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bella loves containers. all sorts. all sizes. by most counts and any definition she's a container collector. as for what she does with them, she puts all the other things she collects (including containers) in them. her love of containers became curiously useful about midway through the last school year as bella went through a few-month period where she didn't want to go to school. she'd begin every morning by asking if it was a school day. if marty or i said yes it was, she screech and wail and yell about how she didn't want to go and wasn't going to go and nothing we did could make her. (1)

disliking starting my days like this, i thought for a while about what bella's currency of the minute was. oddly, the only thing that came to mind was containers. so one morning during one of her fits i went to my office and looked about for some sort of container (as i'm a bit of a box-saver myself). i found a cool sliding box that my last tech3 pen came in. i walked into bella's room and said, "hey bella, i have a box i'm not using and was going to throw it away but thought you might want it. do you?". her screeching immediately stopped and she sprang upright in her bed, immediately saying, "yes, yes, lemme see it". i handed it to her. with wide eyes she pulled the fabric loop that opened the drawer. she let out a mystified and lengthy "whoa" before announcing she knew the perfect thing for this box. she thanked me and gave me a quick hug before crossing her room to her little pet shop displays where she immediately set to clearing a spot for her new brown box.

after that success i began actively saving containers that i'd normally pitch, keeping them in yet another container (manilla envelope box) in my office, and every time we saw a bad morning i'd go fish one out of my containers and conveniently pass by bella's room on my way to the trash bin, offering her the bauble before i pitched it. i used this trick several times before bella called me out, asking if i just gave her boxes to get her out of bed. i expressed intrigue at her question and asked who would think someone would get out of bed for something as trivial as a box. she reflected on this a moment before nodding in agreement and returning her attention to the shiny container (clear, cylindrical magnet tube) she was just given.

fortunately for me her suspicion did not return the next day or the one after that. the containers were just too shiny, useful and interesting.

(1) please note an odd thing here is that bella does not dislike school. she likes it, she likes it quite a bit. what bella doesn't like and struggles with is transition. part of the reason she struggles so much with transition is she is fortunate to predominately do things she likes (e.g. sleeping, reading, little pet shops, singing, dancing, writing) which makes stopping doing one thing challenging, even if it is to move to another things she likes equally well.

also please note, she fully gets this quirk from her mother. (2)

(2) and yes, being the one responsible for documenting your home's memories does have its advantages.

JUL2011

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