everyday life

Chaos Elves: 2: Collections

The 6yo has a strange habit. A collecting habit. But he’s not collecting toy cars, or video games, or baseballs. No, that would be too…predictable. He’s just collecting.

We’ll be at the park/zoo/beach and he’ll run at me with feverish intent, only to hand me a small length of broken shoe string, or a feather, or a bottle cap. “Here, for my collection,” he’ll say before running away. He collects anywhere inspiration strikes. Small piles of these random accumulations sit in various bowls, drawers, and niches all over our house.


There seems to be no specific criteria for what makes it into his trash hoarding stockpile: anything goes. He’s even handed me wet, wilted reeds from the bottom of pools. When asked what purpose these items serve, he answers simply, “To remember.”

I’ve come to realize these tiny tokens enshrine moments. They are his way of keeping memories alive, which makes the piles around my house (and bottom of my purse) like little photo albums, filled with special snapshots of his life.

Well damn.

That tugs at my heart a little. I might even be tempted to use the word endearing.

And then I recall that this is the same child who – at the age of four when I told him he couldn’t have candy at the checkout counter of Target – screamed repeatedly, “YOU’RE A PENIS!”

Not so endearing anymore. Nope. Notsomuch.

Oh, please share with me your kiddo’s worst, most embarrassing tantrum! Mine have done it all…and I mean ALL. I LOVE hearing from you! You all make me laugh more than anyone!

Chaos Elves: 1: Furby

I have two of these tiny elves of chaos living in my home. Males. The tallest says he’s 9 years old; the little one claims to be 6. They call me “Mom” and look just like me.


They are mostly smelly and surprisingly destructive. The objects they destroy seem to have no premeditation behind them; it’s random. Primal. However, at times they can be unpredictably sweet. But you must be wary of the sweetness: the elves are very manipulative. They want things, like toys and candy. **DO NOT GIVE THEM CANDY**

The small one received a new toy yesterday – earned it with good behavior. Or so he tells me. He picked out a Furby. (get a gander at this thing) I realize now this was out of spite. He’s freakishly smart and vindictive. I have so much to learn…

This Furby – which he named “ToTo” – (that’s not annoying) sounds (yeah, they make noise) suspiciously like Jodie Foster in Nell. (Go ahead, press that. I’ll wait. No really.)

I want to drive over it in my car. Repeatedly. Back and forth. Over and over. I want little tire tracks on its head. I don’t feel bad about it, either. Not one bit. Its eyes follow me. IT’S ALIVE.