17 June 2014

A Rookie Parenting Mistake

As a parent, there are all kinds of things no one tells you. For instance, how absolutely crushed your child would be if and when they catch you throwing away one of there beloved school projects. Let me just set the stage.

It was Bennett's last day of school today. He came bounding off the bus and into the house. He immediately exclaimed "Mama, I wanna show you something!" He yanked no less than 5 various school projects our of his backpack (as per usual) and proceeded to take me through each one, telling me what it was. I mean, it is pretty darn cute to see how proud he is of this crafts.


But let's be real, I can't keep everything he brings home from school, that would just be ridiculous. I have been picking and choosing the most significant projects, photos and papers to keep in a preschool memory box for him. The rest? They get tossed.

But you see, I'm usually very calculated about when I toss the unwanted school crafts. I generally wait until he's in bed or preoccupied doing something else. But today? Let's just say I made a rookie parenting mistake. I really should have known better.

After we moved his projects onto the kitchen counter so that "Brother can't reach them", I saw the pile of projects from the previous school day. Without thinking, I gathered up the miscellaneous papers, including a Luau Party Hat made of standard white paper, barely holding together with one lone staple, and tossed them in the garbage.

"MOMMY NOOOOOOOOO!!!! MY PARTY HAT MAMA!!!" 

Followed by tears, and pure and utter devastation. He was crushed.

Ugh.

Then it hit me. These little projects that they work on, they put all of their heart & soul into decorating and coloring them, as if it was a million dollar piece of art. And even though I love them to death, I really didn't think of it from his perspective. Because 1) He worked so hard on that hat that I just carelessly threw into the garbage and 2) What if he thought I didn't like it?!

I couldn't bare the thought. I so assured him that I did love his Luau Hat and that it was a mistake that I threw it away. I pulled it out of the bin, and had him put it on. I told him I wanted to take a picture of him in it because he looked so wonderful wearing his hat, which clearly, he does. And I'm pretty sure he forgave me right then & there. Whew.


I could have told him the truth. I could have told him that we simply can't keep everything he brings home. But right then? When I saw his sad puppy eyes, I just couldn't. It's kinda like Santa Claus, I will let him go on believing that I am keeping every single thing he brings home, just for a little while longer, at least. :)

19 comments:

Lauren said...

Oh man I can't imagine how much stuff the average parent brings home!! Glad you could smooth things over with your son, I would feel horrible as well :)

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] said...

Pardon my French, but they make so much damn stuff in school...it's impossible to save it all. I'll save my faves for awhile and anything he makes specifically for me...but I am not the hoarding type and I can't hang onto things like that! I always throw out at bedtime!

Life with Amberly said...

Oh man, poor guy!!! I think about that and think about how attached I was to things as a child that I did, and my mom would save them in files and boxes, and then when you're older, who cares.... so I threw them all away hahahaha.

Michelle said...

We are the same way. I can't keep everything, so I pick and choose what I can keep. My daughter found something in the trash and I told her I threw it away by accident and I felt like a jerk. UGH! I felt so bad, I am usually picky about when I do it too but I think she went to throw something away and saw it there. At least they are quick to forgive :)

Krista said...

We had nearly the SAME thing happen over here! Gia got like 5 bouquets of flowers at her dance recital last week and today I threw away some of her daisies that we half dead...and she caught me and sort of moaned. I felt SOOO bad that I dug them out of the trash (and waited to throw them away till later). Glad to hear I'm not the only one making these mistakes :) :)

www.thequinntessentialmommy.com

Whitney M. @ The Married Me said...

Once in art class we made clay braoches for mothers day and I created a masterpiece which my mom wore to work and then washed in the washer. Lets just say it didn't survive and I was DEVISTATED! I can still remember what that thing looked like.

I'm sure I gave my mother one hell of a guilt trip!

Vanessa • Little Gold Pixel said...

I'm trying to keep only the best, too, but I know what you mean. It's hard, and there's this enormous deluge of art projects every single day. I have been snapping iPhone pics of the projects my daughter really seems to love, and I'm going to create an art photo book each year instead of saving all.the.things.

Alyssa said...

I've always wondered about this. It seems like keeping things for when they grow up is such a good idea, but really keeping everything is just not possible. Love the post and ideas! (:

Rebekah Clarke said...

I have a popsicle stick and scrap paper heart mobile hanging in our kitchen... Bobby 'made' it at the dayhome when he was 2. He caught me trying to throw it away last year and did the same thing and I felt soooo bad... I'll never try again haha. For now it all goes in a Rubbermaid bin - it's going to get difficult when he goes to school.

Jennifer MommyLifeAfterPh.D. said...

We go through that daily around here too (and I'm really glad school is finally out!). I keep things for a few days and then they mysteriously disappear--I've been caught a time or two, but like Bennett, my crazies are pretty forgiving!:)

Discovery Street said...

I know this is my future. I never keep things like this...birthday cards, notes, artwork...yeah...I toss everything.

Annabel Krantz said...

Awww, what a sweetheart! I don't even have kids yet, but I know this will be me - my mum has kept soooo many of my childhood 'creations', and it's fun to look back on it all, but it takes so much room! I'll be drowning in 'art' one day...

Ashley Griffith said...

Aw, so sweet! He's adorable, too

Laura Elizabeth said...

I could never keep everything my kids made, but I'll definitely try!

Susan Maccarelli said...

I have totally been called out on this, so I am like a ninja about throwing them away in the dark of night now. Sheesh. Luckily she is 3 and doesn't remember her artwork even exists for more than a week. #typeaparent

Tara said...

I totally relate to this one hundred percent. I have two kids in daycare (4 and 2) and the amount of crafts they come home with is very overwhelming. I tend to keep things that have handprints on then because they melt my heart.

I just recently found this app called "ArtKive". Its really awesome. You can simply take pictures of your kids artwork and it organizes it all by date/age. Then you have an option to make a photobook with the pictures. I have only gotten as far as taking the pictures so I'm not sure the quality of the book or how much it is.

Tania T said...

Oh sweet Bennett!I can give you an advice!As a little artist I was ,I wanted to keep everything of course.So my mother had a special artist Tania box to put my crafts in.Every end of the month we opened up to through into the garbage the crafts I didn't want any more.And I said again:I did it.She didn't pushed me for something.And believe me I threw almost everything,because kids bored everything in a minute.Clever mommy!!Make him a super hero Bennett box and make a deal for every month.He's gonna love it and the sparcles in his eyes for the hero box...you can't believe what kid's eyes can give us, right?
Hope you do that and if you finally give him THE box let us know with a post+a lot of fotos!

Reveal Natural Health said...

I love the idea of taking pictures of the art projects to have a digital memory, and eventually lots of physical memories that fit into a photo album.

Loyal RUN said...

Sadly, I have had to have the talk with my 6 year old about how Mommy can't keep everything even though I love them ALL. It was hard for her to grasp and hard for me to get out, but now she helps me choose what to keep and what to hang on the fridge until something new comes along. (That's when she's more willing to get rid of the old works of art)