As Heather asked in the comments on this post, "what happened to the rule about if your hands aren't on it then it's up for grabs?" Yeah. Well. Here's the thing.
I have two children who are at developmentally different stages. Kate is just now hitting the point where things need to be lined up and in order. She spends most of her day lining up various object against walls, cabinets and edges of rugs. This is pretty much what should be happening around 2 1/2 years old but she's starting it early. Lucy wants to do everything that Kate does even if it's not something she's ready for/interested in. Thus, she makes piles of toys right next to Kate and then, while Kate is off in search of something else to add to her line up, Lucy pilfers from Kate's lineup or just kicks it into a jumble. This leads to screaming.
Lots. Of. Screaming.
And relocating of toys. Kate, when she's not lining things up, spends the rest of her time keeping Lucy from taking stuff/moving it around/kicking the lineup and finally just ends up relocating her stash around the house. These pics were taken on the same day (with two costume changes in-between).
We start in our jammies grabbing as many dolls as we can hold...
Thus, the rule that I just mentioned had to be amended. The rule still holds most of the time but I had to do something about this type of play. And, of course, it causes a bit of consternation on everybody's part trying to figure out how to maneuver this new ground. Am I going to create a hoarding situation? Maybe. So far I have not.
All I do know is that this parenting gig is a moving target. The job description stays the same (like teaching them to be polite, healthy, mindful, intelligent, and socially responsible humans) but the method for attaining those lofty goals seems to change hourly.