Having children is a humbling experience. And I’m not just referring to the part where you actually have the child and no fewer than 15 doctors and residents are fishing around inside of you for two days straight like they are inseminating a cow. . .
I’ve mentioned it before, but because I’m always amazed and humbled by the experience, here’s another example of things I thought or said I would never do. . .but have since Mac popped out.
Delusional Quote #24 – “My House Is NOT Going to Look Like a Toys R Us After a Tornado. Kids Don’t Need That Many Toys and They Should Be Kept in A Bedroom, Playroom, or Family Room.”
Ok. . .In theory part of this statement isn’t completely delusional. I still firmly believe children do not need that many toys. And Mac really doesn’t have that much stuff.
One thing I’m noticing is the actual lack of control I have over his toys. I’ve been able to keep the grandparents from going bonkers on big-ticket plastic monstrosities that could over-run our small home in one fell swoop.
Still, the adorable kid junk creeps into the house in the most well-intentioned ways: party favors, little presents from the neighbors, a plastic Easter Egg that the kid seems to be obsessed with at times. . .
Most of the items are small and resemble dog toys, so it MUST be contained. So far, I’ve been having great luck amassing the stuff in baskets. When Mac gets bored with one basket, I offer another. This has been working well – so far.
The other problem with all this shit is clearly where to PUT IT. I began by keeping it all tidy on a large book-case we purchased for his bedroom. However, as he approached 6 months I began to realize this wasn’t going to be a long-term solution because DUH his bedroom isn’t near my kitchen or laundry room – which is where I spend the majority of my pathetic and desperate days.
At first I was stubborn and every morning, I dutifully drug toys from the nursery to the kitchen and living room for him to play with. And every evening before dinner, I put all the junk away.
At some point laziness set in and I began leaving a few books and toys in the living room in a large basket. Predictably, Satan’s Lap hound had a lapse in judgment one afternoon while we were out and laid waste to several wooden toys. The toys were forced to flee again.
This time, I decided I would dedicate a small shelf we already had which fit perfectly beside the fridge for the items. I’m so clever I thought to myself. Yes, the shelf was ugly, but I figured I’d sew a cover for it.
The shelf performed beautifully for about 3 months. Of course I never got around to sewing that cover for it, but still, the items were easy to put away and easy for Mac to access. I was also enjoying watching him play on his own while I made dinner and folded laundry.
That little shelf was very sturdy. Yet, still in the recesses of my mind, I knew that there was a possibility Mac would try to pull himself up on it one day and it would likely tip forward. I considered asking Chris to tether it to the wall, however, since the shelf was hopefully just a temporary fix until the kid got a little older, I hated to make more holes in our 100-year old plaster.
And then Mac was gifted this:
And now that he can ride along on this sucker, all sorts of stuff that is mostly just for “looking” not “touching” is at his eye level. Like this:
Which means now, part of my living room looks like this:
Which is very reminiscent of Toys R Us after a tornado.
Never say never.
How do you contain your kid’s clutter? Do you have your children help you tidy up each evening? Do you relegate toys to one or several spots in your house? How often do you purge? What do you do with Legos? I’m dreading Legos! They hurt like hell to step on barefoot!