The Pencil Warden
Yes, it’s true, a little-known side of moi: I am a pencil warden, running a pencil prison where wayward pencils reside. It’s not just that they’ve gone astray in life, it’s that they are worn down to a stub, and my second son insists on using them.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe in wastefulness, as in when an item is half worn-down, or half-used, you throw the whole thing out. But there are limits.
Pasha has a love affair with long-gone things, from holey clothes or socks, to chewing on chicken bones that have not a scrap of meat on them, to stubby pencils.
“MA-ma,” he moans.
“Let it go,” I lift my hands in relief and pry open my paws, as though a great weight has been lifted from me and letting him know that he can have new pencils in return… which he will promptly sharpen down to oblivion.
Reluctantly, with a lot of dramatic exasperation, the 16-year-old presents the prisoner. We tell him that we’re saving them for a pencil museum, and figure we should have enough by the time he turns 21. I believe it may be the only pencil museum in the world, not that I’ve googled it or anything. I wonder if the interest would be there for the public to flood the place.
A bit quirky. It may prove beneficial for schools with low fieldtrip budgets. Or we could have a traveling exhibit of sorts. Might give the guy a meaningful job, since not a lot of schooling is happening with all of this pencil-sharpening going on. (And yes, we’ve tried pens, but he’s a perfectionist who needs to erase numerous times to create a paper that’s a work of art, never mind if he knows the material or not, it looks nice.)
These stubs have a way of multiplying. I have a couple in a cup by the side of my bed. I confiscated another one when we were out and about somewhere, and it’s now marking up the inside of my long wool coat’s pocket. Some more are in a ziplock in my carryon suitcase. We’re going to have to find a central holding zone and ensure that these strong-willed stubs make their way there.
This hoarding behavior comes from the dyetsky dom (orphanage) and if I turned my back, he would continue to revel in his holey socks, and chomped-clean chicken bones that he thinks still have a 5-minute gnaw left on them, and his sharpened-down pencil points.
“But Mama, they are my friends…” he argues, cradling the stubs.
We smile with understanding as the stubs come our way and he becomes used to normal life. Are you a warden in your family?
————Tags: hoarding behaviors in adopted children, how to help your child become whole, issues with older adopted children, my son's hoarding, post-adoption issues, the pencil museum, when pencils are too short to use, wordpress Rusian adoption blog