I've written about Scooter's Blue Basket that she carries her strings and small toys in and takes wherever she goes before. While she did okay keeping things contained to her basket for awhile, things have been out of hand for the last several months. To be fair, there's been a lot going on the last 8 months, and I didn't make it a priority.
Until the last few days.
Scooter has gotten into some really bad habits lately, and they've been fueled by Hopper. Hopper knows that Scooter likes to have all of her bracelets, necklaces, scarves, strings, bandannas and babies, including Penelope, with her at all times. She also likes to pick up any pair of slippers or shoes Hubster and I aren't wearing at the time and pile them with her things on the couch. Scooter also can't seem to get enough of our clothes, either, so she gets our sweatshirts, sweaters, or shirts and piles them next to her. If she's sitting on the loveseat, she covers the entire thing and sits on the front few inches of the cushion, and if she's on the couch, she ends up covering it completely, even though it's even bigger than the loveseat.
Not only is it frustrating that she claims an entire piece of living room furniture for herself, but it's also frustrating that my attempts to quell things have been so ineffective.
But Hopper is part of the reason for that. There have been times that Scooter would have been fine with only part of her things being out in the living room with her when Hopper jumps in and drags the rest of the crap out for her. And where Scooter would maybe be happy with just some of the stuff, Hopper would seek out our shoes, slippers, sweatshirts, etc., and she would empty Scooter's nightstand of all contents, (usually bracelets, necklaces, headphones and mp3 player), and bring it all out to add to the stash.
In an effort to dissuade Scooter from bringing all her things out every single day, we stopped helping her carry them. It would take her a good 15 minutes to carry everything back to her bedroom every night, and she often dropped her babies which was loosening the electronic innards. However, when we would be getting Scooter ready for bed, Hopper would drag everything back into the bedroom, and nothing would be put away where it was supposed to go.
It's been exasperating to say the least.
So the other day when Hopper was in a really good mood, I told her I needed her help to teach Scooter to keep her bedroom clean and the living room clean. I showed how some of Scooter's musical bears, her babies, are clattering inside from being dropped and how they're not going to work, if they keep being dropped when Scooter is trying to take her stuff back into her bedroom.
On Sunday, Bugster brought some belts, scarves and necklaces with her for the girls that she no longer used. Scooter loves to wear scarves to school, but Bugster helped us out and told her that she had to keep them hung up, and she couldn't keep them in her basket, or she would take them back. So we hung them up on her bedroom door and reminded Scooter they needed to stay up there, so she could wear one to school the next day.
Well, Monday morning came, and the scarves were all mixed in with the pile of stuff that makes its way around the house. We told Scooter that, because the scarves weren't hanging up like we told her they needed to be, that she didn't get to wear one to school. She handled it all really well, until Hopper decided to help a sista out and bring one of the scarves out for Scooter to wear. When we nixed the idea, she was not happy! But we held our ground. She had an okay day at school, but the moment she got home, I had her hang the scarves up on the hooks on the back of the door. When she was done, she picked out a scarf to wear around the house. Just one. And she left the rest of them hanging on the back of the door.
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.