2018 children parenting relationships

Parenting Fail: Cleaning Out The Closets

A couple of weeks ago I was frustrated by all the clothes and toys that Munch had outgrown and the fact that I had yet to set an appointment for Purple Heart to come pick them up. With a steadfast determination I selected my appointment and packed up his room of too small clothes, brand new jeans and shirts (I forgot they were in his closet and had never been worn – please don’t judge me) and toys to donate. I needed to have order in the chaos of his room.

Now, before I go further let me pause and tell you that my son is a stuffed animal hoarder. He truly is. He needs to be on a show. He doesn’t care if there is no room to sleep on his bed. He loves stuffed animals. In the last year he had over 100 stuffed animals and played with maybe 5 consistently. His favorite is this stuffed dog that he got for his second birthday that is still holding on. I’ve washed and sewn up the holes multiple times. It needs to be refilled with stuffing. But, that dog (whom he affectionately named Puppy Thomas) remains firmly on his bed as he sleeps with it while at my house.

As I began to get the toys and clothes bagged up, I left the stuffed animals on his bed alone. He slept with them and they weren’t bothering me, but the rest had to go. I needed to make room. All in all there were 9 bags of clothes, shoes and toys that were put out for the van to pick up that morning.

Munch watched me lug those bags down the stairs and out the front door with nary a question or look. I had to get it together. I was on a mission for some form of organization and Munch didn’t question it.

However, that didn’t last long.

Last night when I was tucking him into bed (yes, I still do that) he asked about the bags of stuffed animals. I felt like a deer caught in headlights. “What about them Munch?” I said. “Well, where is it?” he questioned. I replied “Munch I donated them to Purple Heart a couple of weeks ago. You saw me take the bags outside.” He said “But Mommy, all my stuffed animals were in that bag.” I reminded him that he hadn’t played with any of the animals in the bag in the last 11 months. He said “Mommy, my Alvin and the Chipmunks were in the bag. You got those for me last Christmas.” He started crying.

I didn’t know what to do. I mean I went through the same thing as a kid when my mom started donating my toys behind my back, so I could relate to his 10 year old pain. Had I become my mother? The giver of things without my input or knowledge?

I tried to comfort him and explain that I didn’t look in the bag and that I didn’t know the Chipmunks were in the bags. Truthfully, I should have because isn’t that what parents are supposed to do? Remember to do everything?

Those are his favorite plush animals and he watches Alvin and The Chipmunks on Hulu faithfully. I didn’t know what to say. I felt bad. He hugged his puppy and just cried. He asked “Are you going to give away puppy one day?” “No, I would never give away puppy” I told him. I kissed him good night and told him how much I loved him. He sniffled and muttered “I love you too.”

I felt heartless and did the only thing I thought could make this better. I caved and went on-line to order them again. I remembered ordering those stuffed animals for Christmas 2016. I remembered Munch being so excited to get them because he loved the Chipmunks. I went in search of these particular plush animals. I found them on the Fisher Price website and on Amazon. I ordered them on Amazon because it was free shipping and with my discount I was able to get them sooner and with free shipping. Crisis handled.

I needed a drink. But, I didn’t grab a bottle of Chardonnay. Instead, I went into his room and told him that I’m sorry and that I ordered him Alvin and the Chipmunks again because I knew how much he loved them. I told him it came with Brittany. He smiled and closed his eyes.

All is well in the house tonight. It may not be well tomorrow or the next. But, I am loving the fact that I went from villain to hero in 10 minutes. I guess I’m doing something right?

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.


  1. Oh, I know that pain! We make our kids pick out a handful of toys to donate before Christmas every year, but it’s never the stuffed animals they are willing to part with. We slowly pare it down over the clean outs, but there’s still a big bin full! You can hear the screaming rage from blocks away if they see it go down, so smuggling them out is the only option. The struggle!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG so I read your paragraph about being a stuffed animal hoarder to my 9-year-old and he thought I had wrote that about him! I was like, “no, it’s another little boy that hoards stuffed animals, just like you!”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes and I’m an enabler! At least I was. Everytime I’d go on a business trip that had a build a bear, I would bring one back for him. Couple that with us going to build a bear together and there are maybe 20 build a bears up there, collecting dust. I’ll never have to worry about him sneaking a girl into his room in the future as she’ll see the bears and leave asap!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I would feel bad if I was in Munch’s shoes too. Thank goodness you remedied the situation.

    It is good to involve our kids when giving away their stuff. It is an opportunity to learn the lesson on sharing with the less privileged.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True but he never wants to give away anything. Ever. We’ve been here before with me explaining and praying that he will give away the toys he doesn’t play with but he just doesn’t see the point in it because he just feels that’s his stuff and wants it all


      1. Please don’t stop trying… I know there is some form of selfishness in most children. But it can be overcome over time.

        Why doesn’t he want to give out his used toys in the first place? Why doesn’t he see the point?

        Let’s try something different. Instead of giving away most of his toys at the same time to an organised welfare outfit, try bringing him in a situation where he would be the one to give out (by himself) just one (start with that and increase the number later) at a time to a ‘friend’ in need of it or to another far less privileged kid. He might just change his mind when he sees the joy the gesture brings to other kids. My little cent!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. He doesn’t see the benefit of it because he still has some selfishness and him but I will try we don’t really have any friends in need of toys most parents that I know try to get rid of the toys and he has a lot of stuff he never is played with he doesn’t care if I give away his clothes because he has a lot of clothes that he may grow out of that a brand new he never wore he doesn’t care about that but my goal is that he gets older he’ll be able to go and volunteer with me in the shelters and soup kitchens and see those in need so until then I try and explain about people in need


  4. It’s so hard to know the balance of cleaning and organizing and letting kids be kids! My kids don’t like getting rid of things either, but one time i was able to have my oldest help me separate the ones that she wasn’t using to be able to give away. Still the toys collection grows and grows so quickly! Hang in there! You’re not alone in the struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

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