(Mom Camp Update – For those of you who read about the Great Compromise of 2012 last week, most of you will be happy to know that Dimples was mostly able to keep up her end of the bargain. We decided this week to actually specify the number of acceptable hours using the television or video equipment. She said 5, and I said 2. Then she said 4, and I said 3 1/2. And she agreed. Which was the number I wanted anyway.)
Deeply embedded within the DNA of the Firepants family is an inherent reluctance to part with any material belongings. Fortunately, I married into the family, so I do not have this gene. My mother-in-law, husband, and daughter, however, all share this trait. And during this Summer of Purging that has come upon us, I find myself doing daily battle with it.
The most recent disposal dust-up occurred last night as we finally “forced” Dimples, our 9 year old, to give up her twin bed that she had slept in since she was a toddler. It did not matter that she complains on a regular basis about the uncomfortable mattress that shrieks whenever she even thinks about moving a muscle. It did not matter that she is being given the full-sized bed that has the best mattress in the house – luxuriously comfortable and minus the mildew smell I still detect in our newest mattress. It did not matter that we are not throwing her old bed away, but giving it to a relative who needs it even more.
“I can’t watch,” she dramatically declared as her eyes filled with tears and she backed out of her bedroom. Cap’n Firepants pulled up the mattress, leaned it against a wall, and then gathered up the box-spring.
“Well, look here!” he said, disapprovingly, as the floor beneath the bed was revealed for the first time in probably 2 years.
“Oh, look!” Dimples said, excitedly, as she peered around the doorjamb to view the treasure that had accumulated beneath her sleeping form after 24 months.
Cap’n Firepants went to get a trash bag. Because he assumed the detritus needed to go in the garbage. Silly man.
Tears forgotten, Dimples leapt into the middle of the bed frame and began to inventory the new discoveries. Reunited with fuzzy socks and puzzle pieces, she suddenly cared nothing about her bed.
Cap’n Firepants returned, and started “cleaning up”.
“NO!!!” Dimples yelled as he grabbed a sticky looking item and routed it toward the garbage bag. “That’s my slappy hand!”
The Cap’n looked doubtfully at the lint-covered stretchy toy he was holding, and looked at me.
I shrugged. “That’s her slappy hand,” I said. Frustrated, he returned it to her, giving me the look that I probably give him every time he refuses to part with one of his Extremely Valuable Belongings that he had completely forgotten existed.
And why, you may ask, had the canine vacuum we call “Wonderbutt” not taken care of this mess a long time ago? Primarily because the bed was too low to the ground to permit His Rotundness underneath. We now know, however, why, when allowed in the Forbidden Section, he generally made a beeline straight for Dimples’ room.
After somewhat sorting the collection of debris into piles elsewhere in the room, and thoroughly sucking up all dust and microscopic mites, the old/new bed was installed. Dimples declared it a success, completely forgetting her initial hysterics over the entire episode.
And I realized, a bit belatedly, that we had just expanded the Underground Railroad for runaway socks.