Yesterday I gave Ethan the challenge of clearing out of his bedroom the clothes that didn’t fit anymore. It took a while.
When Ethan finally came downstairs I was delighted. His arms were laden with clothes. I imagined the empty space that would have been created and could see how much easier Ethan would find it to keep his clothes tidy. “Well done Ethan” I said, “Are all of those too small?”
“No. These are the ones I want to keep.”
There then followed an exchange in which I, belatedly, explained the rules of a wardrobe clearout, namely that the retained clothes stay in the wardrobe. Ethan then told me that he’d only found one thing that was too small for him and that was his old karate gi and he wanted to keep that. I knew this wasn’t the case but assumed Ethan’s tolerance for what fits and what doesn’t just needed calibrating.
The next day when I walked into Ethan’s room there was a huge, crumpled, messy mound of clothing in the middle of the floor. Ethan isn’t very good at clothes folding and putting away so I seized the opportunity to calibrate. It was then the truth came out. Ethan had found clothes that didn’t fit him but he hadn’t wanted them to be packed up for the charity shop because, in his words, “I want to keep them for when I get married and I have children.”