That's right. I have officially graduated from Toy Librarian to Toy Nazi. One day I just snapped. I transformed from the keeper of the toys to the hater of the toys. Surely the toys were the root of all evil or at least of all that was awry in our otherwise orderly [ha, ha] home.
That morning when I awoke they were everywhere. They had invaded every nook and cranny in every room. In my bed, under the couch, on the kitchen table, in the bathroom drawers, on the steps. Unacceptable! Jobs I once viewed as mundane, such as separating the Thomas train tracks from wooden puzzle pieces, were now viewed as despicable wastes of time. Detailed information about the toys slowly sucked away my brain's ability to function. (For example, that red, plastic purse that one might assume belonged to the dolls in Maddie's dollhouse given it's shape and size actually belonged to the Mrs. Potato Head at Grammy's house! Ughhh! Who cared?!)
I went on a rampage. I announced that whatever the kids didn't help me pick up would be donated to charity...tomorrow! That motivated them for all of two minutes (when they became distracted by walkie-talkies and fake fruit). I had had it.
Phase I - At nap time I attacked the toy room. Armed with trash bags I ruthlessly pitched tiny plastic pieces and broken toys. I separated the other toys into the remaining trash bags: too old (complicated puzzles, etc.) , too young (baby toys), and rotate (still good but not used much). When I was finished, the room looked, well, sparse. I assured myself it was okay. They would certainly get more toys on their birthdays and at Christmas, right? (Bwahahahaha! Not if Phase III was accomplished! But I'm getting ahead of myself...)
Phase II - New house rules were established. All toys were to stay in the playroom or the kids' rooms. They could get one out and carry it around the house, assuming they returned it to the proper place before retrieving another. Too strict? Too stringent? The Toy Nazi thought not.
This phase didn't go over so well. Many toys took up residence in a green plastic basket on our first floor, waiting to be put away. At least they were all in one spot.
Phase III - Ask friends and family refrain from giving toys on birthdays/holidays. Gifts could include books, money designated for higher education, clothes, etc.
Ha! It was during the creation of this phase that the Toy Nazi realized she had perhaps gone too far. This battle could not be won, and from a moral standpoint, it probably should not even be attempted.
I'm afraid the invasion of the toys is far from over. However, I've decided I don't want to be a Toy Nazi anymore. I want the kids to enjoy their toys. I want their friends and family to be able to give as freely as they choose. Time to look for some neutral ground...