Annabel is an extremely lucky little girl in a lot of ways. But, like a typical kid, the thing that is most important to her is her toy collection. She got all of Maddie’s old toys, and then was generously gifted many more when she was born. As she’s gotten older, her toy collection has become more vast…frankly, too vast.

Every night for the last few months, I’ve walked around our living room and play room, looking at what toys are on the floor versus in the cabinets. I started slowly culling the toys she’d outgrown and the toys that weren’t getting any attention. I put the removed toys into storage containers in our garage, and with two exceptions, she hasn’t even noticed they were gone. My plan was to donate everything before Thanksgiving.

Our garage is also our laundry room. With a toddler and a Mike, there is laundry to be done almost every other day. When I do a load of laundry, I make sure Annie is busy because I don’t want her following me. Besides the toys, the garage is full of stuff you don’t want a toddler playing with – tools, Christmas decorations, poison, things like that. But over the weekend, Mike distractedly went into the garage to throw something away and didn’t notice Annie hot on his heels. She followed him into the garage.

Her mind was blown. There was a broom for sweeping! Our Christmas Snowman! HER TOYS.

When she saw her toys, she started screaming, “My toys! My toys!” Mike scooped her up and brought her back into the house, but the damage had been done. She began standing outside the door to the garage, asking to get her toys. I told her that her toys were actually going to go to a new family with kids who didn’t have any toys. She contemplated this, then said, “Mama, can I get just one little toy? Just for a minute? Please?!”

I let her pick out one toy from the bin. To her credit, she played with it for an hour straight, an amazing amount of time for a two-year-old. But later that evening, I found the toy laying lonely in the middle of the floor. That night, I returned it to the storage bin (which had been relocated to the back of my car). She hasn’t asked about it – or any of the other toys in the bin – since.

I’m donating the toys this weekend, and Annie seems to be totally fine with this. That doesn’t mean that she’s forgotten about her trip to the garage, though. This morning she asked, “Mama? Can you get the snowman? Please?” Sorry, kid. Mama doesn’t do Christmas in October.