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The Chalk Debacle

When it's warm but not too warm, Grace and I (and Allie, if she's awake) spend lots of time outside.

One day last week, we played outside all morning, until it was time to leave for the pool. I put my garden tools away, asked Grace to put her sidewalk chalk and toys away, and gathered everything that we needed to take to the pool.

As I pulled my car out of the garage, I heard a loud pop.

“Grace? Did you put your sidewalk chalk away?” I asked.

I don't think so, no, she said quietly. She almost never puts her things away when she's done with them. It frustrates me immensely. Normally, I put the toys away when she fails to do it, but that day, I was packing our pool bag and forgot to check.

I got out of the car and surveyed the damage.

I wanted Grace to see the pile of chalk, so I unbuckled her and helped her out of the car. I expected her to cry and throw a fit about her now ruined chalk.

She shrugged. It's okay. I have more, she said and returned to her carseat.

Parenting fail.

The problem is that nothing is special when you have too much. Too many toys, too many art supplies, too many books, too much everything.

And she's learning not to take care of anything.

© 2011 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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15 thoughts on “The Chalk Debacle”

  1. Ooooo, Mama.  You’ve hit on a TOUGH one here.  But so, so true!  I’ll be sharing this with my next weekend wanderings.  Our 5yo “lost” the basketball that santa brought.  He *loves* basketball, and we just bought a new goal, but he was totally and completely unphased by it.  “I can use this other one.”  MADDENING  Lots to think about here!

  2. UGHHH! My twins do the same thing! Prob because we have to buy two of everything so then they just look at each other and say- hey u got one right?? It upsets me so b/c they r only 3 but with so many people buying them things it seems that no matter what I do they just stay,well.. spoiled dangit!

  3. What an eye-opener. Out of the mouth of babes, right? I learn so much about myself through my daughter. I always want her to have “enough” and want to find a balance between that and being spoiled. A very fine line, in my opinion.

  4. I feel the same way you do, that my boys have so many toys that they don’t take care of it and respect them like they should.  But truthfully, I’m probably the same, I have so many clothes, etc. that when I shirt gets stained and I don’t pretreat it, it just gets trashed.  I’m trying to bring a bit of minimalism to our home so that we can enjoy what we do have, but we still have a long, long road to go. On another note that you probably won’t love, that picture of the broken up chalk looks pretty cool :b

  5. Pingback: Weekend Wanderings
  6. This happens all the time at our house. And the attitude of not caring is carrying over to our furniture, their rooms and everything else. They just aren’t treating things with respect and it disgusts me. We are doing so much purging these days and they don’t even notice. Sad.

    • YES! Remember when I went totally overboard on Christmas gifts and you commented about it here? I was a little upset about it at the time, but now, looking over the incredible amount of stuff we have here, I am so sad that we wasted all that money on all that stuff. When you have too much stuff, you just expect to get more stuff whenever you want. It makes me so sad for her.
      Not to mention, where do you put all the baby stuff when the big kid’s stuff envelopes the entire house? I saw a photo of our living room from before we had kids yesterday and was totally astounded. You could walk through the room! It makes me sad.
      We’re doing a lot of purging, too.

  7. Wow, that happens around here too.  But my boys get attached to particular toys (tractors, trucks) and I am sure they would cry if I ran them over.  Though chalk is just chalk, she probably realizes that, lol!  I struggle getting the boys to put there things away as well, though they are getting better, it’s all about routine.

  8. Wow, that happens around here too.  But my boys get attached to particular toys (tractors, trucks) and I am sure they would cry if I ran them over.  Though chalk is just chalk, she probably realizes that, lol!  I struggle getting the boys to put there things away as well, though they are getting better, it’s all about routine.

  9. Wow, that happens around here too.  But my boys get attached to particular toys (tractors, trucks) and I am sure they would cry if I ran them over.  Though chalk is just chalk, she probably realizes that, lol!  I struggle getting the boys to put there things away as well, though they are getting better, it’s all about routine.

    • I bet you’re right, Jenna.
      I once read an article about a mom who cleaned up everything as soon as the kids put it down. The article was written by her adult kid who felt like her creativity had been affected by that. So I swung too far the other way and struggled with Grace to clean up at the point that there was so much out that it made her feel overwhelmed.
      Or something. Now that I think about it, she gave her daycare teachers a hard time about cleaning up, too. Maybe she has a messy gene. That sounds about right. 😉

  10. We had the same issues with the kids not putting toys away & not seeming to care. Then we decided to try something my grandma did with me when I was a kid. We told them if they didn’t put a toy away, it was gone. (given away or thrown away depening on the condition.) the big thing was making no exceptions & giving no second chances once we started it. The kids lost a couple toys that way but learned to appreciate what they had and take better care of them.

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