It’s no secret amongst my family members that I have hoarding tendencies. When my parents came to visit me in college, my mom discovered that the entire space beneath my bed was filled with plastic grocery bags. (They claim that I refused to share, as a child, but I dispute that version of events.) When we were cleaning out our apartment to move, my husband found half a bag of green pipe cleaners that he wanted to throw away. I told him that our as-yet-unconceived children might need them for an art project … in second grade. I had to stop watching the TV show Hoarders because, more often than not, I found myself nodding in agreement when the hoarder was explaining why they kept things.
But I’m aware of my habits and do my best to stay organized. However, I’ve lately come to notice that my dear toddler is exhibiting some alarming behaviors. For instance, we spent a few hours one weekend boxing up old toys that she doesn’t play with anymore. We’re talking the toys that were collecting dust waaaaay in the back under the TV stand. Well, she took one look at the room and immediately went in search of her toys, pulling every last one out of the box and sprinkling them around again. She screeches like a banshee when you try to put one away.
Being the first (and only) grandchild on BOTH sides of our family, saying she has a lot of toys is an understatement. But she has dedicated places for all of them, and heaven forbid you try to usurp her natural order of things. I entertained myself one evening by sorting all the play food in her kitchen, only to have her chastise me the next day: “Dat’s not right, Mommy,” as she tossed everything back in according to her preference.
A few weeks ago she colored a picture for a friend of the family. When I gave it to my mom for delivery, my girl spent the rest of the night loudly complaining that “Ma steal my paper!” We had to hide a small bouncy ball because it was exactly the size of a toddler esophagus, and she’s spent the intervening weeks interrogating my parents’ cat as to the ball’s whereabouts. She refuses to share if someone else is the one doing the sharing–she will take possession of the item in question and then she will decide to share. Or not. Usually not.
So my internal debate is whether hoarders are born or raised? Because I’m afraid that, if it’s up to me to lead by example, we’re both in trouble.
Do you have any needless collections at home? Tell us in the comments!
You can contact Krista, the author of this post, at email@example.com.