Thursday, 25 February 2016

The Kid-Crap Explosion

A couple of days ago, my son called me from upstairs.

Him: Mom, mom! Come see what I made!”
Me: Ok, bud, one minute. (I trundle up the stairs) 
Him: (proudly displaying his new chapter book from the library complete with an entire pad of sticky notes—one stuck to each of the 120 pages)Bookmarks!
Me: AAAaagh, (I growl and his face falls) That is such a waste of paper, Oliver.

Now a better mom might have had the courtesy to react with a 'Wow, that's quite the project! How long did that take?' before launching into a serene speech about the value of using resources sparingly and only for useful purposes. Or maybe a better mom wouldn't get to the growling point over what was just a pack of sticky notes, but you know what? In my house it is always just something. Like when I get the marker box and find that 25% of the lids have been left off for a week. Well, they're just markers. Or the day I discover that the kids have gotten it into their heads to take a lick of each lifesaver from a pack of 200 and leave them in a sticky mess ('Mom, we made a lifesaver snake!'). Well, they're just lifesavers. Or the time when my children and few of their friends perfect the art of paper airplane making by utilizing an entire pad of construction paper and then some. Well, it's just paper. Need I go on? Because I can.  I'm not lying when I say things like this come up on a near daily basis at my house, and I am anything but proud of that. It seriously makes me wonder how I, who was raised in a house where we were reminded constantly to count the number of squares of toilet paper we used, could raise kids with such a wasteful mentality. I am actually disgusted. Now I like take responsibility for messing up my kids as much as the next person, and I am certainly not blameless here, but when I ask myself AGAIN why this is happening in my house, the answer is always the same. TOO MUCH CRAP!

Maybe you're wondering why I wasn't on the ball when my son was mindlessly wasting an entire pack of sticky notes. Well, do you know what I was doing?? Looking for the f#&king marker lids. And do you know where I was when they were carelessly losing marker lids? Trying to create a new organization system for the bookshelf—one that does not involve cramming and bending them into an already overflowing space. It is an absolutely endless battle against CRAP, and I know I am not the only parent who feels this way. First world problems, I know, but the values (or lack thereof) that are instilled in my children due to this process are downright scary. They think all material goods are disposable! Why wouldn't they, say, draw a gigantic red X on every page of their new coloring book? They have 30 more over there, and their mother is quite frankly too busy growling and arranging and rearranging the other CRAP to engage in any more meaningful activity or a discussion about how the situation is out of control. And that's what it is. OUT of CONTROL. It's like I'm always a step behind the crap that is already in our house, and more crap is already coming in the front door.

Where is all of the crap coming from, you ask? Well, this is where the mommy-blame train stops. It is NOT from me! Let me take you through a typical week in our house...
Sunday: Kids go to Sunday school and return with activity booklet and small baggie of chocolate Easter eggs.
Monday: Kids have knick knack sale at school. Both kids return home with two dollar-store type items each, all trashed by the end of the day.
Tuesday: Auntie stops by for a visit with chocolate bunny and Easter coloring book and mini markers
Wednesday: Kids day out with Granny takes them to not one, but two(?) different fast food chains. They return home with several Happy meal items, candy (just because) coloring pages and, you guessed it, more mini markers.
Thursday: Kids free(?) books arrive in backpack from school
Friday: Easter party at school! Kids empty back packs full of jelly beans, balloons, pencils, chocolate, mini pots of playdough, and two fundraising forms, one to purchase cookie dough (for the Grade 6 class trip!) and another for clothing with the school logo
Saturday: Kids attend workshop at hardware chain and return home after 45 minutes with self-crafted bird house, tool apron, Easter candy, and certificate of achievement (I kid you not).This is followed by an afternoon of Birthday parties! Yea, balloons and loot bags!

…eeeffectively rendering the Easter bunny scheduled to come the next day redundant, but that's another story.

Honestly, it is this endless and if you think this is isolated to the week leading up to a special occasion, you'd be wrong. There is always a special occasion, and if there isn't they invent one (case in point: 100 days of school, wtf?). EVERYONE, it would seem, is in on the conspiracy to destruct my sanity and household piece of crap by piece of crap--well-meaning relatives, friends, teachers (dance, karate, and piano), store clerks, large corporations, community organizations, local businesses, fast food restaurants, slow food restaurants, and the neighbor who routinely doles out full-size chocolate bars to my three-year old. They all have their sweet, unsolicited, junky or otherwise treat to contribute. Truly, it is nothing short of an unrelenting shit-storm of kid-crap. Where will it end ?? At this point, I’m waiting for an explosion.

Well this mom is DONE. DONE DONE DONE with all the crap! I don't even know where to begin as to how wrong this phenomenon is socially, environmentally, and morally--one could write a book on that topic alone--but let this be the first of many 'NO THANK YOU'S' that I’m going say in the upcoming weeks and months… Hang on a minute… My son is just got home from school…

Him: Mommy! I got a prize from milk!
Me: You what?
Him: I got a prize from milk!
Me: What (the hell) does that (even) mean?
Well, apparently, this…

Me: Wow (Cyber Scream). That (stifle growl) is (WTF?) really (AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaa) cool, Oliver!


Suggestions, anyone?

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