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We keep an evil secret in Geeklet #4’s bedroom closet.  Don’t tell anyone.  It’s something that freaks me out every time I think of it.

When I was a kid, I had approximately three toys.  I always wondered why all the other kids on the block seemed to have way more than I did.

When SuperDad was a kid, his family “threw” toys and money at him (his choice of verb, not mine) as their way of showing love.  He always wondered if he really needed all that stuff.

So, when SuperDad and I had our first Mini-Me, we decided to aim for a happy medium: not spoiling our kids beyond all reason, but also making sure they had plenty of things to play with.  Unfortunately, we frequently feel that we’ve totally missed the mark when it comes to the Geeklets’ toys.  We try our best, but . . . you know what they say about well-laid plans.  This is where our evil secret comes in.

The secret most evil is this: the toys in the closet self-replicate.

I’m not joking!  They do!  Every time I open that dreaded closet door, there’s more and more of them.  They must go at it like bunny rabbits whenever the light’s off.

I don’t know how to make it stop.  How do you “fix” a toy?  Does one spay a teddy bear, or neuter it?  Can you even figure out if it’s male or female?  I’ve discussed this with the Geekelts, and they have no idea, either.

I swear it’s not our fault.  We only buy toys for birthdays and Christmas.  Granted, we have a lot of birthdays around here, and Christmas can be pretty crazy if I find good stuff on the clearance aisle, but good grief, it’s not like they get a huge pile of stuff.  For the most recent birthday, we gave our oldest Geeklet one present.  One.  A bike.  Which we don’t even keep in the evil closet!

I can not count how many times in 2013 I went through this house and filled trash bags full of toys to donate.  Each time, I filled at least one 13-gallon bag to the max and took it to Goodwill.  Each time, I confined the toys we kept to the toy-box and the closet.  After the last purge, I actually put the toy-box *in* the closet.  It was all very neat and tidy, compact, and organized.

A week later, I had to hang a little dress up in Geeklet #4’s room.  I opened the closet door, and out spilled an avalanche of Mega Bloks, Barbies, hoola-hoops, trains, Legos, stuffed animals, action figures, game pieces, Transformers, Hot Wheels, baby dolls, tea sets, Pez dispensers, Little People, balls, bats, boomerangs, and boats.  I may have let out a small shriek.

Where did it all come from?!?  We hadn’t bought a single thing that week!  No one had a birthday, and it was still pre-Christmas.  SuperDad and I had a pow-wow about it that evening, being very logical and sensible, keeping our emotions out of it, and searching for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  The simplest and only available explanation was self-replication.

The problem is, these self-replicating toys don’t stay in the evil closet.  Oh, no!  First they creep out into the corners of the Geeklets’ bedrooms.  The vaccuum chokes on them under the beds.  The doors won’t open all the way because of toys piled up behind them.

Soon, there are toys in the bathroom.  I sweep back the shower curtain and find Barbie, Batman, and the three (stuffed) little piggies having a party in the tub.  Toy soldiers spill out of the medicine cabinet.  There’s a Hot Wheels at the bottom of the toilet.

Before I know it, they’re getting under my feet.  The audaciousness!  Lying right in the middle of the front room, scattered in the hall, camouflaged on the rug by the kitchen sink!  Those evil self-replicating toys booby-trap my house.

And that is how I know when it’s time to do another purge.  If I’m tripping on them, they need to go.  Goodwill should appreciate toys that self-replicate.  When someone buys one, two more will appear on the shelf.

And those lucky children whose parents shop at the thrift store!  Before they know it, their toys will be self-replicating, too.  Before they know it, glorious piles of stuff will be spilling out of their closets and hiding under their sofas.  Before they know it, their parents will be tripping on Mega Blok booby-traps.

And so, the cycle continues.  When will it end?  Perhaps when the Geeklets are all grown up.  At that point, we might keep a few precious, well-loved rag dolls and stuffed animals on a shelf somewhere, but everything else will be gone.  I’ll make sure of it.  Gone.  G-O-N-E gone.  And then . . . peace.

Until the grown-up Geeklets give us some grandchildren.