Trash to Treasure: Little Boys Who Can’t Let Go

Summer Break!

From mid-June to mid-July I hang up my teaching responsibilities and trade them in for Stay-at-home Mom status. I cherish this time with my kids. It never lasts long enough.

Yesterday, my 4 year old son passed out on the couch. I say “passed out” because he no longer naps. Just ask him. But, if it gets quiet enough, long enough, on a late summer afternoon…

I took the opportunity to sweep and mop the family room. After scoping out the room on what to start on first, I noticed, this is not a quick pick up and spot clean…this is a crime scene.


”This…is a crime scene”

What is this? A McNugget? Our McDonald’s has been closed for renovation…for weeks!

3 days ago I did a thorough cleaning…I even MOVED the furniture!

Crimes were committed. Among them were…

  • Eating ALL the popcicles within 48 hours.
  • Cupcake crumbs and wrappers of cupcakes they claimed they did not eat.
  • A cheese stick that resembles more of a stick than cheese at this point.
  • Dried. Yellow. Play-Doh…for a moment I thought it was scrambled eggs which would have also made sense.
  • A pinecone.
  • 4 seasons of now outgrown batons…again 3 days ago these were in the the garage sale pile.
  • A dinosaur in distress
  • Play-doh lids from said dried dough. Obviously trash, am I right?

About the time these piles were formed and ready to go into the trash, The Afternoon Couch Crasher wakes up. He discovers I am about to throw away the piles…

He frantically goes to each pile.

Son: ”Not my RANCOON!”

Me: “You mean, pine cone?”

Son: “Yeah, my rancoon…”

His tiny fingers save it from the pile. Then, he spots the yellow play-doh lid. “Not my LID!” Which sounds more like “Lee-udd” from his whiney, Texas toddler lips.

He rescues it along with a few other “treasures” and puts them “in a safe place.” My sweet boy proceeds to voice the injustice that just occurred. “It’s not nice to throw away little bo-ees toe-ees (boys’ toys) when they are not look-ing”

3 hours later…these treasures are once again on the floor…forgotten until the next cleaning.

What knowledge is there to gain here? What is the take away?

”One Mommy’s trash is a another little boys’ treasure?”

”If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…in 3 days…when the family room becomes a crime scene once more?”

I choose to take it in stride and let this be my take away…

“Let them be little…”

One day I will no longer hear the “thud, thud, thud” of little feet hitting the floor of our old pier and beam home. I will long for those tiny little fingers to reach out…

Our house will be too quiet once again…

Today, I will clean the crime scene…I won’t scold them and shame them…I will simply ask for their help in cleaning…it really won’t be helpful to me and I will have to retrace their steps and get the residual sticky spots…but to them, they were “mommy’s big helper.” Today I will choose to let them be little.

Kitty B.