The Purge

As a parent, I’ve lost my right to have “stuff”. Scratch that. As a mother I’ve lost my right to collect and keep “stuff”. My husband has made a side job out of it. Ever since we lived in our first house together, the garage was 98% his crap stuff. Game stuff, paperwork from decades ago, game cords, connectors, controllers, wires that converted old games to new games, bad consoles to mediocre consoles, game cartridges, game disks, game boxes, game guides, collectors editions, boxes to hold things that no longer exist, the list goes on and on and on. This has just morphed into all of that PLUS kids bikes, lawn mowers, buckets and containers to hold the crap that go with the bikes and tires and lawn mowers. Crap to keep the lawn looking good …. only it collects dust because my husband and I don’t fancy losing weekend time to lawn maintenance.

The only things that have accumulated on my behalf are kid-related. I think one, maybe two boxes, in that three car garage that could be associated with me have my old year books, high school paraphernalia, old college notebooks. Everything else is kid clothes, baby keepsakes, holiday decorations. Hardly my hoarder collection of ancient tomes.

Every year before school starts I get a hankerin to overhaul. Get it all out. Today I went through my kids drawers and closets and purged anything and everything that is “too itchy, feels weird, too small, too stained, too ripped, too too too.” It was a lot easier to pull my daughter’s clothes for some reason this time. My son hadn’t purged his closet in over a year, so there was a lot more to see.

For the life of me, I cannot at all understand the hormonal necessity to assign emotion to clothing on behalf of my kid. We were going through shirts that were 2 sizes too small and I could tell you where/who/when they were bought and from whom. I had to just shut my eyes and shout, “Go! Go! Toss!” to the amazement of my kid. In the beginning he kept trying to give me reasons he wouldn’t wear brand new pants or shorts that were bought last summer, but I just wanted to get it done. Didn’t need an excuse or answer or reason. “Don’t like it? Chuck it. Fine. Done. Out.”

In the end between both rooms we had 4.5 garbage bags of clothes that were donated.

I have plenty of unused and unneeded emotions floating around in my head. Why do they have to get assigned to something like a shirt or dress?! Seriously? And my daughter has inherited this association, unfortunately. I had to put the bags in the car out of eyesight of her or she would have rummaged through all the bags protesting each choice.

And it’s a sickness. How do I know this? Because it’s spread to the toys. In all sincerity, it began with the toys and spread to the clothes… i think.. it’s sort of like the chicken or the egg. It really began when they were infants. My son’s clothes were all keepsakes. With the first, every single onesie, sock, pacifier holds some sort of magical power that immediately transports you back to that time it was used…. that one time. God knows you have so. much. stuff. with babies. Especially the first one. The magic is in the immediate time travel. The survival is in remembering what the reality was surrounding the inanimate object. Yes that 0-3m PJ is too precious to give away because ohmygod this giant child fit in that once, remember the sweet baby smell? The sleeping baby on your chest??? Remember???

No. Because it never happened that way!!! USE THE FORCE! Do not get sucked into the Hallmark memory!! That baby was only sleeping on you because it’s 2pm and you have to pee and get a load of laundry done. He didn’t sleep more than an hour at a time the night before and you can’t even be bothered to remember your last name or his birth date when you have to make an appointment at the pediatrician.

Look at that little dress she used to fit into! How did she fit into that dress? She was so tiny and precious and dependent on you for every single need and thing to the point of wiping her diarrhea diaper rash bottom and screaming in your face while you did it …..

While purging closets, you have to be strong and remember the actuality, not the perceived reality. The toys are slowly conspiring to take over the house and kill us all in our sleep to control this command station. I think they are planning to overtake the neighbor’s house next.

They breed in the toy bins. How does this happen?! And the longer between clearing them out, the worse it gets! My kids are next door playing. I took the opportunity to go through toy bins in the front room … because, you know, the whole smuggling toys like a Mexican drug Lord thing is very much reality in this house. My daughter is a dictator with her toys. Epic. Tantrum.

So i’m going through and pulling out the big guns on top who are often played with to get to the bottom dwellers. As I’m pulling them out and hardcore considering who had to go I began naming them in my head as they were being pulled out.

It’s like pigs to the slaughter. Once they have a name, it’s game over! The crappy little action figures are the only things that ever get tossed because they are branded. No one took the time to name them and give them a personality or job. Plus, those li’l f-ers have all the damn accessories that end up anywhere BUT the toy bin beside the corresponding toy.

Today I only had the strength of will to chuck the clothes and a few broken non-emotional toys. I still feel triumphant. Tomorrow I will conquer the remaining toy clutter future hoarder bomb that has gone off in my daughter’s room. If I have to blindfold her and tape her to the kitchen table so this can happen, so be it. When she starts her meltdown, i’ll just tell her a family of spiders built a house and neighborhood beneath her stash. That should do it.

This parenting story brought to you by: LIES! Behold the key to freedom!

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