Having waxed with a weekly wave and smile, Raffie’s fascination with the bin men is now on the wane.
Where once he screamed with glee at seeing them stopping outside the house, this week’s anticipation has taken a more sombre tone.
“Can you send a message to the bin men Mummy?” Raffie asked. What could it be? To wish them a Happy New Year? Or ask if we can have our bin back this week? No. “Can you tell them not to take the rubbish this week as we’re keeping it. All of it.”
And so, it appears that one Mummy’s trash is a pre-schooler’s treasure.
For months Raffie has been turning into my nan, pulling things out of the recycling bag while shouting “You’re not throwing this away are you?” We have been finding new uses for bits of rubbish with varying degrees of success, inspired by ideas of all shapes and sizes-not least the enthusiasm of CBeebie’s Mr Maker.
There was the octopus crafted from the remainder of the bubblewrap. Then we have the fire engine created from two cardboard boxes hoiked out of the recycling bin and decorated with Fireman Sam stickers and a toilet roll ladder.
And I am still pulling bits of paper out of the carpet thanks to the ‘Mike in a snowstorm’ winter wonderland work of art.
We also have autumn leaves, fashioned in the image of his Grandma’s wallpaper and applied to the kitchen wall. This morning we made something shiny out of cereal box which I had tried to sneak into to the bin after breakfast.
“Have you spoken to the bin men yet?” as he caught me red-handed trying to put a toilet roll in the recycling bag. “No not yet, but they will need to come and take some of the rubbish-especially what they can’t recycle,” I sheepishly.
“OK, well don’t worry I’ve put a big bag of it in the back room so it doesn’t get mixed up. There’s all kinds of things we can keep, plastic bottle tops, boxes, cardboard and paper.”
So while the bin men have a break, Raffie has plenty to be getting on with while the rain lashes down outside. And although we’re awash with rubbish, every rain cloud has a silver lining. We can only be thankful that Raffie has almost the same enthusiasm for cleaning up afterwards, and with any luck he’ll be happy to see the bin men again soon for all the right reasons.