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Friday, February 8, 2008

Treasured Trash

Now that the Tongginator attends preschool and other make-friends- activities, a new phenomena occurs in our home: treasured trash. Treasured trash enters the home through many sources. By far the worst culprit is the birthday party favor bag, with school and FCC holiday parties a close second. (FCC stands for Families With Children from China.)

I find myself constantly tripping over these teeny, plastic, destined-for- the-landfill objects. We have fist-fulls of beaded necklaces, clip-on earrings, jelly bracelets and plastic whistles. There are butterfly erasers, Princess tiaras and gold plastic coins. By themselves, none of these objects seem horrible. The problem is the overflow.

Somehow I can't bring myself to secretly throw them in the trash .... they may seem like junk to me, but the Tongginator treasures each and every one. Husband and I are the King and Queen of recycling, Craig's List and donating to Goodwill; however, we absolutely flunk at containing the preschooler toy sprawl. I know hoarding is not a value we wish to impart, but how exactly do you teach a three-year-old the Scriptural Truth of Matthew 6:19-21?

It doesn't help that most of these earthly treasures are super-girly toys Tonggu Momma can barely identify. Who would have EVER thought they'd make pretend talcum powder? I don't even use talcum powder ... why would I want my three-year-old to pretend to do so? The glitter and sparkles make me want to roll my eyes, but so far I've resisted the urge. It would deeply sadden the Tongginator if she learned that Momma doesn't think her many plastic, glittery crowns are "beee-you-ti-ful!"

Alas, our local Chinese New Year celebration is this weekend, and Valentine's Day is fast approaching. I can see it now -- a muddled heap of gold coins next to heart-shaped erasers; Princess tiaras beside plastic rats; red couplets and envelopes gathered with twenty plus cutesy paper Valentine cards; more beads (this time they'll be red or pink); and glitter-encrusted plastic crud. Somehow I don't feel very loving.


Janet said...

Oh, I am SOOOOO with you on this one. I hate all those little toys that break seconds after the kids have them in their hot little paws....it's so hard! The last party we had I gave out presents to each kid. I mean, a treat bag, when you add it up, is about 4 or 5 dollars anyway, so I just bought each kid a gift worth about four bucks, attached a lollipop to it, and VOILA! :-)