Pocket Change

February 7, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Posted in Giggles, Lollipop | 5 Comments

At the end of the day, I have this ritual. After Lollipop and Giggles are nestled in their beds. After the dishes are done. After the dinner crumbs are hoovered off the floor, the dried ketchup scraped off the table, the dogs walked resigned to their beds because they know they’re not getting a walk … again.

It’s my time. To read the latest People (which, yes, I admit, I have a tiny weakness for)? No. To watch the seven episodes of House I have successfully managed to TiVo? No. To blissfully eat the M&Ms I have been hiding in my secret place all day because my toddlers don’t miss a thing? No.

Free Weights
Well, OK, yes. But there’s something else. I clean out my pockets.

Throughout the day, I somehow manage to collect bits, pieces, strings, scraps, shreds of things Lollipop and Giggles have discovered, identified as trash, yet deemed worthy of keeping. I mean, you never know when you’ll need that perfect V-shaped scrap of leaf or that blue string from your Cinderella dress. (For an art project? To feed the cat?)

So they give these bits to me. For safekeeping. Rarely, of course, are we near an actual honest-to-goodness trash can when these exchanges take place. So I stuff my pockets full.

After washing several such gems by mistake (the capless black ballpoint pen was my favorite), I added “Clean Out Pockets” to my nightly routine. Here’s last night’s cache:

1. Broken stick pieces from the wicker baskets in Lollipop’s room (purchased to hold toys; much more useful/destructive when used to do a load of make-believe laundry during “naptime”)
2. Duct tape from Giggles’ jammies (duct tape = Home Depot’s gift to moms with stripper-children)
3. An oval-shaped landscaping pebble “borrowed” from the neighbor’s yard
4. A used tissue, courtesy of Giggles’ perpetually runny winter (teething?) nose
5. A green faux feather (Lollipop was a peacock for Halloween; her costume is still molting)
6. A raisin
7. A short string of dental floss, which the kiddos are fascinated with but don’t actually use, except to suck off all the minty-ness
8. A piece of candle wick (Lollipop has requested candlelight at dinner this week, which we obliged, but she sneaks back to the table afterward and pulls off all the wicks (why??))
9. A wad of dog hair, which Giggles tried unsuccessfully to return to its owner
10. Two sesame seeds from the bagel Lollipop had to have, then licked away the strawberry cream cheese before rejecting

Digging Deep
Sure, sometimes I feel like a trash Sherpa. Sometimes I pull out some really disgusting stuff. (Which I will not go into. You’re welcome.)

But I enjoy the addition to my evening ritual. It’s a visual reminder of our day, Lollipop’s and Giggles’s and mine. All the errands we ran, the friends we met, the snacks we snuck.

And these kids’ trash? Well, it’s this mom’s treasure.



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  1. This was such a testament to how ordinary things become treasures… motherhood makes that happen, I believe 🙂

  2. Ha! I always have loose cheerios and an action figure in my pocket. I will be sad when they don’t need my pockets any longer.

  3. That’s awesome! I’m always amazed by what I find in my car when I (bi-annually?) clean it out.
    And I have the same wicker basket problem. It seemed like such a good idea at the time…

  4. You are a very good mother…to recognize what is a treasure and what is ground clutter.

  5. This is great.
    The other day my daughter handed me a rubber band and said “can you put this somewhere safe where Col won’t get it?”
    Into the pocket it went…

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