And, oh yeah, months of talking and coaxing and reasoning to get them to understand that it's once again time to shed ourselves of our old stuffed animals and toys and (bright side) make room for even more things.
This summer, then, we agreed, this summer we'd be cleaning everything out and hand-delivering our boxes to whatever charitable organization they chose, and yes, of course, they could include a note that asks the new recipient to please treat every item with tender loving care.
It was as good as done.
Then along came Toy Story 3.
Our kids have never really been into Toy Story. They own the first one, but never watch it, and don't own a single toy. But once they saw TS3 and loved it, they bought into all the marketing campaigns and immediately began pointing at plastic things in boxes on shelves and squealing "I want, I want, I want!"
Then they just HAD TO see TS2, which I made the huge mistake of picking up on sale because I can't resist a markdown.
Well, THAT'S really the one that did it. THAT'S the one with the toy abandonment issues. THAT'S the one that convinced them that EVERY. SINGLE. TOY. in their room is alive and missing them RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT. And, oh, Mom, just imagine how sad they'll be if we close them up in a box and they get separated from their friends, and they never see us again, and they think that we don't love them, and...
And now because TS3 is still in theatres (which, bejeebus, costs an arm and a leg to go to these days!) and it, of the three, actually does have some helpful guidance and gentle lessons about the good in the giving away of your toys, my monsters are only watching TS2, because we own it now, over and over and over, convinced that their toys would just be devastated if they ever abandoned them, refusing to even consider revisiting the donation discussion, and suddenly sleeping with ratty old bears I haven't seen in years because they were buried below miles of piles of multi-colored, anything but natural looking, faux fur, poofy stuffing and plastic googly eyes.
Because toy neglect, apparently, is totally okay.