Parker has been out of town a lot with his Grandpa this summer. It is a great way for him to bond with my dad and have quality guy to guy time, which I have a hard time providing. It is hard on me though because I am internally lonely without him in the same city as me. It is also hard on my house because I find my self at mr's house the entire time Parker is out of town. I am not complaining at all, it has been a great summer thus far. mr and I have grown closer and it feels wonderful to wake up next to him on the weekdays too. But, it is hard on my house because I am not here to keep it spotless while Parker is gone. This last trip he took to Michigan, I decided it is was time to tackle his room. The common areas of the house stay decently clean, and he does a great job of picking up his toys from the living room when it is that time, but I have let him neglect his room. I know, tsk tsk Mom....but.....well, I was trying to think of a reason why was letting him do that and I can't....so again, tsk tsk Mom. It was beyond anything he could manage on his own, so I told him I would do that for him while he was with Grandpa. Now, to set this straight.....I was very very clear that he would come home to less toys. He understands donating things and that it means that other kids who don't have as much as him can then have a little more when he donates his stuff. The last time we tried to clean out his toys together, he got rid of about 5 on his own....which is good considering how hard it is to part with those cheap toys you get at McDonald's *sarcasm.* I made it explicitly clear that I was getting rid of enough stuff to make enough room for he recently received birthday toys. He said "ok." In fact, he even said "Thank you for doing this for me Mommy, thank you."
So that is what I dedicated my first Friday without him to, cleaning out his room. Boxing clothes, toys, stuffed animals, all with the mind of what he does and does not play with anymore. I did a very good job. His room looks amazing. We donated about 3 boxes of toys and like 5 of clothes. There were some questionable items that I got rid of, like the toys that he would play with once every 3 months. So that was that. We took all the stuff to Vincent De Paul's, and that is the end of it. I was so excited for him to see is room, that I called him that day, and again, we discussed that there would be less toys.
Fast forward to yesterday. He is playing and super excited about how his room looks. He typically doesn't play in there but he was all about it yesterday. Until, he came out crying. I thought he was hurt until he calmed down enough to ask where his McDonald's cash register was......let me tell you, he has not played with that thing since at least Christmas or before! In fact he would play with it with his kitchen and we gave his kitchen and dishes to Quinn for Christmas so I know it hasn't been since then! And oh the tears! Like I donated his most coveted cars or super heroes or star wars guys! Tears tears tears! I was thinking to myself....great, he is going to notice every last thing that I got rid of! He calmed down. Finally. But that is just the beginning. He still, a day later has not opened his closest yet to see that his big trucks, that had dust on them, are gone. He did just come out looking for his road cones, which I will give him, I should have kept. I thought I did. So word to the wise.....I have no advice on how to get rid of the old toys our kids no longer use on a daily basis! We can't keep these toys forever but we can't get rid of them either! Next time I think I will try a garage sale and he can keep the money from what he sells, maybe that will end the sorrow over the toys that have left his life.