When my kids were little, they loved the animated movie The Brave Little Toaster. My husband and I delighted in the fact that our kids chose a show that celebrates adventure, warmth, and above all relationships. In a way, the movie is a statement against our disposable society. The little toaster and his friends are old, neglected appliances and household items, but they are still worthy. With great effort, they find their former owner who repairs them and decides to keep them around.
But there’s a fallout from the influence of this movie: my daughter, as a rule, resists throwing anything away. This morning, when I dropped her off at school in tight jeans that should have been retired in the fifth grade (she’s a junior now), I blamed it on The Brave Little Toaster.
I need to have a talk with her. In our beloved movie, I’ll explain, inanimate things were given personalities, but the movie’s lessons of loyalty, courage, and attachment should be applied to people—not to things and not to our jeans.
Two years ago, I confiscated a pair of her pants that had enormous holes in the knees and a poorly stitched up hole in the crotch. I handed them to my husband. “These need to be thrown away,” I said, “but I’m afraid of my daughter’s wrath.” He was man enough to take care of it. My daughter was flabbergasted. Occasionally she mentions the atrocity of the crime. The worst part is, her friends came to the rescue with hand-me-downs, so now she has even more jeans that are way too tight.
I realize I could have it worse as a parent. I may think my daughter’s pants are too small, but her friends don’t think she has a problem and I’m sure her boyfriend doesn’t mind one bit. Generally, my daughter is a great kid becoming a wonderful adult. And thanks to The Brave Little Toaster, she is extremely thrifty, an overall positive trait. Notwithstanding the expensive prom dress I just bought her, she hardly ever asks for anything new.