Saturday, 6 September 2008

Too much STUFF!

I’m very full of apple crumble and custard. The grandmothers have a tree and we get windfalls and more.

Today we spent a family day together at a local community festival type thing. The kids had had a clear out and we’d got various toddler age toys out of the loft so that we could have a stall. P and L made a few quid each and we made the odd donation to worthy causes. It was rather strange to spend the afternoon in a school hall, but there you go. We would have been out on a playing field, but the weather was unpredictable.

When we were in the loft (trying not to notice the damp and crumbly bits) we found a marble run that we put up there a few years ago. It is, as I recall, a bit wobbly and it was frustrating for the kids when they were little but I’m hoping it will be fun now.

It amazes me how much stuff we accumulate in this little house. I don’t think of us as hugely extravagant in terms of the objects we buy (our extravagances tend to be more to do with trips and shows and group activities) but both the kids rooms fairly groan with toys and books. I was feeling quite superior about the few boxes of stuff that D and I have in our room, but then my mum called to tell me that she’d found a whole trunk of my stuff in her loft. That wasn’t the house I grew up in so my mum must have moved it all there when they moved in to their current house – about fifteen years ago. They’re clearing their loft because they’re getting some free insulation done by virtue of being pensioners. I went and got the few bits I wanted. These included some cuddly toys from my childhood. I gave Leo my lovely hedgey (a hedgehog dressed in shirt, trousers and apron) and his baby and I gave Pearlie a pair of rabbits – one black and one white – who were a couple, I think. I also gave a creature to each local cousin.

Now my mum has phoned to say that she’s found all my school reports! I will have to go and get them, just to give the kids a laugh. My mum’s own reports were there too and I remembered her comment for rounders at grammar school, “her batting is weak and she could improve it.” She always told us there was no chance of her improving because they made her take off her glasses and she couldn’t see the ball!

We don’t buy anything much in terms of special home ed resources. We have tons of books but we’d have them anyway. As well as owning books, we have access to the library where I work, which is very lucky. It contains a library of books for education students to use in school with children and has a good children’s fiction section too. If the kids want something in the way of a ‘workbooky’ thing, we use free stuff off the internet. Things like science kits, they’ve tended to get as birthday and Christmas presents. Leo got a chemistry set last year and he and Dani have done lots of cool stuff with that. But we don’t have shelves full of resources and I’m glad I had Dani to stay my hand in the first few years of home ed, when I was often to be found browsing catalogues of stuff! I did once waste quite a lot of money on an onset and rime set that Leo never showed any interest in as he merrily learned to read from the books in the house.

But, we still have too much stuff. There are boxes in the kids rooms that contain toys that everyone forgets we even own. We did manage to sell quite a few games today and dent our stock of things that need batteries. But the kids entered a competition to make a clay creation and P’s won. Guess what her prize was? Yes, a game requiring batteries!


Gill said...

Oh, *groan* about your mum's rounders report! Hey' are you going to blog yours? Go on, share ;-) I will if you will ;-) (Though mine mostly consist of "Gillian could try harder," etc. To which I'd have liked the right to reply, but hey..)

We have way too much stuff too. I think it might be a money thing - when you know you can't just go out and buy every single thing you might ever need, you tend to hang onto things 'just in case'. That's my excuse/theory, and I'm sticking to it!

mamacrow said...

mine were comments about my handwriting (appalling, but no-one actually tried to show me HOW to improve it, just told me off for it)
And - could do better if applied her self more.

ah well, got good GCSEs and finally learned to apply myself when repeating the second year of uni.

Allie said...

I'm scared to share as mine were always rather *cough* good... I'll blog anything funny enough!

alison said...

I've today started the annual clearout of what is called the playroom, but tends to look more like the store room of a charity shop. We have 3 out of the 4 birthdays coming up before Christmas, so we always do it now to make room for the next onslaught.

I don't think we buy all that much stuff, but they have lots of relatives and there I suppose there are 4 of them, so things build up rapidly. I'm forever getting rid of MY books to make room for more of theirs! Must find a space for another bookcase ...