I might have mentioned The Kidling’s
hoarding difficulty detaching from material things a time or two before. Given her attachment((s) (many attachments)), I have been known to sneak inconsequential things into the appropriate container for disposal or recycling under the cloak of night. Sometimes I get caught, but more often than not, my clandestine purges go undetected.
Thank god kids tucker out early.
And yet, the urge to keep, keep, keep is steadfast. The Kidling recalls artwork created many moons ago, and asks for it once a fortnight.
No, I have no idea how long a fortnight is, and I refuse to google it. It’s just funnier that way.
Wednesday night, Alice asked about a page from a coloring book she colored very long ago. It was a picture of a cat that she colored in October 2010. That’s right, a full 15 months ago, making The Kidling a whopping 3.75 years old when she took crayon to paper. But she remembers this particular creation for a reason.
When our beloved first
child dog died, Alice colored this cat picture for her. Not necessarily logical, as Esti had no known affinity for cats, but awfully sweet regardless. When Alice decided the picture should be buried with our dear Esti as a gift, we were more than happy to comply. It was Alice’s last chance to do something nice for the dog we all loved so.
Fifteen months later, that cat picture hadn’t again crossed The Kidling’s mind. Until Wednesday. Wednesday night as I tucked Alice into bed, her eyes filled with tears.
“I want my cat picture,” she lamented.
Somehow, I knew the cat picture to which she was referring. And I knew things were going to get ugly. But I crossed my fingers and hoped I was wrong. “Which cat picture, Alice?” I asked, hoping for any answer but the one I knew I would hear.
“The picture I colored for Esti,” she cried, becoming more forlorn with each passing moment, “The one we buried with her.”
“Oh, Sweetheart,” I told her, attempting to reframe the conversation, “It was so kind of you to color that picture for Esti. I am so glad you decided to share it with her.”
This time, wailing, she cried out, “But I want it back!”
“I know you do, Alice, but we shared it with her.”
“But I want it! I want my cat picture.”
“Alice,” this time, firmly, “That cannot happen.”
“Alice, how ever would we get it back?”
And that, Dear Readers, was my strategic error, for I couldn’t possibly have anticipated the response:
“Well, we could dig a big hole and—”
No, child. We will not exhume our dog for a piece of paper. Case closed.