Nowadays, it seems like you can't turn on TV without seeing a show about junk hoarders, animal hoarders or kings and queens of clutter! Most of it is so riveting you can't even change the channel, despite knowing you will try eating a few hours later, but won't be able to because of the nauseous dirty feeling after watching any of these shows. But what you don't see is a show about baby hoarders and by baby hoarders I don't mean Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt who hoard babies, I mean kids who have a tendency to hoard.
Hoarding is all about acquiring stuff. Specifically, hoarding is the excessive acquisition of stuff and/or the inability to get rid of it, even if the stuff is hazardous, worthless, or unsanitary. A compulsive hoarders' life is filled with such muckery that they can not even do basic life functions like take care of them selves, cleaning, cooking, bathing and even sleeping. A child needs help taking care of themselves anyway - so its like a double whammy having a baby hoarder under your roof.
I speak frequently about Hoarders, not because I am a hoarder, or even that I know a hoarder, but I speak about them because I am fascinated by how mucked up some people's coconut can be that they think it is OK the live with 125 alpacas inside their house or for them not to take out their trash for three years. What's up with that?
I know hoarding is a mental disorder, and I am not making fun of them, on the contrary - I have great compassion for them, I am just thankful that I do not have any hoarding tendencies! Well, my sneaker addiction excluded of course, and having four dogs hardly qualifies me as an animal hoarder.
From my Greek Blonde perspective I think there might be some early warning signs that someone is pre-disposed to hoarding. So in my best attempt to provide a public service announcement to prevent future hoarders, here is Ava's 10 ten signs that your kid might be a hoarder:
- When they were little they didn't just bring home their own art work - they brought home all of their classmates' art work and insist that you put it all up on the refrigerator.
- You found their secret collection of used q-tips stashed away under their bed.
- They don't complain when you stop at garage sales, in fact they encourage it.
- They have so many toys and clothes thrown around that when you tell them to clean up their room they ask you, "where is it?"
- At Christmas time they throw a temper tantrum when you start to throw away the gift wrap. The wrapping paper is just as important to them as the toy inside.
- They have more stuffed animals than a carnival midway.
- In their bedroom you can find real green eggs and ham.
- The scratching noise you have heard for days were the two racoons they let inside the basement and have been feeding
I am sure that not all children who have collections of have eaten marshmallow peeps stuffed into their sock drawer or collect dead flies will become hoarders, however, my Dad had an old Greek saying that was, "better safe than sorry." Well Ok, I'm not sure if that was a Greek saying or not, but with my Dad's accent everything he said sounded very Greek - just sayin'