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June 22, 2013 / jenwithboys

Hoarding.

I’m fairly certain that one of my boys is a hoarder. I will not name names. He knows who he is.
I’ve begun noticing that more often than not, we are low on forks. Knives? Plenty. Spoons? An overabundance. But forks, where are they? I mean, the quantity of forks has always been equal to that of the other utensils. Until recently.
Needless to say, the last several days have been frustrating regarding eating; and this is mainly because I’m the only one who acually uses utensils to eat. In fact, I’m really the only one who has any contact at all with the utensils here. I eat with them, wash them, put them away. That is, until now when the only things I’m washing seem to be knives and spoons.
So, while spending the morning watching episodes of Portlandia and meticulously cutting split ends out of my hair, I made the connection. You see, I had a similar problem in the summer of 2005. It was then that I had two toddlers in diapers. It was also then that my house took on a putrid odor of ammonia. After being confronted of the smell by my mother who nearly passed out during one particular visit, I began investigating. Low and behold, I stumbled upon multiple (multiple!) hidden spots where diapers (diapers!) had been apparently ripped off and stashed away. Full diapers. Now before you start judging, these were the days that have mostly all been blocked out of my memory. I think this was my brain’s way of sparing me the expense of thousands of dollars in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) therapy. One memory of this incident remains: Alone, sifting through toys and clothes in the bottom of my oldest child’s closet (NOT the diaper wearer, mind you), the smell of ammonia became increasingly overwhelming. And there it was–ground zero. Two or three old, full diapers squished into the corner, having existed there for probably days, maybe weeks. I’m going to stop this story now, because I’m starting to feel my pulse race and my head start to spin. Dang PTSD.
Back to the forks.
So, now I’m certain that the forks are being intentionally pilfered and hoarded. And it’s not a question of who. I know who. But where? There is no distinct fork smell to lead me to the stash. And anyway, what’s he doing wih forks? My first guess, knowing the culprit, is that he’s making shivs for camp. But surely I would have received a call about that by now. Alas, there’s no discussing the hoarding. No, that would only anger him more. All I can do is keep asking vague, rhetorical questions out loud, like “Gee, wouldn’t it be nice to pierce this food I’m eating with something other than a dull semicircle?”–and hope the hoarder is listening and that he has a modicum of shame/guilt.
Until then, I guess the mind of a hoarder is a complexity that must remain unknown. And probably I can only hope for the best outcome in this situation–that the pilfered, hoarded forks are clean, wherever they may be. God rest their souls.

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