Children collect things and often the things they collect, depending on their age, can range from cute to creepy. My son, at the age of seven, became fascinated with creating a rubber bug collection. The orange and bright blue bugs didn’t bother me at all when I found them in his bed but the brown life-like cockroaches scared the you-know-what out of me when I pulled back his white sheets to change the bed on laundry day. He has gone from collecting stuffed animals, bugs, plastic dinosaurs, Pokemon cards and those annoying little chirping hamsters on wheels, to more big boy things such as models of the planets and other science-based objects. I’m very grateful to have survived the bug years without ever having to endure a request to collect real bugs.
My daughter’s collections were more expensive. While Jack was content to collect rubber bugs that were priced under a dime each, Gracie went for the pricey Hello Kitty, Barbie and Polly Pockets. She did go through a very brief time where she collected flowers and pressed them into books but I was relieved when she gave that up because her favorite flower was the dandelion weed. She was crushed when she found out her parents actually paid money to put dandelion-killing products on the lawn. In her mind, we were flower killers.
As parents we hope to influence our children and take pride when they reflect our values, interests and talents. Of course, if you happen to be someone with OCD, like me, it’s bittersweet when the daughter who diligently knows to wash her hands, cover her mouth when coughing or sneezing and use impeccable germ-avoidance in public restrooms, announces that she wants to start a collection of hand sanitizers. Not just any hand sanitizers mind you, but the pricey ones that come in various scents. It seems a bit strange, even to OCD me, but I guess it’s better than dandelions.
To read more from the Two Loons, check out our book, Cookies for Dinner, available at your favorite online retailer, local bookstore and through our website.