Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dumpster Diving

I come by dumpster diving honestly: my grandpa did it, my dad did it (I specifically remember him finding a sandwich in the garbage at the lake one time and, after not being able to convince anyone else to eat it, ate it himself!  To his credit though, that is the only instance of dumpster diving I remember him doing, albeit pretty gross.)

I have taken dumpster diving to a whole new level though.  Not only did I find quite the treasure, but I made my oldest son do it for me!  After all, the "treasure" was for him and his suboordinate (Mitchell) so why not make him do the actual gathering of the item?

Let me back up a bit to give a little perspective on why a mother would possibly make her 5-year-old son get somthing out of the garbage.  One of our neighboring houses is being demolished.  It is being completely leveled to the ground, and it is an awesome thing to watch, even for me!  In order to get the best seats to watch this fantastic show, we parked our butts down in the ally, not 10 feet away from the tractor performing the amazing feat of knocking down walls and tearing down chimneys and causing total and utter destruction.  It was awesome.  Try to ignore the fact that we were actually sitting on the ground in a dirty ally, leaning our backs against someone else's garage door, hoping it didn't open on us and send us falling backwards into someone's garage.  It is at these times, when we are having so much fun doing something or watching something we don't normally get to do or see, that I wonder if providing a new and exciting experience for my boys is worth the fact that it is filthy and we are actually sitting on the ground getting covered by the dust of a newly demolished building.  Obviously, I chose fun over cleanliness this time.

So there we were, sitting on the ground, watching one man working a tractor, one man spraying the mess with a fire hose, and one man just sitting on the fence watching ("supervising" I presume.  Wish I had his job), when something caught my eye on top of the garbage bins next to us.  Now this was actually on top of the garbage bins, not actually in the bins, so it's OK, right?  It looked to me like a child's workbench, taken apart and placed on top of the bins.  The bins were squished in between the work site and the next building, so I couldn't actually reach the workbench to check it out, so I lifted Ben up and onto the bins, and he crawled across them to give me a report on what he found there.  His glowing report was that it was, indeed, a fully intact and clean workbench that had been taken apart a bit in order to fit in the small space, but otherwise in great shape!  He dragged it back to me, and we quickly carried it a block back to our house (quickly in case someone somehow knew that I had just taken a toy out of the garbage and scolded/criticized me for my disgusting act.) 

       We cleaned the thing up, brought it upstairs, put all our tools in/on it, and it is our new favorite toy!  The funny thing is, we almost bought this very same toy for Mitchell at Christmas last year, but it was more money than we wanted to spend on just one toy, so we passed.  Should I be finding and bringing home someone else's garbage (or, more correctly, encouraging my child to do so?)  My final thought on the matter is that when the "treasure" is good enough, the answer is a big "yes!" 


  1. I say 'go for it'. Good stuff!!

  2. It's a skill all boys need for when the get old enough to go to the dump for you. They'll be bringing home more than they leave.

  3. haha...we don't "go to the dump" here. It all goes into the bins and someone else takes care of it for us.



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