Tuesday, February 12, 2008

busted

Yesterday I was going through the stack of papery junk that always accumulates a mile high. Mixed in were piles of M's papers from school. The school likes to send home any paper M touches, whether it was to draw a single shaky blue line across a 16" piece of paper or glue a piece of trash 1" in width to a gigantic blue posterboard. I know you know what I mean.

So I sorted out the actual "art" from the "crap" and feeling slightly bad I tossed the crap. This morning M goes to throw something away and screams MAMA SOMEONE THREW MY ARTWORK IN THE TRASH! IN THE TRASH! and starts crying.

Well, fuck.

So I run into the kitchen and peer inside, last nights dinner congealing on the papers. She reaches in and starts pulling them out. Mama, this is my artwork. It's NOT TRASH.

I help her pull the endless papers and we stack them on the table. It's my art!, she says again. I know baby, and I'm sorry. That should not have gone in the trash. (In the kitchen trash, you stupid woman, the OUTSIDE TRASH would have been better) I think silently.

I bet daddy did it! she says and opportunity for absolution briefly rises. I ponder that route, briefly weigh the benefits, and decide I have to suck it up. No baby, it was me. I did that.

YOU?! (her tone is incredulous and I feel the weight of a million therapy sessions in the balance) You threw away my artwork? Yes love, but I'm sorry.

It's not trash, mama. Don't do that again. Hands covered in coffee grounds.

And I walk by the bathroom and J says thanks for not selling me down the river on that one.
I should have put it in the outside trash, I reply.

Exactly, he says. Exactly.

53 comments:

liv said...

amen, sister. i always "clean out the car" in the carport BY THE TRASHCAN!!! and i have also gotten the "that's my stuff!" speech from little people. but, DUDE, outside trashcan.

Anjali said...

I keep a box under the desk in the office for recycling paper. So when I put their stuff there, they ask me, "are you throwing that out?" and I say, truthfully though deceitfully, "Oh, no, it's being recycled!" They seem to interpret this as a "no."

Sober Briquette said...

Oh, yeah. I've done that more than once. Slow learner. They've got x-ray eyes.

I've got a little box with her teeth in them. I'm sure that will garner a similar response upon discover.

flutter said...

whoops, crap.

furiousBall said...

you're probably going to hell now.

Oh, The Joys said...

Recycling bin!

J Fife said...

Oh yeah, been there. Too lazy to take it all outside. So, I hide it under other crap in the recycle bin.

Mayberry said...

I am the queen of hiding stuff in the recycling bin -- folding it into newspaper sections, stuffing it down under heavy magazines -- you'll learn the tricks soon enough!

blooming desertpea said...

Oh boy! I'm weating just reading this :)

bgirl said...

too funny....the idea of her hands covered in coffee grounds holding her ART!

good tip though since they seem to follow the same protocol at my little dude's preschool.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Ha! This exact same scenario played out in my kitchen last week.

Wayfarer Scientista said...

oh, man....you are in trouble!

mamatulip said...

Seriously, this is one of my biggest fears -- Julia finding the artwork of hers that I've thrown out. When it comes home, or when we do arts & crafts, I keep a few pieces but recycle the rest, and I always try to remember to throw it out in the GARAGE garbage and not the kitchen garbage. Thankfully, our recycling is in the garage, so I haven't been busted.

YET.

I love this post, Jen. It's real and funny and genuine. Much like you.

Lawyer Mama said...

Oh babe. I've done that before. Hollis hasn't actually found his stuff in the trash, but he notices when his pile of crap has dwindled. Oh, he notices. Sigh.

anna said...

Hilarious....but no worries in the therapy sessions department. The therapy sessions are reserved for the kids whose mothers didn't search for the "art" in trashcan when the loss was noticed...

Slow Panic said...

i have so been there. you have to bury that stuff deep.

Amy Y said...

Hehe ~ oops, Mama!

We have binders for each of the boys. When it's time to consolodate, we have them pick their favorite (5, 7, whichever) and put that in the binder to keep forever. The rest goes in the recycling bin. They feel better, having picked the "best ones" and I don't have to be the asshole getting rid of their "art". :)

thailandchani said...

Oooh! Yes! Next time, be more careful! :)

meno said...

Do you have a fireplace? She might like to help you burn them.

Blog Antagonist said...

I have been there more than once, and it is so the pits. Diminutive One is a prolific artist, and if I kept every scrawl, we'd be drowinging in paper.

At least he's old enough now to understand what's really "special" and what's just "doodling".

marymurtz said...

Oh God, the preschool sending home a piece of paper with a four-pound globule of semi-dry Elmer's glue in the middle, anchoring a pathetic piece of construction paper 1/2" square...what is that all about???

We pile it all on the table and then deep six it in the outside trash, or I take a bag of it to work to "put on my desk" and throw them away there.

I like the idea of a kid choosing her own favorites, but April can't choose.

ewe are here said...

Thank you for the warning. I will remember: Outside bin, outside bin.

Else I'll be drowning in 'artwork'.

Her Grace said...

Also, don't try to use the recycling bin either. Not a good idea, not at all.

I once tried to have my daughter sort her own artwork and save her "favorites." She saved every last piece. Sigh.

cynematic said...

Oh my, I'm laughing and crying at the same time. We're up to our necks in art here. :) Obviously we're too soft-hearted to let it go to the great art gallery in the sky.

So we fob it off to the grandparents. Let them decide what to do with it!

Christine said...

tip: we put all of the crap, oh I mean "art," in a large box to "save." after a couple weeks we throw out what is at the bottom and they never know.

Christine said...

well-we stick it in the recycling hidden in the basement, and not the trash that they have full view of.

and we have retrieved ooky "art" fromt he trash ourselves.

dude sometimes you just have to to stop the tears.

Beck said...

Been there! 800 times, probably.
Now I take a picture of them with any really fantastic art that they're proud of, and I try and keep ongoing big envelopes addressed to various relatives - I stuff art into those and when they get full, seal 'em and mail them off. Let's clutter up Great-Grandma's fridge: that's my motto.

Jennifer said...

We go the recycling route, too. Somehow, when they see it in the recyling bin, it's not in the "garbage" and therefore acceptable. ;)

Orangeblossoms said...

You know.... I'm new at this..... but OUTSIDE TRASH for everything from stray Uno Cards from deck number three of five, to less than inspired artwork, to the pieces of some crap birthday party favor, to the moldy leftover crumbcake. It all goes in the OUTSIDE TRASH. Even if it is pouring cats and dogs.

I'm sorry you had to look into those teary eyes and 'fess up, though. That sucks. Yep.

LOVE you, Jen. This post made me laugh and cringe at the same time. You totally rock.

Magpie said...

Oh, how I feel for you.

I've not been busted, but it'll happen one day.

And one night, she said to me, very somberly, "Daddy said a bad word". "What honey, what did he say?" "He said 'fucking glitter'".

Because, yup, she brought something home that was COVERED with not well glued glitter which was then ALL OVER the house.

slouching mom said...

Yep. I've been busted too, and I'm here to tell the tale.

I now bury them deep, deep, deep.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Aw, this just broke my heart.

I've been hanging on to everything because I fear this.

Gwen said...

Been there. Done that. More than once. I'm already saving for their therapy.

Velma said...

I've got a whole elaborate routine going where I toss out the kiddie stuff FIRST and then cover it with the other artfully wadded up garbage. And if necessary, pull up the drawstring and drape the top part so you can't see in.

I can't believe I've actually done this so often I have a routine for it.

Janet said...

Oh baby, have I been there.

I now have an intricate process for disposing of excessive art tht consists of staging areas and NASA-precision timing. I also bought two big boxes that fit under beds: one for the stuff I just can't part with and one for the stuff she swears she'll want to keep forever. I have no idea what is going to happen when those boxes get full.

JCK said...

I shudder to know this COULD be me. I am sorry. You really did handle it well - with honesty.

deb said...

Poor baby, that applies to both of you sweetie.

alejna said...

The true artist must suffer for her art. How many of the greats were trashed by the critics? M must learn to channel her angst into her art, with big globby tears of elmer's glue and the shredded construction paper scraps of her dreams of acclaim.

Oh, and I vote for the recycling bin.

Angela said...

Oh my God. This is me. I've done this before too and my six year old son was so outraged and upset. Yes, now I put any miscellaneous artwork into the outside trash right away. We just cleaned out both kids' rooms and now they are allowed one small box for their keepsakes,

pgoodness said...

Oh, yes, the outside trash is where anything that might get noticed by little people has to go! I've been busted a number of times throwing important things like paper towel rolls and broken toys away!

Susanne said...

Well, like the others said: recycle bin, and, I might add, only a) just before carting it away, and b) on a day when you don't take the child with you.

Flylady recommends sorting everything out every week, putting one thing up on the fridge (the next week it goes into a manila folder to be kept), and then - and this is the really brilliant part - stuffing everything else in an envelope and sending to the grandparents.

Not that I'm doing that. We have a huge box in the basement and when that's full I get to sit down, throw most of it away, and keep the rest...

crazymumma said...

You are a good woman.

And the paper? Holy hell. The paper.

Kyla said...

Yes, yes, yes. I have been busted in the exact same manner. "But Mommy! It's my ARTWORK." But baby, there is so MUCH of it. You bring home like an entire tree of paper a WEEK. LOL.

gumdropsandbubblethoughts said...

Oh those "art" I have so many endless moments, hearing bouts of screams and crying whenever I feel those arts are just another form of trash collecting in our little home.

And yet I can't help but laugh when I read this.

QT said...

OMG - SOOOO busted!

AB said...

Yup - I have experienced this EXACT scenario.

But I thought ours was the only school to send "a single shaky blue line across a 16" piece of paper or glue a piece of trash 1" in width to a gigantic blue posterboard" home. Didn't know this was standard practice! I feel so much better knowing I am not alone here!

Binky said...

Good to know. The Boss starts pre-school in September and I will definitely have to remember this one.

Amanda said...

Ooh, I better start taking notes, this seems like a pearl for those of us yet to hit this stage.

KC said...

doh. We recycle some of the artist's unfinished works...

patches said...

It's gonna be hard to stay one step ahead of her.

Lisa b said...

oh these types of hearbreaks just kill me.

Tink said...

INVEST IN A SHREDDER. ;)

Rima said...

Ohmygosh, I don't even differentiate between the "crap art" and the "real art", but I DO always hide it under the rest of the stuff in the garbage can.