When we bought our current home we were pretty excited that they had completed the basement as a play room. My husband had worked tirelessly one summer at our other house to finish the basement and we really didn't want to let that extra space go when we moved.
So yesterday when the kids were overtired, overextended and over-juiced from a busy day at the local fall festival, I sent them to the basement.
I explained, again, that it is their room and if they want to play horses, fix pretend doors or play house, that they had a whole room downstairs in which to explore their inner child.
About an hour later, when I went downstairs to retrieve them for dinner, my mouth dropped. Not only was there a pile of misc. train track pieces at the end of the stairs but when I peeked around the corner into the room, it looked like an earthquake had hit our home. Every bucket, basket, dollhouse, train table, couch cushion, book, pipecleaner, art supply, dress-up outfit and toy had been dumped out and was scattered (or piled!) all over the floor.
I saw red. Then black. Then red again. I was furious! I felt my blood pressure rise, I got hot and then I was finally able to speak. I don't know exactly what I said, but I know it was loud and my husband came running down behind me. After threatening to take trick-or-treating privileges away, the clean up began.
I say this alot to friends and family, but I just go so sick when I see how much "stuff" my kids have. I'm totally to blame, but when we have clean up exercises like this it just makes me feel like there is no sense of appreciation or respect for gifts - nor do they understand what it could be like without all that "stuff". It's an internal battle I have with myself, but on this particular night at least I was able to vet out the Burger King and Happy Meal toys and throw them away. There was some satisfaction in that. If I never see another digi-toy or Disney movie character made of hard plastic, I'll be thrilled.
The basement looks great now. I think if this happens again, EVERYTHING will go in the trash and I'll have a nice little entertainment room downstairs with a full bar and wide screen TV - for adults only!!!