A couple of weeks ago the Mister mentioned how proud he was of Nico for cleaning up the family room, especially the coffee table, of all his toys, crayons, and paper airplanes. “You know,” he said. “I told him to clean it up and he went ahead and did it without me having to nag him. He’s growing up.”
I was impressed. I was also dubious, and so was the Mister. “I mean, I think he cleaned it up. I guess we’ll see if he just didn’t take it all back to his room and dump it on his bed.”
He didn’t dump it on his bed.
But he did toss it all behind the sectional for us to find it three days later.
On Friday I was at school working in the library when Nico’s teacher walked up. “You should know that Nico lost his religion book this week.”
“But you found it, right?” I asked, wondering how one lost a religion book.
“Yes, but only after I went to his desk and emptied it, because he was sure it was missing. I pulled on a book and out flew 5 empty water bottles, a banana peel, and dozens of paper airplanes.”
The basket next to my desk is supposed to hold my camera and computer equipment, and nothing else. Over the years, however, it turned into a “Mom said to clean up the room and this looks like a good enough empty hole into which I can drop stuff and things.”
The thing with empty holes is that once one person starts to fill it, you start to fill it, too. So once the guns and Legos went in, I followed up with a framed picture, some old stationery, and some more magazines. I also found an unopened pack of birthday napkins and a stop watch.
It’s back to holding camera and computer equipment.