I want to talk about those little plastic milk rings. You know the ones; those obnoxious things that insure that the lid of the milk jug will not suddenly pop off in transit and spill that precious white liquid out before it can reach the store.
I am convinced within myself that these little nuisances are invisible to the eye of anyone under 15. I don’t really know when they become visible to the eye. It is sometime between 15 and adulthood. When It happens I’ll let you know. It is as if, once removed from the milk jug, they disappear into thin air. Poof! Just like that.
Only that is not what really happens. If you are an adult you know what happens…it ends up on the floor. I think there is a progression. It comes off the jug, and the children think it goes poof, but really it falls to the counter. Sometime in the next few minutes it falls to the floor. Then it gets kicked around for a while until someone over 15 walks into the room and picks it up and throws it away.
This is the strangest phenomenon. When asked, all children in the room will deny any knowledge of said plastic ring.
I have seen this same phenomenon in play with all kinds of trash. I have conducted an experiment. I saw a piece of wadded up paper on the floor in the hallway. I did not pick it up. I did not yell at anyone else to pick it up. I did not interrogate the entire family to find out who put it there. I noted the date, and waited…and waited…and waited. 3 weeks I waited, until I could wait no more. You see, that hallway had been vacuumed 6 times during those 3 weeks. By 3 different children. And still the piece of paper remained. When questioned, not one of those 3 children remembered seeing the piece of wadded up paper. I have surmised that it is trash in general that is invisible to the eye of anyone under 15.
To further complicate my experiment, I have noticed this invisibility phenomenon also seems to relate to some non-trash items like pencils. We have homeschooled in some form or another for 10 years and I have seen this problem skyrocket. No matter how many pencil holding devices I buy or systems I put it place, pencils continue to pop up in odd places, like the floor…in the bathroom. Why? I don’t think I want to know.
I thought I had the invisibility phenomenon beat this year, at least the pencil aspect of it. I bought each child their own color pencil. Just FYI, finding 4 different color pencils was quite a trick. But I did it. And it worked…for a while.
When ever I saw a pencil on the floor I could know immediately whose it was. What a wonderful solution, until…one child ran out of his color pencil. I scoured the stores for purple pencils, they were everywhere in September, but could not be found now. So I had to add another color into the mix. Then as the year wore on, they would get other pencils, cute ones with cars or Barbie on it. But once it hit the floor, suddenly it belonged to no one; it could no longer be seen by anyone under 15.
I think the root of this problem is the Tooth Fairy…now hear me out. We teach our littlest, most impressionable of children that when they put a piece of trash (an old tooth) under a pillow, a fairy comes and takes it away for them, and even leaves them money!
I think this begins a deep seeded belief in fairies, I think…the root of this whole invisibility problem, is that my kids believe in the Trash Fairy.
Ladies and gentleman, I’m here to tell you, I did not like being the Tooth Fairy and I definitely don’t like being the Trash Fairy.
I am in search of an antidote to this Invisibility/Fairy Phenomenon. If I find it, I’ll pass it on for the good on mankind.
If you have one, please oh please tell me what it is!