day that we made her a treasure box. Only things that fit in the treasure box are allowed to stay. That same day we instituted the garbage bag rule. I have a big black garbage bag that I take around at the end of the day and anything that is on the floor gets put in it and has to be earned back through hard labor.

Good luck to you in drowning the pack rat!

Lee said...

Happy Leaf Day! You are an awesome Mom for getting the pictures and everything. Great memories. I wish I was more like that.

emlouisa said...

Okay. I'm LOVING this! rofl, little boy!!! You a good mommy for being patient with him. :)

Grammy said...

You're a great Mom to understand his need to hoard. It's hard for we organizers to watch this happen. I suspect that packrat-itis skips a generation.

I tried nearly everything to get my children to be tidy.

By the time they were in middle school, I was somewhat defeated and let them keep their own rooms however they liked (provided they still helped keep the main house clean, did their own laundry - so I didn't have to enter "THE ZONE" and didn't invite friends into the dark abyss.) When things started to spill over, I kicked them back inside their rooms and shut the door.

It KILLED me! But I decided our relationship was more important than my tidy home. Things are perfectly tidy around here, now that we are empty-nesting. BUT it's awfully quiet.

Maine Mom said...

I'm like you, I like to simplify and keep things neat and organized. But my oldest daughter is like your son and she would save EVERYTHING if I let her. I do get rid of stuff when I think she has lost interest in it, but I'm getting better about letting her keep things in her room.

I'm glad you found your money!

Lei said...

rofl... the water bottles are especially funny.

Tess said...

maybe he'll grow out of it, I used to packrat too but now i can hardly stand clutter at all.

Jenn said...

ROFL! I'm the big ol' meanie who'd toss out the junk and put everything back where it goes. That's so funny, though! What a cutie!