Instead of snacks and a video after school today.....I laid down the law!! Before one more toy of any kind enters this house for Christmas, there needs to be a toy purge...for all three of them. Nathan is not taking this well. He is just like his dad and doesn't, uh, let's just say....appreciate change! He has a hard time letting go of things. He has pitched a complete fit every time I suggest that he get rid of a particular item. The items that he just can't part with include...a few hundred broken happy meal toys, a bunny on wheels with a string for pulling that he got when he was born, a large doll house (that belongs to the girls!), giant Lego's for toddlers, various stuffed animals...and some things that I can't even tell what they are because of missing parts!!
The girls are doing much better. Together, they have already filled one garbage bag! They had a second one almost filled....but Nathan decided he wanted to keep half of what was in there. Sigh!!! I'm not sure how to handle this. I've told him that I'm giving him the chance to choose which toys are "outta here"....if he doesn't do it....them I'm going to choose for him. I think he is under the impression that I'm fooling with him! He is in for a rude awakening!
As I type...I can here Amelia screaming at Nathan because he has taken another item out of her throw away bag to keep for himself. Dan and I have had many conversations with our kids about the difference between wants and needs and our obligation to be as generous and giving to others as we can. I think part of the problem is his age (he's 8 and it's all about him!) and the fact that...unfortunately, we are a middle class family living in 2008 and they have not been exposed to those that are truly needy. We live paycheck to paycheck. We put very little into savings as there just isn't much left. However, our kids don't know what it's like to be in need of something and not be able to get it. Some would say that we have luxuries that others don't...and I would agree. We have two vehicles, but both of them have almost 200,000 miles on them. We do have cable (I refuse to give that up) and a computer (I even have a laptop). Dan and I also have cell phones (Dan's is for work and mine is a "pay as you go" type without a camera). Every stick of furniture in our house (except for our bed) has been given to us by very generous friends who were getting rid of things. I tell you all of this to say that there is plenty of examples around us of the generosity of other people towards us...and I just wish that my children were better about this. I don't want them grow up to be spoiled little brats that constantly have the "gimmies". Sigh....(yes, another sigh!). We also have given them many opportunities to be generous themselves with the various volunteer work that we do. Perhaps it is time to do more of this as a family...even if the girls are a little young. We'll have to pray more about what it is that God would have us do in this situation.
Well...just watch out because the day (which WILL be before Christmas) that I get into their rooms and start clearing things out......you will probably be able to hear the screaming from where you are!!!