"No, Raina, you don't get to keep a broken hairclip as treasure. That isn't treasure, that's trash," I explained exasperatedly to my recently turned 6-year-old. Raina would put packrats to shame. Her toy bags (yes, plural) are overflowing with stuff any sensible kindergartner would have dumped as garbage a long time ago.
There are the ubiquitous rocks. Many, many rocks. All indispensable, of course. There are stacks of paper of all shapes and sizes that have been cut out and painted. All sculptural and artistic masterpieces and therefore, unthrowable. Then there are miscellaneous itty-bitties -- pipette bulbs from her dad's workplace, bits of ribbon and string, pieces of shells. The plastic whatnots like hair clips, paper clips, garish rings, beads... Just a casual glance around the playroom is enough to make my fastidious husband shudder.
So I put my foot down recently and explained to Ms. Raina the difference between trash and treasure. Her response? "Mom, it's good to reuse."