A few weeks ago, however, I found a way to "make do," and, in doing so, made my kids very happy. I agreed to haul around a few weathered specimens from my kids' extensive collections of furry animals, so long as the faux beasts hung out together, in a trash bag, in the back of my trunk.
The stuffed animals were thrilled to escape the confinements of my basement playroom, but were considerably less excited to learn that their new home was the donation bin of the Salvation Army.
Shamu and his friends were stunned into silence. Fortunately, they found a loud and angry advocate in my five year-old son Cortlen.
"Hey!" he shouted in my direction. "You just threw away my stuffed animals!"
I tried to step on the accelerator, but Cortlen was already out of the car and scaling the wall of the dumpster.
"I'm coming!" he screamed to the contents of the bag.
The donation man looked annoyed. The disturbance at his dumpster was ruining his cigarrette break.
"Do you want this or not?" the man asked, holding up the bag.
I starting shaking my head when I saw the horrified look on my children's faces. It has just occurred to them that maybe I had thrown away their friends ON PURPOSE.
"Big mistake," I laughed as I chucked the bag back into the car. A porpoise, two dolphins, a large single-eyed reticulated python, and a colony of howler monkeys heaved a collective sigh of relief.
"That was close," said Kellen.
"Yes it was," I replied through gritted teeth.
How, when, and where do you liquidate your stuffed animal kingdoms?