Saturday, June 03, 2006

#135 - Mommy Solomon

One joyful aspect of the Move From Hades© is the fact that toys will now be divided equally between the girls, and stored in their individual rooms. (You may believe that Mommy and Daddy take especial pleasure in the idea of individual rooms. You would be correct.)

One not-nearly-so-joyful aspect of the MFH™ is the equal dividing of toys.

Turns out that this is a pretty big emotional/political (these words are synonymous, no?) deal. The Woodyettes are torn between two extreme emotions. On the one hand, this business of splitting up the toys is hard work. There's the bother of having to take time out of their busy schedules to sit down with Mommy and indicate whether or not they approve of the proposed divisi. Which leads to the other extreme emotion, which is being absolutely dead-set against their sister having any advantage, toy-wise, which leads to frequent episodes of Peyton Place a la Woodyettes.

"But, Mooooooommy, I've had that dolly since I was a little girl! You can't give that one to her! [Lower lip begins quivering here.] I'll never be happy again!"

We hear this word "never" quite a lot in this house. To my knowledge, none of her more dire predictions have ever held water.

Mommy intervenes. "Bring me all of your dolls that are this same size." This is a chore in and of itself, inasmuch as the Woodyettes -- particularly the Doodle -- have been accumulating dolls for decades. In fact, several of their dolls were collected for them several years before they were even conceived. Still, the dolls are produced. Turns out there are three.

Now Mommy must put on her Solomon Crown and decide who gets which dolls, and whether to split one in half. ("Bring me my sword!") On second thought, threatening to split a doll in half does little but send both girls into tizzies because they both believe, passionately, that the doll is theirs. So, Mommy decides to give two to Doodle, who happens to be the more ardent collector of baby dolls right now, and the disputed doll goes to Jelly. Five minutes later, both girls have forgotten there even was a conflict. Mommy Solomon triumphs once again!

There's also the problem that both girls have become dedicated pack rats. This is not good. We live in a storage-challenged home, and there just isn't room to keep collecting every darn'd thing that crosses our paths. One of the things that led to the Move From Hades® in the first place was the fact that their shared room had just become far too cluttered with stuff. Between the beds, the furniture, and the toys, there was literally no room to spare. No play room on the floor. No place to keep their special things. So, a key activity before we ever split them up was decluttering their existing room. We were ruthless. We were downright cruel. We were merciless. We did this whenever the girls left the house for any reason, such as birthday parties.

It goes without saying that whenever you weed your toybox, a certain amount of reprogramming is required. "But, honey, don't you remember? We donated those toys to little girls who need them so much more than you do!" After hearing this several times they begin to parrot it back. Mommy and Daddy might find themselves looking for a particular toy months later, absolutely certain that it must still be in the house. "Don't you remember, Daddy? We donated that toy to a little girl who needs it so much more than we do!" Oh, yeah. I'd forgotten.

Anyway, the culling continues. The Woodyettes are actually, as of this moment, taking things quite well. Mommy has been able to establish provenance in most cases, and the only conflict so far has been the baby doll episode. So Mommy Solomon continues to reign supreme in the Woody household.

As if there were ever any doubt.

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