“I did not realize that paper is a type of fungus.”

May 29, 2015

Notable Stats

Paper Reproductive Rate (PRR) – The amount of time elapsed between when you pick up a piece a paper off of the floor and its return to exactly the same spot. If this is less than 10 minutes, you need to call the EPA.
Suffocation Tree Loss Quotient (STLQ) – The reduction in oxygen in your living space as a function of the trees that are being wasted from you child’s over-creativity. 

Stifle we must.
I have discussed this topic before mostly under the assumption that the situation could not possibly have gotten worse, but I was misguided. 
Paper has taken over our home and no, this is not a good thing. As my wife so eloquently expressed today, “I do not want to stifle their creativity,” however, due to the potential of death by paper, I have deemed stifling a necessity. 
Recognizing the privilege of it all, our kids have access to way too much paper. Our valiant efforts to curtail it has resulted in clandestine plots to rip paper out of my checkbook and use it to draw stick figures. Art is found everywhere, symbolized by the mural my son drew on the panel next to his car seat two years ago. In panel I am referring to the back of our decomposing snack composting mini-van. It was drawn in permanent marker as a reminder to always supply this kid with paper or you may find a mural drawn any and everywhere. Maybe on your face as you sleep. 
So we supplied our children with paper access and now it is an epidemic. 
We traveled to Chile for our honeymoon. There is this yellow flowery plant that is everywhere. It looked pretty, then we found out it was brought in as a national gift from another country and has since taken over like a floral plague. The roots are untouchable. From what I saw after understanding how much this has taken over the country, I understand if Chile declares war simply out of frustration. The Fungal War of 2015 seems reasonable.
It is my understanding that fungus does not have the process to use chlorophyll for food, so it relies on any and every other means to feed. Damp places, garbage, wet socks, cardboard, whatever. Where you least want it to be, it is there, until it takes over your life. 
However, there is another kind of fungus that grows on kitchen floors, toilet seats, car dashboards, staircases, and stove tops in plain view. It can only fairly be described as “art fungus.” 
Since art is what you make of it, this is not an insult. I make no judgement other than I would like to walk six feet in some direction in my house without seeing this kind of art on the floor. 
Do we sequester the art expression in one room? Banish it to the basement? Exorcise it to the garbage can immediately? What is the policy? 
You cannot save it all and I have quickly come to realize, you cannot destroy it all. If you wait too long to act, you will need a shovel to get in the front door of your house. For a while, no one really noticed when we snuck it into the recycling bin; now, they are starting to notice for which I reply “yes, but it needs to go back to the environment to beautify. This one piece and its six thousand brothers that are adorning our kitchen table need a new home that will equally appreciate it.” 
Then again, everything is an artistic expression, such is the life in Kindergarten, First Grade, and Pre-school. We want to celebrate it, embrace it, love it, cheer for it. But not if the dog gets lost for 3 hours because he is under a pile of paper.

- Doug Glanville

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