Saturday, December 22, 2007


Veevs is a packrat. A junk fiend. A collector of collectibles and non-collectibles alike. A garbage gatherer. A yard sale's best friend.

She comes by it honestly, really. Her dad has sentimental attachments to things I wouldn't even dream of keeping (a Canadian hockey puck, for instance, although he has never played hockey. Free T-shirts are another passion, as are coffee mugs, despite the fact that he doesn't drink coffee.) And Rhett's dad is another breed altogether: a collector of all things collectible. He's got several rooms full of his collections: license plates, old lunch boxes, matchbooks, silver, stamps, hunting and fishing gear, vintage toys, and beer bottles. He's the kind of guy who keeps his eyes peeled when he's driving on the highway for towels that have blown off of someone's boat, so that he can use them for garage towels.

So I can't get too annoyed with Veevs when she starts getting packrattish (I made up that word, so don't bother looking it up). I understand it's just genetic. She can't help it. Sometimes though, I can't help it. I try to reform her.

This is us cleaning her room a few days ago:

Me: Hey, Veevs, why don't we throw away this foam fish that you got for Halloween two years ago?

Veevs: No, mom! That's my favorite! I need it to go swimming with! (She has never gone swimming with it. She never will. But just in case . . .)

Me: Okaaaaaay. Well, what about this collection of rocks? Can we throw away some of these?

Veevs: No! I want to paint all of those. (Again, she has never painted any of them. Nor will she. However, just in case . . .)

Me: Riiiiiiight.

Eventually, I just start surreptitiously slipping her special treasures into the garbage can in her room. I have to cover the contents of the trash can with a paper so that she can't see that I've thrown her stuff away, because if she discovers that her treasures are being hauled off, she will flip out.

Me: Okay, I'm just going to run put the baby to bed. You finish making your bed, and I'll come check your work.

Veevs: Okay.

I come back a few minutes later. I peek into her room. She is taking all of the junk that I threw away out of the trash, one by one. With each item, she gives an indignant "hmph!" before she puts it back into her "treasure box".

I start to laugh. Because, really, it's just genetic.


JustRandi said...

Boy did I resist the concept of throwing away my kids' stuff when they weren't looking. I wanted them to learn how to separate the good stuff from the junk.

Too bad that doesn't work, huh?
I now regularly go through when they're at school and just toss a couple of things here and there.

Amy said...

genetics and age for sure. We had to give megs a talk about how we have to throw some stuff away in order to be able to accept more stuff into our lives and by golly it worked. we use the clean sweep model of 3 buckets....toss, keep, donate and voila you have a clean uncluttered room. i love y'all's conversations ...I feel like you have a recorder in our room and are tapping inot our conversations...too funny!

jen said...

I am married to Veevs in adult male form.

Leisha said...

Well, you never do know, she may paint those rocks in college or something! My Mother is the same way and brings "treasures" to my daughter on every visit. Once she went down to visit my Mom alone and as soon as she came home and walked in the door she said, "Mom, Grandma gave me these "treasures" and we don't want YOU throwing them away!" I'm outnumbered.