This is Birthday Week! My little boy is turning 5 this week and I have been stashing away little this-and-thats all over the boat for months like a squirrel preparing for winter. But I have to say, hiding presents on a boat is like hiding a herd of elephants in a cottage. Even though we don't give "big" gifts - mostly books and some little handmade (etsy, not me) things - they still need to hide somewhere until the big day.
When Z was little, it was a no brainer because he was unable to open the funky latches that secure every cabinet and closet and cubby aboard. But now he has the know-how and the dexterity to access them all. So what's a mama to do? I tuck and stuff and hide as best I can. Between folded shirts, inside of winter boots, way up in the fore peak where I know (i hope) he never ventures. My closets are literally bursting at the seams.
(This is the fore peak, the very front locker of the boat. In these plastic bins and generally stuffed about we keep the off season clothes, books to rotate into the book nook, reusable holiday items, winter heaters, camping gear, and somewhere in there our storm sail and spinnaker.)
The only thing scarier than the closets before birthday time is the back of my car. The trunk space of a car belonging to a liveaboard is a scary, mysterious thing any time of the year. It's our storage, our catch all, our garage. But now before birthday week, it's also another place to stash gifts. I drive a 12 year old Honda Civic. You add one Britax Regent car seat (we call it "the throne" and my husband jokes that it's worth more than the car) and there's not much space left. for little things like, oh, groceries for the week.
I've also been doing a de-stash of toys and books that are not seeing enough action. Yes, I am the Toy Gestapo. If an item isn't pulling its weight, it's outta here. Books get donated to the library. Toys get passed on to younger kids we know or to a charity. Zach is at the age (finally) where he understands this process. Sometimes he'll ask for a certain toy, and I'll say, "Ok, what are we going to get rid of so that we have space for that toy?" It's not always a straight this-for-that, but it makes him think about what he really values. What gets me REALLY excited is when he comes to me on this own free will and says, "You can give this to a child who really needs it. I don't need it anymore mommy."
And the waterline raises one more centimeter.