Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's not easy being a pack rat

The Complicated One is a pack rat. Like the small North American rodent that lines its nest with a great variety of small objects, our small Complicated One lines his bedroom with all manner of shiny things.

Objects from the craft drawers (six drawers full, no less!) gravitate towards his bedroom, where he sorts them into little piles and then stores them in boxes of all shapes and sizes.

Some boxes are themed – boxes of seashells, plastic shapes or cars. Others are mad conglomerations of favourite things at a moment in time: a shiny purple bead necklace, Roary badge, Woody doll, Little Miss Sunshine window sticker, hair elastics, plastic blocks, a wooden star, and bits of craft he’s made. Listing the rest of the contents of this one box would fill the rest of this page.

The more containers we give him, the more containers he fills.

He got quite stressed this week when I gave him a new bag. After some tears it emerged he was struggling to decide which of his favourite things in his current 'favourite things bag' to sort into his new 'even more favourite things bag'. I helped him sort through them, and he calmed down.

Some collections aren’t so little, like his collection of paper snowflakes. It’s a great little craft activity: fold a sheet of white paper several times then cut shapes around the edges, unfold and hey presto, a lovely white snowflake.

The Complicated One makes snowflakes as therapy in industrial volumes. I recently suggested to Sherrie that we throw out two shoeboxes full of snowflakes I found tucked under his bed. She said she’d already thrown out three boxes that she’d hidden in his cupboard a few weeks earlier, so we had better hang onto this last batch in case he remembers. TIP: Complicated Ones always remember.

To our relief he’s moved on from making paper snowflakes. Now he’s making paper aeroplanes. So far he’s filled four shoeboxes.

He didn’t want to come home from childcare this week until he’d finished making paper planes for a line of kids. Quite the mini industrialist.

Our hope is that he invents the 21st century’s equivalent of the Model T Ford production line, and uses the royalties to support his parents in our dotage.

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