This past week a source at TLC leaked information regarding an upcoming episode of their hugely popular show, Hoarders.
The youngest person ever to be featured on Hoarders is a 4-year-old from South Central Pennsylvania named Valerie Parker. Her mother contacted the show after realizing that Valerie had a serious problem with “letting go.” Whether it be clothes, toys or even empty fruit snack wrappers, little Val throws a fit when it comes to getting rid of things.
“At first we thought it was cute. She liked to collect things,” noted Valerie’s mother. “Then we noticed that her collections were getting quite large and when we felt it was time to pass things on–you know, old baby toys, outgrown clothes–she really threw a fit. I was fine with the Barbies and the Legos, but the snack trash and sippy cups were becoming unacceptable. And the amount of stuffed animals we have. Beanie babies and Webkins…” Mrs. Parker trailed off before breaking down in tears.
Mr. Parker reportedly tried sneaking things into garbage bags one night while Valerie was sleeping. That backfired on him when Valerie woke up the next morning and asked for specific items from the bag, such as a ratty old baby blanket that she hadn’t touched in weeks and a “very special” My Little Pony happy meal toy from McDonald’s that Mrs. Parker found under the couch that evening.
Now, fearing the loss of more possessions, the girl hardly sleeps at all and when she does, it’s only on top of a large pile of toys and clothing.
“I guess we’re somewhat to blame,” admits Mrs. Parker. “Christmas, birthday presents, gifts from the Tooth Fairy, trips to Target — including obligatory stops at the Dollar Spot. We really try not to spoil her, but, well, she’s so cute when your’e not trying to take her things away, and she asks so nicely for everything, it’s hard not to buy her things. It’s difficult when you are so good at finding the perfect gifts! Every time she would open a present she would tell us that it was exactly what she always wanted.”
Valerie is the youngest of three children, so many of her toys have been passed down from her older siblings. “She got so many hand-me-downs that we wanted her to have some new things,” Mrs. Parker rationalized. She also shamefully admits that there may have been some incidents of bribing that exacerbated the issue.
Grandparents and aunts and uncles have admittedly contributed to the problem as well. Members of the extended family declined comment, fearing a backlash from other children in the family who are actually jealous of Valerie’s massive hoard and a situation that they perceive as “unfair.”
Mrs. Parker has made efforts to explain to Valerie that they are running out of room to keep everything and that she should only keep the things that are special to her. Valerie emphatically insisted that “EVERYTHING IS SPECIAL!”
Mrs. Parker tried to rationalize with, “If everything is special then nothing is special. It’s all the same!”
Valerie retorted, “Yes! It’s all the same and it’s all SPECIAL!”
One of the show’s psychologists explains that this is a phenomenon called “Toddler Logic,” and it is impossible to break. Rational thinking is simply not effective with a child of this age.
TLC is reportedly planning on airing the episode early in 2016. There have been rumors that advertisers are unwilling to buy airtime unless the show airs after the holiday season, citing concerns of a decline in the rampant consumerism they have come to depend on at that time of year.
An anonymous source from a major toy retailer claims that they are worried that other parents will be afraid that this could happen to their child and that they will curb holiday spending as a result. Our source at TLC would not confirm that information.
As for little Valerie, she is rumored to be in aftercare therapy since the filming of her episode, as is Mrs. Parker who was removed from the home to be placed in an inpatient recovery facility. She reportedly yelled, “At least we didn’t have a house full of rat shit!” at gawking reporters who have been camped outside her home since the news leak.
It is suspected that both Valerie and her mother will be in therapy for quite some time before they can resume a normal life without so much stuff.
About the Author
Melanie Madamba is The NotsoSuperMom: forever nerd, mother of three, and coffee addict. Not to be confused with a Super Mom or anyone else who seems to have it together. She writes to escape the laundry and to pretend someone is listening to her. If you are trying to avoid your laundry, you can kill some time checking her out on Facebook, Pinterest or the Twitter.