My secret agreement with the UPS man

by | Nov 11, 2009 | clutter, Parenting | 7 comments

So this is the kind of parent I’ve become: I notice that the giant box of diapers has come from, and I carefully herd the children upstairs to bed so that they don’t see it. Then I fall asleep while putting Zuzu to bed, but manage to drag myself up so that I can open the giant box, put all the diapers away, and put the giant box into the recycling. Because heaven forbid they should play with a box.

Listen, they play with the box, and they have a great time. But they become attached to it, and it sits right in the middle of our not-very-big living room. And at some point someone starts stabbing at it with scissors to make “windows” and then there are little bits of cardboard everywhere. Also they like to use the diaper packages as giant building blocks, and at some point the packages get ripped open and there are diapers everywhere. So I am always very motivated to get that diaper box squared away before anyone knows it existed. I am the Diaper Box Fairy.

I totally thought I’d be the kind of parent who would say, “Oh, kids! A giant box! What fun! Here are some markers! Would you like some cotton balls and glue?” Instead I’m hiding markers and boxes and getting mad because they don’t bus their plates.


  1. Anne

    Oooh. You’ll be getting a giant box from me on Thursday, via UPS. Just a head’s up.

  2. Julie

    Ah, thank you! At least I know it’s not filled with diapers. Still, I’ll look out for it!

  3. Corinne

    Who is this “fun mum” who can stand the noise of banging loud things and the shrieking and the mess of bits of paper and various other household debris? I want to find out what kind of drug she is taking, or where is her “happy place”, that she can let all this happen with a smile and encouraging creative ideas to take it a step further.

    btw….i have been making those peanut butter balls [with other butters and subs] Z loves them, and i found they are quite tasty crumbled over dark chocolate ice cream [after Z goes to bed of course;)]. thanks!

  4. Julie

    Corinne, isn’t there some fun mom somewhere, who’s always patient with her kids and responds to their endless queries with humorous and educational anecdotes? I think she has three nannies.

    Wow, I MUST try the pb balls over chocolate ice cream!

  5. Beth

    That mum is on drugs.

    Julie, I am with you on the boxes. A. does the same thing. My cousin Bonnie gave me a great idea, though. She hid all her cardboard boxes in the basement one year, and then one day in summer said to her 3 kids, “I have a zillion boxes. Take them outside and build a fort.” They spent hours building it, painting it, and knocking it down. All her kids are now in their twenties, and they all still remember that day as one of the best ever. (It’s possibly the only day they all got along. But that’s another story…) So if you have a place to stash some broken down boxes, save ’em for the summer.

  6. Julie

    Beth, that would be a great idea, but there’s really no hiding place left in the house. As evidenced by the fact that Eli stole a giant bar of chocolate from my secret chocolate stash while I was in the shower. But luckily I know where his secret hiding place is, so I stole it back.

  7. Sloppy Neighbor

    Why Julie, didn’t you read of the induction of “cardboard box” into the Toy Hall of Fame???
    Good thing they are commemorating this apparently endangered species of low-tech but “shred-full” phenom.
    We’d be happy to add a cardboard box to any room in our house for your kids to have at, that is we would be happy to do so if we could fit one in any of these rooms. Oh, never mind. recycle that puppy you sneak!


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