If you've got a crafty, creative kid in the house, then you know how hard it can be to throw shit away. She has no qualms going through the recycle bin or the trash can to find whatever she needs to make whatever the hell she is making.
And if she doesn't have a pressing need for something, she'll tell me "Don't worry, Mom! I'll find some way to use it!" which means I will find it or some part of it taped to an empty milk carton with an entire roll of packing tape.
I do put my foot down to formerly edible items, but for the most part, I end up giving in once she explains what sort of fabulous invention she's trying to complete and well if she doesn't have that empty tissue paper box then how will she be able to finish her "Namerator" aka "Big box with holes, a nail, and a lot of permanent marker that is sitting on my kitchen table that I'd like to accidentally drop off the back porch."
(Only after taking 15 pictures of it, bragging about it to all my friends, and patenting it).
Just when I'm about to tell her that she may not use the 400 styrofoam peanuts, I picture her first gallery opening where she's describing her unique "trashtastic" work and telling the captive audience about how her mother never let her use the empty toilet paper rolls and water bottles so she had to scavenge the neighborhood trash bin looking for materials.
And since I shall never be accused of not supporting the Arts, I reluctantly save anything that I think she could possibly use that won't pain me to look at for the next month or clean up pieces of and I give them to her. Willingly.
But the trash picking isn't the only issue.
There are the kitchen utensils with writing on them.
And there are spots around my house where it looks like a crepe paper bomb went off or the glitter fairy took a giant shit, which isn't so terrible but when combined with whining that ensues when I tell her that she needs to clean up the mess herself makes me want to do like the government and start cutting art programs.
"All by myself?!" she'll exclaim, to which I respond by singing the song, Celene Dion version if you're wondering, and say something like "If you make a mess yourself then you should be able to clean it up yourself" from the mouth that is now apparently attached to my own mother's body.
But my favorite is the one track uber-focused mind that results in post-bathroom break art sessions ala sitting naked at her craft table sifting through a sea of googly eyes. Or worse, forgeting to pack the jelly beans for our family trip last week.
Now I've never given much thought to jelly beans, but that was before I understood their true power: Children will do many things for them, including going potty and shutting the hell up on a plane.
So imagine my chagrin when my slightly antsy middle children requested access to the Jelly Belly buffet and found no such thing.
A whole bag of precious silence and eager potty breaks gone.
I glared over at Quinlan who was supposed to have put them in her backpack. It seems that when I told her to take the bag of jelly beans and put them by her bag so we don't forget them she heard me tell her to put them down wherever so she could finish making a weather vane out of some printer paper, yarn, and a wire hanger.
Alas, no jelly beans to be found, but in their place, something even more entertaining, at least for me, anyway:
Not sure if carrots will beat jelly beans, but worth a try.
Treats for humans? Not so much. But so glad her stuffed bunny was taken care of. Phew.
Well, at least her Knuffle Bunny was well behaved for the flight. And we got to come home to a big bag of jelly beans.
Sitting on my printer.