Last week, we met with a Realtor to discuss our options for a move. This is long over-due and a huge step for me. I love our home. The lay-out and the light are enough to make me happy for decades. However, the neighborhood is less than desirable. It’s time. We’ve over-stayed our welcome. A couple nights before her visited, we cleaned. We cleaned about 80% of how we’ll need to clean before a move, but it was enough for me to see how much work we would be facing.
We’ve got two young boys who have acquired lots of crap. We’re two adults who like collections and have hobbies. There are deep pockets of clutter. I can handle the adult clutter because it’s mine. The kid clutter is awful. Because most of the clutter is inexpensive crap they’ve played with for two minutes. But those two minutes of love will make it incredibly difficult to part with. Mark and I will be making lots of night raids on this clutter. We’ll have to purchase black trash bags from Costco for secret trips to Goodwill. Because if the purge is done secretly, they’re never miss their clutter. The second night of cleaning ended with me posting in our family Facebook page some version of the following statement.
I know you love our boys. And I love how generous you are with my boys. But please, do not purchase them anything until after we move. I’m begging you. Please hold off until the move.
I typed it and meant it like I know the ocean is salty.
And the next day, I caved.
A month ago, we started chore charts for allowance. The boys can also do extra chores for extra money. Gone are the fights about feeding the dog and I haven’t folded a towel in a month. They look like shit, but I haven’t touched them. Saturday, the boys had saved enough to purchase something substantial to them. Coop purchased some Boy toy that I’m barely familiar with but I have a feeling I’m about to become it’s BFF. Becks split his allowance up. An underwater Spiderman toy that he has always wanted (psst… we just found out his deep desire the second he found it on the shelf) and a cheap fossil thingy.
I could get behind the Spiderman toy for some reason, but the fossil toy would be something we’d donate within weeks. But my hands were tied. Allowance means they work and get paid. They get to choose anything as long as they have the money for it (minus gum). He picked it. He put back other items because he didn’t have the money for them. Even with gentle nudging, the fossil thingy never left his right hand. He wanted the fossil thing and I dealt with it.
For all of my eye-rolling, it was a great choice. He needed Coop’s help which meant both boys were occupied for about an hour. They took turns chipping away at the egg. They got excited when a tiny bone appear. They were debating which dino was incased in the egg. And they both loved giving-up and smashing the egg to bits. After it was smashed and cleaned, it was forgotten. One day it will get tossed, but for now it sits with our other finds. For $2, it provided more entertainment than most toys.
I wonder if there will ever be a day I stop eating my words? But it’s not really my fault as parenting makes me very hungry.
** thanks to Clinton Reno for finally making kid shirts. I didn’t see them online, so I’m basically rubbing it in your faces.