A Declaration

When in the course of parental events it becomes necessary for one couple to dissolve the material bands which constrain it and to assume among the powers of the earth, to which God and Nature entitle them, a decent respect to the nature of childkind compel them to declare the reasons for such a separation.

We hold these truths to be self evident, that not all toys are created equal, clothes may be outgrown, and that mom and dad are entitled to certain unalienable rights, that among them are Space, Un-clutter, and the Pursuit of a clean apartment. That to secure these rights parents have been instituted among children deriving their powers from biology or other legal guardianship of the governed. That when too much stuff becomes destructive to these ends it is the right of the parents to abolish it.

Ahhh the dilemma of children, they grow out of clothes, they grow tired of toys, and their stacks of stuff just grow. My little Emmet weed has been growing quite steadily, as such many of the clothes we brought no longer fit. If I ever dressed him in long pants most of his jeans would look like capris at this point. Back in the States this was not a problem as we had numerous cousins, friends, charity bins, or yard sales to dispose of clothes. Many of the same for the toys. Here however finding somewhere to donate has proved challenging. Yard sales are difficult when you have no yard, in any event I’ve never seen anything resembling one so I don’t believe they are common. The family is too far away to make it reasonable to get outgrown clothes to them. Luckily we have made some friends in our apartment complex with children, both smaller and larger than E. Recently I went through the little man’s closet and made four piles. Keep, give to smaller children, ask the wife if she has an odd motherly over attachment to this garment, and holy crap this is too stained to give away why have we kept it this long? I gave away two shopping bags full of T-shirts, jeans, rompers, and pj’s to Marcel for his little one. And in the karmic cycle of children’s clothing I received a few days later two bags from Lita that her boy had outgrown of pj’s shorts and T-shirts. These I’m sure will in turn be passed along (assuming they make it through the aforementioned sorting process) to other friends.

The toys present a more difficult challenge. The stash seems to keep growing, as if the toy box were populated not by plastic and wood but by little toy gerbils that multiply exponentially in the night. How to rid ourselves of some of them without causing a complete meltdown is the question. Invariably when I have gone through them post bed time and set some aside, the next morning is when that one thing that has gone unused for a month is the one that is being looked for. There is no market for used toys among the other parents either, as they are likely in the same boat.

One of these days I will have to just bite the tantrum bullet and pare down the stock. This tiny apartment simply cannot support the burgeoning ecosystem of playthings at its current growth rate. Today, however, is not the day. Yeah buddy I know where your half broken hoard of cheap plastic trucks are.


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