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I'm a Proud Toy Killer (just don't tell my kids)

With my little DNA particles back in school, that means I now have time to have that second cup of coffee in peace, read the entire newspaper and finally shave my legs in the morning. But the best thing about being alone in the house again is that I can start purging all the crap in my daughters' bedroom.

Yes, I am a murderer of toys.

With my unsuspecting daughters sitting in class, I can be as brazen as I want, filling 39-gallon Hefty lawn bags with broken Barbies, Lite Brite pegs, Leap Frog cartridges, My Little Pony brushes, the bones and organs from a long-dead Operation game, dried out magic markers with missing caps, crayon nubs, about 200 stuffed animals, 1,200 Happy Meal toys, a Polly Pockets roller coaster and – best of all – that creepy doll that blurts out comments when nobody else is around. Like the Grinch before his heart grew, I tote it all off with glee to the consignment shop or the trash pile.

A few of my mom friends are horrified that I do this. They act like I am breaking a sacred child-mother bond, betraying my own flesh and blood. One mom I know keeps a box of toys for every year of her child's life. Of course, she has an attic and a garage – two spaces I don't. One friend suggested I let the girls pick out what they want to get rid of and sell the rejects at a garage sale so they can be happy knowing that some other child is enjoying them.Yeah, right. Obviously this woman is unaware of the universal kid rule that says no toy is more desirable than the one being taken away by another child. Another mom confessed that she does her toy snatching at night, after her kids have gone to bed. Hmmmm … nope, too risky.

No, the only way to reduce toy mountain in a pain-free, non-confrontational way is to do it while they are in school. I don't have any real guilt over this. I refuse to think I'm inflicting some deep psychological scar on my kids. My philosophy is simple: Mom giveth, mom taketh away.

Some things, like junk mail and neglected toys, just deserve to be tossed.

When my 9-year-old daughter asks me for the 100th time what happened to her two-seater doll stroller that was the size of a monster truck, I shrug and do my best to look deeply troubled. Then I lie. "Gee honey, maybe Grandma took it on her last visit."