I used to be pretty obsessive about picking up toys. Well, about making sure all the toys were put away like they were supposed to be put away. Unfortunately, this is not a trait I have passed along to any of my children. Jackson has a Little People garage that came with two little cars and two little people. Back when it was new, he played with it almost every day. So every day when he had finished playing with it, I would find the cars and the people and put them with the garage. One day I couldn't find one of the cars. I looked all day and couldn't find it...it drove me crazy. The next day, I opened up one of the cabinets in the kitchen and found the little car inside my set of nesting mixing bowls. And so it began. A Hot Wheels car in the pantry. Some Legos in the laundry hamper. And so on...and so on. Now, don't get me wrong. He will pick up his toys if he's asked. Sometimes even without crying hysterically. And not to get all psychoanalytical or anything, but I really do think that he leaves things around as if to make sure we all remember that he lives here too. (As if we could forget...I mean, seriously, he absolutely has no "inside voice!!") As the third of four children, sometimes his needs aren't always the first to be addressed. He has to wait for his apple juice more times than not. And he gets dragged all over the city to the activities of his older siblings.
So, I cut him a little slack and I've learned to not obsess over the things he leaves behind. Or maybe I just don't have the energy to be so crazy-obsessive over toys now. Either way, I kind of look forward to finding his little surprises. Like the crusts of his toast every single time he has toast for breakfast:
And Obi Wan Kenobi hiding out in Emily's jacket:
And the Space Lego dudes, reminding me to refill the napkin holder:
And my personal favorite...I guess the Lego Star Wars guy has a problem with gorillas, but it was an amusing scene to find when I came to sit down at the computer one morning after dropping the kids off at school:
Jack is growing up...against my wishes, I might add. He's reading now. Actual books. And last night he had his first sleepover. He was so excited...he pulled out his Transformers backpack and we packed it together and then he carried it and his sleeping bag around for almost an hour before it was time to leave. I don't know what tugged at my heart more...the fact that he was so excited to go and was practically horrified when Doug teasingly suggested he would go to the sleepover with Jack. Or how disturbingly quiet the house was after he left. Shortly after Doug left with Jack, Ryan and I were sitting on the couch watching TV.
Ryan: Did Jack leave for his sleepover yet?
Me: Yep. Why? Because it's so quiet?
Ryan: Um, no. Because his Transformers backpack is right over there.
Yes, he's growing up. But it's nice to know some things aren't going to change.