A dear friend gave my children toys last Christmas, and on a sort of random note, a special Ghostbuster Action figure. It was of Peter Venkman, from the original Ghostbusters movie, played by a younger Bill Murray. He came fully equipped with multiple weapons, including a removable proton pack to fight or contain ghosts, a P.K.E. meter, Ecto Goggles, and for some unknown reason, multiple detachable hands with various levels of slime on them. I cringed at all the teeny, tiny, removable parts.
My children have too many toys. And not just too many toys, but too many toys with too many small removable parts. And too many of those parts are all over my house, separated to the minutest possible element and stored, well, everywhere. Just not with each other. Never, never, never—did I say never?—with any other piece from that same toy.
Legos cannot associate with other Legos. Dolls with clothes must go the naturist, clothing-optional route—even Llama Llama is without his red pajamas. The children’s cash register that came with plastic food to buy, a “credit card”, shopping baskets, and receipt will never have enough pieces together at the same time ever again to make a meaningful shopping experience. A set of forty super-cool magnetic squares and triangles for building shapes has been reduced to six pieces, scattered to the winds, two of which only remain because I attached them to a high spot on my fridge to hold a coupon for the zoo.
I will never understand why they feel the need to separate everything. While I am nowhere near as organized in my house as I am in my mind, I do generally keep my belongings in one area, or group. If I deliberately tried to separate each toy, I honestly doubt I could mix them up, leave them under furniture, or in large unrelated spaces anywhere near as well as they do. I just don’t have creativity on that scale! Even with a beautiful and expensive (empty) set of organizational bins, neatly labeled with what should go inside it, there is no desire in their hearts to fill them. In fact, the bins seem to have anti-gravity effects in repelling my children away from them.
And my cat helps with this…walking around my house with various stuffed animals in her mouth. She will take them from low shelves and the floor, and carry them all around the house, crooning to her “babies”…because hey, the kids really don’t do enough to “reorganize”, do they?
One month later, all that remains is a handless Peter Venckman. May the rest of his accessories and his hands, wherever they are, rest in peace.