Madison has entered an interesting stage. A hoarding and hiding stage. She gathers up all her favorite treasures and stashes them away. In a backpack, a tote bag, a mixing bowl, whatever she can find. She collects all her favorite things and makes sure that they are all together and are accessible to only her.
Sidenote: this reached a new level immediately after Reagan's family birthday party. She was beyond jealous at the influx of new toys that were not for her. Under the guise of "Reagan is letting me play with her toys" she started sneaking the new stuff away and hiding everything in her bedroom. Poor Reagan has had over half of her new birthday toys, including things that Reagan has chosen with her gift cards and picked out herself, squirreled away, uncovered only when I notice something is missing or clean Madison's room. If this is how birthdays are going to be for the next few years, I'm going to need to find another way to celebrate.
Anyway, some of the categorizing and carrying around is cute. She's into all things girly and Disney, so she has a collection of Palace Pets and Baby Princesses. She'll choose a princess and take all the corresponding paraphernalia, put it all in a bag, and bring it everywhere with her, including her bed. So we have Baby Aurora and Beauty the Palace Pet and the crown and the comb and the brush and the squirrel and "her mom", which is a plush doll. Then she adds color coordinated berries from their berry sorting game (red berries for Aurora, purple grapes for Rapunzel, yellow bananas for Belle, etc, etc) so the "girls" and their pets will have enough snacks to get them through the day.
A few days ago, the stash she was playing with her Magi-Clip princesses from Frozen. She is absolutely obsessed with Frozen, Elsa, and Let it Go. She has the movie pretty much memorized and acts out all her favorite scenes with Elsa and Anna (Anna is technically Reagan's, but we've already determined that doesn't really matter). She went into our princess bin and pulled out Elsa, Anna, their dresses, their change of dresses, the snow globe, the scepter, the ring, the mirror, basically everything that had come in that particular package. She brought them to preschool that morning, in bed for her rest, in the car for dance, up to her room to play with before bed, back down the next morning.
Two days after that, she was whimpering that she couldn't find Elsa or all her stuff. They were lost forever! I checked all her usual spots - the drawers of the end tables, all the bags, the appliances in her play kitchen, the bottom of Reagan's diaper pail (no, I am not kidding). I pulled out her bed. I checked her dresser. I tiptoed into a napping Reagan's room and checked there. I checked the bathroom. I checked my car. Nope, nope, and more nope.
She was approaching the depths of despair. We were out of places to look. I was almost sure that Elsa was in the house somewhere, but I couldn't imagine what new place she'd discovered.
To be a hoarder is one thing. To be a hoarder who can't remember where she hid things is another. She was completely at a loss.
We gave up, with a vague "well, she'll turn up somewhere", and moved on. Reagan woke up from her nap, and I put on a show for the girls. I got them a snack, and Madison requested some dry cereal. She can reach the cereal, so she pulled the box off the counter...
And there was Elsa. Scepter, mirror, ring, and all.
Stashing toys in the food? I think that's the last straw.
Any advice for how to break a hoarder habit? Anyone else have a preschool bag lady?