We have this great shelving unit thing in Oliver's playroom that holds all of his miscellaneous toys that doesn't go anywhere else - the random puzzle pieces, dolls, tops, stuffed animals, cards, and so on. It's pretty simple - twelve plastic bins of various sizes and a nice shelf to hold them all.
I knew I was in trouble when I saw him carrying all of the empty bins, stacked together, down the hall.
"Daddy, I'm going to take these far, far away."
I stared at him, dumbfounded, not realizing at first what had happened. And then I went to look in his bedroom, and found his shelf stripped bare. Everything - toys, bins, the whole kit and kaboodle - was gone.
And then I asked: "But Oliver, where did all the stuff go that was in those bins?"
"It's in my basket."
Yes, it was. All of it. Twelve bins, emptied into one vessel. It wasn't a pretty sight.
The strata of his playroom, as it were.
He then dragged the entire overstuffed bin down the hall into our bedroom, where he had already laid out all the bins. He proceeded to start sorting all of the toys back into the bins.
This fun game lasted for about five seconds before he decided it was more fun to toss everything onto our bed.
The moral of the story: when your child is in another room, happily and quietly playing, this is not a time to relax. This is the time to imagine the worst thing he could possibly be doing. Because the chances are good that's exactly what he's doing.
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