Setting Fire to All That’s Precious

Does your kid have special things? A duck? A blanket? An infinitesimally miniscule bracelet that is of mind-boggling importance to her little preschool world?

Sometimes, when you’re visiting Daddy at the maze of a complex that we call MEGACORP for a reason and you can barely find your car again when it’s time to leave, does your daughter REPEATEDLY drop her prized one-of-a-kind beaded bracelet from Grammy and Papa that they bought at the Zoo store because they are the only adults in this family kind enough to take the kids inside the Zoo store and actually spend $4,000,000 buying a life altering trinket? Mine does.

When she drops the bracelet on the 3 mile walk through corridors, up and down stairs and around the cafeteria, does she suddenly make a sheepish face and say, “Uh-Oh! My bracelet’s gone again. We NEED to find it?” Mine does.

When this happens for the third time and Daddy goes back to search for the bracelet while you wait in the car with the sniffling child, only to discover it’s right next to her on the seat, do you secretly want to dispose of the bracelet in a sinister display of parental pyrotechnic power? I do.

I was thinking about it today and I decided that with all the crying my kids have done in their lives over lost treasured items, we could provide much-needed rainfall to a mid-sized African country. Now as cool as it would be to have a cistern in Ghana named after Laylee and Magoo, I’d really rather just stop the madness.

If I gathered up every toy, scrap of crumpled paper, gold fish cracker and sippy cup that they CanNotLiveWITHOUT, even the ones that they don’t yet know that they CanNotLiveWITHOUT but that they will discover that they CanNotLiveWITHOUT the minute they’re missing, stacked them all on the bamboo pile out back and lit a match, they would probably cry. And scream. And bonk their heads on the ground while screaming, “Why, oh WHY?!!! I NEEEEED that!!!! Erp. Angelina Jolie please adopt me now and save me from this heartless mother who never drives back to the mall to search for the precious rubber band I was saving in my shoe that my she told me 10 times to leave in the car because I’d probably lose it and halfway home I noticed it was MISSING and did I mention she wouldn’t go back for it??!!!!” Once.

They would have the fit once and then in would be over. All the special things would be gone and they wouldn’t have anything left to lose or whine about or make me feel guilty over my callous disregard for EVER AGAIN… until I gave them an apple to eat… and they discovered a seed inside it… THAT COULD BE USED TO PLANT AN APPLE TREE IN THE BACK YARD after being carried to preschool and back and across 12 or 13 continents until they noticed it had fallen out of their pocket somewhere between Minsk and Oshawa.

But at least when they asked about the seed, I could tell them, “Don’t you remember? I’m pretty sure it was lost in ”˜the fire’.”

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25 Responses to Setting Fire to All That’s Precious

  1. Veronica says:

    My daughter went to bed clutching a punctured, squashed plastic ball tonight. She refused to be parted from it. Strange.

    About the fire? Great idea…only I can’t burn my boobs and they seem to be my toddlers favourite thing. still.

  2. chilihead says:

    I believe you just solved another of my problems. You are a guru.

  3. slawebb says:

    You crack me up! I am in continual purge mode. There is too much stuff that one day is the favorite and the next day tossed into the corner. A month ago I went throught the kids toys while they were sleeping. I got rid of a paper grocery sack of stuff. They never even asked about the stuff, and now it’s out of my hair. I through out all those “important” pieces of paper and school work about a week after they come home. I’d say be the mom who’s willing to go back a couple of times, but also teach responsibility. When it is replaced by the new favorite chuck it! You may want to start your purge now, seein as Christmas is coming. Of course, purging the old stuff right after the new stuff comes in is good too. When I only had 1 daughter and she was under 4 I would put the stuff in a non-see through garbage bag in the garage. If she asked for something that I was planning on giving away within a week I’d give it back, if not out it went. Then I’d give the “It’s gone” answer if she asked for it. That’s how I manage too much “favorite” stuff and stuff in general.

  4. Ree says:

    Snort. Oh, thank goodness we’re past that. Although sometimes I miss him walking around with his “beeb”. (A rock! that my stepkids found on a walk and gave to him.)

  5. Liz says:

    My absolute favorite is when you take something away that is dangerous, and you calmly explain the reason and you get a tantrum, a screaming match, and tears.
    The other day my son had a chisel and a saw. (In our defense we were ripping up carpet and cement board from a tiling project… my lovely husband had left the out for the world to see), and when I took them, because saws are sharp and make ows, and chisels are too, it caused a meltdown of my normally lovely 2 year old.
    Oye, the things they attach to.

  6. marian says:

    My kids will be out of the house all day Saturday. This is an extremely rare event, and I have about two weeks’ worth of backlogged work on the agenda for the day. There is no way that I will be able to complete all of that, but there is one thing I will not neglect to do. I am raiding my daughters’ stuff and the lair that my 3 boys share, oh yes, and the Junk, aka Treasure, will fly. I’ll have to check city ordinances about fires.

    Sadly, I know what will happen. I will have mercy and leave them each one token item so they are not completely bereft. And one kids’ token item will get together with another kids’, and after a remarkably short period of gestation, the babies will start to be born, and they will continue breeding until I’ve had it again. Yeah, Grandma loves three things: her Grandkids, the Dollar Store, and Excess that produces smiles on the grandkids’ faces.
    This was such a funny post!

  7. Farm Wife says:

    I love it here! Everything’s so flammible!!

    I once was heartless enough to give some toys to charity. A full 6 months later, #1 Son came crying to me because he couldn’t find one of said toys…a toy he’d NEVER played with (which is why it went to charity). He’s continued to mention it randomly over the past year always complete with misty eyes & a longing in his voice, “Mommy, ‘amember when we had that____ that you gave to those kids that don’t have any toys? I really miss that ____.” Oy.

  8. The Wiz says:

    Oh man. I am so with you. The worst was when my daughter became attached to…wait for it….a SINGLE PIECE OF GLITTER. Yeah, it was silver. Oh the horror every time it was lost and not on her finger.

  9. Shalee says:

    You do it, and I’ll personally fly out to you with a couple of suitcases full of my kid’s MUST HAVE treasures to add to the fire.

    Hey, you could start a whole new bloggers meet theme on this one!

  10. Vee says:

    Some months ago I started reading your blog so I would be “in tune” with a parent raising young children. I wanted to be able to understand what my son and daughter-in-law might be experiencing with their sons. Your blog tickles me to pieces. I laugh aloud and this one even resonated with me from a quarter century ago. Now that’s good!

    Hug the children. They’re providing you with such great material after all!

  11. Eve says:

    That girl is just begging to lose her bracelet. She’s lost it at my house more times that I can count.
    For some reason I keep finding it and she hasn’t even notcied it’s gone yet. I just keep giving it back to her.
    You need to find a better clasp. Maybe some super glue. That should work.

  12. Wendy says:

    That’s the good/bad thing about Bainbridge Island. People will put your lost item up somewhere easy for you to find when you go back (if you go back!). Someone hung a baby hat on a branch after Kid knocked it off her head (for the bazillionth time!) and we FOUND it when we retraced our steps!

  13. Emily R says:

    My baby doesn’t have these attachments yet, but my husband has this STUPID hat, and pictures of ex-girlfriends, . . . But if you aren’t someone’s mom, I think burning their stuff crosses a line. Except maybe the pictures. And I would subtly stick them in the trash – no need to cause a scene.

  14. grammyelin says:

    Sorry about the bracelet, K. It was meant to be a treasure for about 3 minutes not a permanent thorn in your side. Could you smuggle it out and hide it until her wrist is too big for it to slip off? If not, go ahead and burn it.

  15. Bev says:

    Hey, we did plant that apple seed. There is a picture of it four years later in my blog entry – scroll down to Mark’s Apple Tree:

    Go for it! Plant that apple seed — but burn the rest 🙂

    p.s. the mice and their houses from this blog entry were long ago moved to the recycle bin.

  16. Jenny says:

    My daughter had a complete meltdown yesterday because the swipe across our kitchen counter with the dishrag wiped the tiny apple seed she was saving to take to AZ to plant an apple tree for her grandma into the kitchen sink. Oh freakin’ well!!!

  17. Kimberly says:

    Now where do we keep the matches again?

  18. Rebecca says:

    Oh, you’re funny.

  19. Beth says:

    So funny!

    My little guy (age 2, almost 3) has about eight favorite cars he has to have at all times. Yesterday we went to the store without them (usually a fun outing for him) — and yeah, it was not a fun outing! 🙂

  20. Sue says:

    Glitter, tee hee. My daughter is a total treasure horder. Whenever I see her starting to carry something around just a little too much I have to fight the urge to hide it, because good heavens I know what we are about to be in for.

  21. Pops says:

    Hey, my wife likes to save things. I’ll never forget the time I found the package of liver under the bed. I’m glad they wrap fresh meat in amazing plastic, because if it had burst it would not have been pleasant… [yeah, i know, that was a “mistake”]

  22. jen says:

    Yes, my oldest son does this. And when he’s at school and otherwise occupied, I go into his bedroom with a DARK garbage bag and go at it. I feel so good when that’s done…better than a shower, better than wine, better than se…you get the idea. ; )

  23. Just have your daughter fall in love with a toothpick because you can get her a new one any where any time. That’s what we did. It is her vewy, vewy best fwiend. She’s two.

  24. MomOnTheGo says:

    LOL! I’m fortunate in that my daughter latches onto a toy obessively for only a few days at a time before choosing something else or even nothing for a while. On the other hand, we have no never-fail lovey to turn to when things get tough.

  25. Sarah says:

    There was a *hilarious* chapter in one of the “Girlfriend’s Guide” books, probably the one on toddlerhood, where her son took to a set of screwdrivers. They were his special friends that he wanted to take everywhere, including to bed. I remember that she insisted that he keep them in their special protective sleeves, telling him that they were the screwdrivers’ “pajamas” and that the screwdrivers would get very upset if they were taken out of their pajamas in the middle of the night. Now *that* was pretty funny.

    My daughter, also, loves to discover Papa’s left-out tools. I’ll see her wandering around with a chisel or screwdriver. She’s a genius at getting his toolbox with its extra-super-duper locking lid open, so he has to hide the toolbox on top of the dryer, then she figures out how to push a chair over and get to it… and she’s only 15 months old. She’s going to be a terrifying two-year-old.

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