Failed Lecture on Hoarding

“If you don’t use it or love it, don’t keep it.” Words from the wise. I’m not very good at following that rule, but I do try, and I’ve been trying to teach my kids the same thing. Particularly as we’ve been cleaning out closets this week and trying to get our apartment organized. The problem is, Mary loves everything.

Still, I thought the lesson was beginning to stick — until she started hoarding handfuls of firework fluff tonight. You know those kiddie fireworks that shoot out confetti? At some point Mary asked me to hold the wad of streamers she’d collected. D’oh. But she was running around, and I was chatting with friends, so I figured I’d save that discussion for later.

So, just after we’d pulled into our driveway, I opened my hand to show Mary the fluff, and opened my mouth to say something. But before I had the chance, she threw her arms around me and said, “It’s a gift to you, Mom!”

It took me a moment to reformulate my lecture: “Okay, but what am I supposed to do with it?”

With a kiss on my cheek, she whispered in my ear, “Accept it.”

Any tips on teaching your kids that stuff is just stuff?