A three year old’s collections

Ez has loved order since she was tiny. She enjoys nothing more than to line things up or group them – arranged by height, or type or colour. I have come into a room to find she’s sorted our huge array of HappyLand people into pairs of people that look similar, and filled our coffee table with these odd couples. She gets visibly anxious if there’s an odd number of something. She likes her things to be in set places.

One of Ez’s enduring habits is building little collections of things and filing them away somewhere. So I’ll open up a random box and discover all her treasures, carefully squirrelled away – hidden and then forgotten. She’s not fussy about the vessel and I’ve found collections in all sorts of containers, from old baby bottles, to tins, to little handbags. Everyday objects that are suddenly imbued with a value and importance from broken crayons and plastic toys to a single rubber band. Each collection has a reason behind it, to Ez it has a purpose. There is a theme that ties the items together. It won’t be obvious to me, but if she comes across a long-forgotten collection she’ll immediately recall what this particular grouping represents. “Oh, there’s the food for baby, I haven’t had that for ages.” “Mummy, look what I found – it’s all my things I packed for work.”

Ez’s habit used to irritate me. We’ll be missing the final piece of a jigsaw for weeks on end, until I’m on the verge of throwing it out, when I’ll come across one of her collections, and there I’ll find that jigsaw piece. But the other day, when I was on a mission to find and retrieve all the lost bits and pieces, I realised how much I should cherish these little glimpses into her mind. It’s not often I’m treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of her amazing imagination.

And so I thought I’d start to photograph the collections I unearth. And then I’ll post them here so both she and I can look at them together when she’s older and remember Ez when she was three.

5 comments to A three year old’s collections

  • These are the kind of things I like to write down too to share when they are older. Definitely a fab glimpse into her psyche…though missing out those odd puzzle pieces would drive me a little nuts too :)-

  • That’s so sweet, my curly haired beauty used to group all my lotions and potions together in height order, I never minded (secretly pleased) until OH said I was passing on my OCD trait! Its a great idea to take photos, the ones I took are priceless a real snapshot of how they were and they do grow up so fast!

  • Maxi is a collector too. I have him an old wooden box that MadDad made in CDT to hold some of his things in. He loves stones and gems. I have no idea where he gets it from as I was never a collector. I used to wonder how people collected all those rubbers, badges and other stuff

  • My now seventeen year old niece used to arrange her ‘Beanie’ toy collections. At first glance it wasn’t always clear how they’d been categorised in her three year old mind. I will never forget when I asked her to explain and she said; ‘These are the hoofed animals’.

  • Ellie’s a bit like that: loves lining things up, grouping them together & putting them in bags. This is a great idea; we need to make the most of these moments while we can, & create memories for the future. I’m looking forward to seeing the pics!

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