Can Reach, Will Fill

“Ayay, do you know where Tingting’s orange poky ball is?”

“Umm…” she says as her eyes roll to the upper right corner of the room — a dead giveaway that she’s lying, right?

She continues, “It accidentally got into my cardboard tube. Accidentally.

Sure enough, there’s the ball stuffed into a tube along with crumpled papers, tattered ribbons, an orange plastic necklace, a broken plastic earring, her doll’s brush, and dozens of loose beads she pocketed from her preschool.

“Oh, Mama, look! My sparkly hairclips!” Ayay exclaims with delight as she reaches the bottom of her cardboard tube.

“How did they get there?” I ask.

“It was an accident,” she tells me.

No container of any sort goes unfilled in our house. If something is within Ayay’s reach, she will fill it — her own purses and backpacks, shopping bags from under the sink, cardboard tubes from our bag of recycling, empty baskets tucked away in closets. Her most recent acquisition is a beautiful wooden box that F made me years ago. We recently moved it down from an upper shelf to a lower shelf, apparently within Ayay’s ever increasing reach. When I was dusting the other day, I picked it up and noticed it was about 5 pounds heavier than normal. I peered inside to find it filled to the brim with Ayay’s loose beads and jewels, also known to her as her “treasures.”

I gave up on trying to make Ayay empty out her acquired containers. She seems to know exactly where all of her things have gone, accident or not.




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