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this is where I start feeling old

Monday, May 4, 2009

The boxes are saved...
The tape is bought...
The black marker is making us all high...
Its packing season in the _______ household.
Some days Shad, God love him, drives me nuts. He has a philosophy that the whole world will collapse and we will never get moved if we don't start packing and sorting a month before the assigned date.

I've done what good wives the world-over, who want to save stuff but don't want to fight it out with the hubby, do best - I've ignored him.

I'm all for being organized but we moved less than eight months ago. Half of our stuff isn't even out of boxes yet. Its not going to take a month!
Better yet...even though we just went through this process nine months ago, he thinks we need to sort and toss...AGAIN!
Most specifically what is driving him nuts is the boxes upon boxes of kids stuff...namely, 'the toys'.
Shad's a minimalist by nature and I suppose that's a good thing, but I like to keep mementos - things to remind me of when the kids were small. You know, like baby bibs with food stains on them and half chewed pacifiers...that kind of thing. Its not that I'm a pack rat, really. I just want to keep a little bit of stuff around to hand back off to my kids someday.
Besides who knows how much that Tickle Me Elmo will be worth someday. It could pay for my kids education!!!
Shad thinks it should be tossed.
So I've done what good wives the world-over, who want to save stuff but don't want to fight it out with the hubby, do best - I've ignored him.
Until yesterday.
I finally got tired of the nagging - which by the way, who said wives have the corner market on nagging - and went out to the garage where he was dragging all of the stuff that was still in boxes into the garage so it could be sorted.
Toys were the order of the day. All the toys the kids have collected since the beginning of time. Toys we haven't seen in eight years, since Shad graduated from vet school and we packed up Alek and moved to Iowa.
Man, there were a lot of toys, so here's where I sheepishly admit that I probably should have done this years ago if for no other reason than to save on the price of up sizing the U-Haul so we could haul all of this stuff around from state to state.
Seriously...there were seven BIG boxes of toys. And that doesn't even count the toys the kids actually play with that are in their rooms!
Boxes upon boxes of dump trucks and Lego blocks and old dolls with ratty hair. More boxes upon boxes of wooden blocks, Rescue Heroes and lost pieces of some Noah's Ark puzzle.
I whittled it down to two.
I think I did pretty good...and Shad admitted surprise at the voraciousness of my purging.
Most of the toys were the happy meal toy variety. Who knew we ate out so much? I suppose with four kids it adds up pretty quick, but I think I need to do more of this to keep these things to a minimum.
Others were old broken toys that should have been tossed a long time ago...still others were the huge toys that we should never have bought in the first place. Whoever invented those inflatable tents with the plastic balls needs to be taken out and strung up by their toys. And whoever bought them for our children (ahem, Shad) had better darn well never do it again.
So we sorted and we tossed and we boxed and we set aside for eBay...
And we argued. Augh...why does it always come down to the arguing?
Do we keep the big, plastic, Little Tikes workbench or the Pop-O-Matic push toy? What about the See-n-Say Farmer Edition or the Fisher Price Baby Playzone Stand Up Ball Zone.
We just couldn't agree.
Finally I said it.
'Shad, I want to keep this stuff around so we have something for our grand kids when they come over to play.'
He stopped dead in his tracks, turned, looked at me for a second before shaking his head and walking away with a big grin on his face.
Grand kids...I'm thinking about grand kids. I must be getting old.

18 salty messages:

Signe May 4, 2009 at 12:14 PM  

That's how my dh and I are, but opposite of you 2. I'm the minimalist. But congrats on getting rid of so much!! It makes life so much simpler :)
(but I do keep some of my dd's stuff for her when she grows up)

Diana May 4, 2009 at 12:39 PM  

Oh, I love it! Thanks to the @#%$ termites who've invaded my walls, we had to pack up and move probably 2/3 of the stuff out of our basement this weekend. It was NUTS! I'd already done the archological dig and my yardsale pile is growing by leaps and bounds. Then we moved all the "keep pile" stuff out to the garage so the exterminators can treat the basement. Then we ran out of room in the garage, so we started making bigger piles in the center of the rooms. My whole family came down to help. When they were finished moving just what needed to be moved right now, my dad proudly declared "You have a lot of crap! You should dejunk!" After looking at all the piles and piles of stuff, I have to admit, he's right. My yard sale pile needs to be a lot bigger and my keep pile a lot smaller. But now I get to sort it 1 bin or box at a time instead of being completely overwhelmed the whole mess.

But just between you and me, here's what I really think he was saying... "My back is killing! One way or the other, this stuff eventually has to come out of this garage. Get rid of some of it so I don't have to move it again!! :-)" Of course, he also later admitted he was glad it was my pile of junk and not his. We ALL know who's would be bigger. Good golly miss molly. He's been retired for going on a year now and he STILL has several of his old college textbooks on his bookshelf...along with boxes and boxes of junk he's saved throughout his entire career and life that he's moved out of his basement and into my sister's barn. Gotta love men :-)

Hey, don't forget to post photos of the funny stuff you found so the rest of us can get a good laugh out of them, too!

Elaine May 4, 2009 at 12:58 PM  

McH and I are the same way. If it were up to him we'd have nothing stored in the attic, we'd keep nothing for sentimental reasons, and when grandkids come along? We can buy some new toys. While I am to the point that I want to get rid of a lot more stuff, I have to keep some of it for posterity. And Tickle Me Elmo? Will someday cause one of your great grandchildren to be all agog on Antiques Roadshow when s/he finds out they can use it to buy a house. Or pay off the national debt. Or, you know, maybe buy a loaf of bread.

jessy May 4, 2009 at 2:55 PM  

I am the anit-pack rat around here. The only things I cannot part with--and compulsively purchase--are childrens books. My grandkids are going to either be smart cookies or bored stiff. I can hear them now, "Do we HAAAAVE to go to Nana's house? There's NOTHING to do but REEEEEAD."

Delahne May 4, 2009 at 3:44 PM  

Too bad we don't live closer. I'd say "dibs" on the pop-o-matic and legos! I'm sure your sense of accomplishment will help you as you go through more things! lol!

MoonDog May 4, 2009 at 6:23 PM  

here is an option for you. I am and have always been packrat city. I realised I couldnt keep all of the baby clothes and all of the precious little baby things from this one and that one and the other one, especially since there really werent any plans for another on the horizon. So I got myself 4 of those photo storage boxes. One for each kid. Anything I could fit into the box and still get the lid on I get to keep. so my favorite little coming home from the hospital outfit, the littlest tiniest blood pressure cuff you ever saw from the NICU, the bitty little bottle that was as big as the boy and so on. then I got rid of the rest. I donated a TON and I do mean that literally, to a battered women's shelter. they were very appreciative. and it was tax dedictable. and I could feel like I was helping someone else while feeling I have made some progress in letting go of the past and making space in the closet.

Bethany May 4, 2009 at 6:26 PM  

I love it. Grandma. It won't be as long as you think!

Tina in CT May 4, 2009 at 8:40 PM  

Yee Gads! Maddie isn't even in kingergarten and you already have Alex married and a father. I laughed over your comments.

OK, packrat Mom/Grandma that I am, just packed a bunch of my daughter's Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys' books in my carry-on to bring to my granddaughter in Moscow this week. I still have almost a box left here for her to bring back this summer or when I go for Christmas.

Good luck with the packing. I'm off to Moscow for Mother's Day and Victory Day with Rachel (Always Wanted Four), her Katya and Jack and her mother.

Melissa May 5, 2009 at 4:50 AM  

That sounds like my house. My kids have way too much stuff, and it is more work to go through it then just put it in a box. I dislike moving and vowed to never move again.

Rachael May 5, 2009 at 7:12 AM  

My husband and I are like the opposite of you and Shad: I'm the purger, he's the sentimental saver.

I think we've got a whole box worth of Happy Meal toys around here too! But what do you do with them? I say throw them away, my husband says that's wasteful. But who wants them? My kids certainly never play with them after they're done eating anyway! Is there a Happy Meal toy recycling center that anyone knows of? Seriously...

kate May 5, 2009 at 9:16 AM  

re: Happy Meal toys--

I know two families (who are friends) who have a rule about these toys. You may take them out and play with them at McD's (or similar) but then you leave them on the table for another little boy or girl to find and play with. Sounds good to me!

Tammy May 5, 2009 at 11:39 AM  

Hey- I THOUGHT I saw on one of your blogs fiction that you write? Wasn't it you? It was a story with Tamara as the protagonist... familiar? Can you point me to it? If I'm WAY off, just ignore this. I just can't find it no matter how many times I try (in one day!) It was good reading, btw, if it was yours! Tammy

Troy and Rachel May 5, 2009 at 1:56 PM  

I'm still shocked that you got it down to two boxes...just two??? I think you did fabulously!! It's so hard letting go of things - I am already having that issue after just one year!!

Michelle May 5, 2009 at 5:28 PM  

we DEFINITELY had this problem when my Mom married my current stepdad. he doesn't save ANYTHING, whereas my Mom saves EVERYTHING. we take after her, although he's slowly gotten us to change our ways.

but i think - even though you don't need to save everything your kids ever played with - it's especially important to have some reminders when your kids were adopted. they'll want something to have of when they were young, and adoption means missing out on the first year or more of their life. so i say keep some things around!

good luck!

- michelle

Tami May 5, 2009 at 6:36 PM  


Nope, wasn't me. Wish it was though. I'd LOVE to be a fiction writer! :)

Call Center Gal May 6, 2009 at 1:05 AM  

I have been a packrat for so many years and now I really have to get rid of a lot of stuff in my room (which is hard for me hehe) :)

SLColman May 6, 2009 at 12:57 PM  

Such a sweet ending to this post!

Melissa E. May 6, 2009 at 9:02 PM  

I sympathize....really I do! And not only do I sympathize, but I lived that same scene several states away in some sort of weird parallel universe!


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