Since my child discovered she had an opposeable thumb, she has been crazy about rocks. I have never seen a child so obsessed with them. She used to try to put them in her mouth. When she outgrew that, she begin picking up rocks out of parking lots and driveways. It never made a difference whether they were attractive or unusual, she just liked plain old gravel rocks. She begin to stuff her pockets with them. A lot of our clothes became “stone washed” because I couldn’t manage to keep those rocks out of those pockets and out of the washing machine. There was constant rattling when loads of laundry were run. We fished pebbles out of the dryer lint. When she was old enough to go to school, she filled her backpack with rocks. They were alway ugly, mousy rocks and they looked all alike to me, but heaven help you if you threw one away. She would know in a minute and squawk indignantly. The rocks wore holes in the corners of her backpack. I understand her love of rocks as I have always loved them myself, but I have never been attracted to ugly rocks, only beautiful ones. My favorite stone is agate, which turned out to be my zodiac stone. Who knew? I attempted to shift her attention from ugly rocks to pretty rocks by giving her a grab bag of smooth, colored tumbled rocks. Those promptly found their way onto the carpet and into the vacuum cleaner. We took her to see an exhibition of rocks and minerals, which she adored. She promptly demanded the purchase of yes, more rocks, from the gift shop. I have been showing her pictures of attractive rocks and minerals in hopes of sublimating her interests away from gravel rocks, but she still loves them and picks them up anyway. As far as precious rocks go, her birthstone is the ruby which is lovely. Her father finally had to forbid her to pick up or bring home any more rocks. I guess we will make an exception if she finds something rare and beautiful. Fortunately, as she has gotten older, her interests have turned more to boys and drawing and coloring and music, so the cheerful rattle of the rocks in the washer, dryer and vacuum are pretty much gone. Maybe one day she will bring home a nifty fossil or a colorful mineral and we can set up a little display for her. In the meantime, the rock habit seems to have burned itself out for the time being. We are invaded by rocks no more.