Monday, June 30, 2008

Daisy's current summer camp program involves frequent field trips. Last week they took a trip to Pier 39 (a local tourist trap) and the nearby beach. She brought a few dollars of spending cash, anticipating that she'd want to buy some piece of crap at one of the myriad of Crap Stores that populate Pier 39.

Of course the last thing Daisy needs is more crap. Although she's getting better about it, she's always been a bit of a pack rat. It has been a struggle over the years to convince her to let go of old items such as too-small clothing, or worn toothbrushes. I'm wary of each new item that comes into her possession, anticipating the inevitable struggle that will occur when it's time to let go of the broken slinky, smooth rock, or colorful bit of plastic.

So, she came home from her field trip and we had this conversation:

Daisy: Daddy, want to see what I got on my field trip?
Me: Sure
Daisy: (digging through her backpack) Look! Beach glass!
Me: What?
Daisy: (spreading out a dozen pieces of broken glass) Don't worry! We checked them and they're safe!
Me: You bought... broken.... glass?
Daisy: No. I found them on the beach!
Me: You brought home... broken.... glass?
Daisy: No! It's BEACH glass! They're smoooooooth!

I fingered one of the pieces of broken glass. It was, I guess, smooth as far as broken glass goes.

Me: So, what are you planning to do with all this broken glass?
Daisy: Start a collection!
Me: Does your mother know about this?
Daisy: Uh... I believe so. (note: she did not)
Me: Ugh. Just put this somewhere safe, ok?
Daisy: (beaming) Okay!

She scooped up her beach glass and carried it up to her room, dropping a few pieces as she went.

Daisy: Okay! Okay!

Good lord. I can't believe they haven't revoked my parenting license.


Sue said...

I'm with you brother. My 8 year old adores collecting any kind of cheap, plastic, sparkly, colorful, made in China junk. Her little sister is following in her footsteps too!

We find the strangest things on all the floors of our house. Things that lay on the floor for weeks become TREASURES as soon as I want to toss them.

Mike said...

We often employ a two-pass system, staging things to be thrown away for a while to see if they're missed, and then chucking them if the kid doesn't notice.

Occasionally it backfires.

yajeev said...

be careful, man... beach glass is the gateway collectible. next thing you know, she'll be collecting vintage street needles (dirty syringes she's found in back alleys), which is far less repulsive than what I wanted to collect as a child (but was prohibited by my parents): garbage pail kids trading cards.

... oh, and i've been out of blogging commission for a short bit--just catching up on your recent posts--congrats on the new job! i just went through a bizarre series of goodbyes (which had to be repeated because i initiated them too early) over the past week.

Mike said...

Yajeev, I am heading directly towards the multiple goodbye. Does each one get more awkward linearly or exponentially?

yajeev said...

after a period of exponential awkward increase, there is an unexpected precipitous drop in which the leaver has exhausted whatever emotion one normally has when exchanging goodbyes and subsequent goodbyes become as commonplace as everyday office chores like sharpening a pencil or sending an email... or confirming lack of pants, as may be the case in your soon-to-be former work-from-home situation

Mike said...

Yajeev, thanks. I look forward to the later stages of this curve.