David - let's talk about David, shall we? He is rarely featured in this blog, because he keeps a fairly low profile. Obsessed with all things aeronautical, he spends his days quietly reading books on space flight, making paper airplanes by the dozen, and attempting to construct space stations out of tinfoil and craft sticks. A sweet child, a quiet boy, if a little weird.
But he's a packrat. Now I know a lot of you are going to comment and say that your kid has a lot of junk in his room, too - but we are talking a qualitatively different level of packrat-ness here. As in, today I had to go through his drawers and closet and throw out burst balloons that he had gotten from the dentist; broken toys, the pieces of which he had dug out of the garbage when I wasn't looking; innumerable squashed paper airplanes; broken pencils.....2 trash bags full, and I barely made a dent. And now he is mad at me. Even though I didn't touch his space station models, his oatmeal-container pontoon planes, his tinfoil-and-duct-tape rockets. He cried. This concerns me.
I consider myself a relatively unflappable parent. I don't obsess over how much my kids are fighting, or whether they know how to share, or what their SAT scores are. I assume that, with any amount of luck, they will all grow up to be fairly responsible, normal adults. But this particular problem makes me picture David as one of those lonely adults you read about in the paper on a slow news day -you know, the seemingly normal, gainfully employed middle-aged person who has to be evicted from his dwelling because the health department has declared it hazardous, filled as it is with old newspapers and junk mail and broken furniture, with only a narrow path winding its way through the junk to the front door. And there will be pictures of 2 local firemen lifting him bodily from the house as he screams and tries to clutch at some of his treasured possessions on the way out.
(There won't be cats, though. It's only the crazy ladies who have the 40 feral cats hanging around. I comfort myself with that thought.)
Have I mentioned that he has several stuffed animals he sleeps with? Nothing odd there, I know. Sort of cute, even for a 10-year-old boy. But there's also a bedroom slipper, missing a mate. An old glove. A lonely washcloth. His bed is an asylum for misfit household objects. This carries compassion to new levels, I believe. You will recall that he is the one who painstakingly reattached the heads to all the stuffed animals that Rachel decapitated? They are all there, in his bed - survivors of the carnage.
Please - someone comment and tell me that you were like this as a kid and it's okay. Please? (But not you, Diesel - that would just make things worse.)