Friday, February 17, 2012

Light Sabres in the Living Room

I go back and forth on this issue - How tidy should I expect my living room to be when still have a small child with toys? I mean, is there any point in even trying to keep it tidy?
I mean, look. I have artfully arranged cushions in beautiful fabrics, and there are two (co-ordinating) baskets - full of light sabres, spoiling everything. Oh, and a dog cage right in the middle too.

Like many American houses, we have a family room and a more formal room (that is hardly ever used). This is the family room so I should really lower my standards somewhat. I mean, it's not as if we have armies of guests trouping through the house every day.

But sometimes I think it would be nice not to have to watch TV sitting in between a couple of boxes of Lego and a pile of video games.

Here it is from the opposite angle. If you look really carefully, you can see tons of teeny lego pieces on a ledge under the window.

And then there's the eternal question. Should I even bother to tidy it up (or have him tidy it up) when it's all going to come out again the next day? Although standing on a piece of Lego is to be avoided at any cost.



  1. The eternal questions. They'll be in your past before you know it.

  2. I have suffered with this issue myself, yearning for a tidy room without toys destroying its decor. Now, looking back on the days my kids were little, I can't imagine it went so fast, or at least it seems it went by so fast.

    So don't sweat it and be Zen about it. Enjoy this phase, toys and all.

    Having said that, it is good training for your kids if you can get them in the habit of helping you pick up before they go to bed. Which is so much easier said than done.

  3. At the moment my living room is half filled with a Lego/wooden block/dinosaur structure which looks a bit like Jurassic Park designed by Ikea.

    The playroom can't be used because it is taken up with toy train traci.

    The Doctor and I keep muttering that it must be cleared up, but half of me feels what's the point (like you), because it will reappear tomorrow.

  4. I have the same goings ons in my home, a four year old and a ton of toys, I let it go for a while and then turn into crazy ranting and raving mum, making 4 year old help me get that stuff in his room with only 3 things allowed in the living room, and then it all begins again......

    Just tonight I had to ask my 4 year old to please move a couple of cars from the front of the cable receiver so I could change the channel.... A whole row of 25 cars lined up along the cabinet....

    Oh the joys

  5. In the top photo I noticed the cage in the background; isn't the little guy outgrowing it by now. You should think about getting a larger one soon.

    Just a handy child-rearing tip from someone who has been there ;)

  6. You have a lovely room! It is homely & lived in. We have a very similar room (with a few more muddles) a rabbit hutch & run and grand childrens' toys heaped in baskets or containers.
    We also have a *proper lounge* that is hardly touched and no one ever seems to want to go in there.
    I am relieved that your home is not so far removed from mine. (Except for the fact there is a 3,000 mile pond in between!)
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  7. I used to put all of Rory's toys behind the sofa and pretend they weren't there.

    Have to say, I love your cushions!

  8. once, when i stepped on one too many lego pieces, i gathered the whole pile up and put them out of the house. true story. i probably stood in the way of my son becoming an engineer!

    now, i can say with the benefit of hindsight, enjoy those light sabers and lego pieces. much too soon the house will be tidier than you can bear. and what if he wantst o be an engineer?

  9. It won't last long, then you'll be wishing for the day you had lego in the lounge!

    If you have a family room and a formal room, can you not claim the formal room as your place to relax? We only have one lounge so I insist it is tidied of toys (mainly horses) at bedtime so that it is an adult lounge at night. Daughter has accepted that and just does it. Now, how do I get hubby to clear his stuff up?

  10. I have no children at home but my sitting room has all sorts of apparently tidy but infuriating piles, piles of magazines, piles of papers, piles of books waiting to be read. I just have fewer people to blame!

  11. You need a basement! Since moving to Canada from the UK, I can heartily endorse them! The kids go down there to play on weekend mornings and my husband and I still get our lie-in...

  12. Can the toys not be decanted into his room?

    I'm all for the homely look - My house is never in move-in for a magazine shoot condition!

    As has been said, this time passes all too quickly.

    Mine just turned twenty this month - Where does the time go, Expatrice?

    So bitter-sweet...


    Fhi x

  13. Fhi - his bedroom is three floors up, so a right "clart" getting them out, and of course, they don't get put back straight away.

    What I did in this house, (which we gutted and pretty-much re-built on the inside) was put the kitchen and family room in the basement. What often happens in Chicago is that your family room (plus kids) are in the basement, and the kitchen is upstairs. Not a good plan when you have a small child on its own, as my youngest was. All in all, the kitchen in the basement works well, and the hubs and I often use the upstairs living room. But the toys are still there.....

  14. take my word for it, when they are gone you will NEVER wish for toys, legos, light sabres to be scattered around the room. don't believe a word of it! you will savour the neatness and orderliness of it all... for about 10 mins ~ because then the grandkids come and there's even MORE stuff. I would turn underneath that lovely built in bench with cushions into a cupboard and stash light sabres in there.
    he's only going to knock stuff of shelves anyway with those things. doesn't the poor child have an iphone or an ipad or d.s. to keep him busy and stop him moving about so much?

  15. Sadly Clippy, that ledge is solid, otherwise it would indeed have been a giant toy box. We lowered the floors by about two feet, and since our house is joined onto next door's we had to reinforce the perimeter so that we didn't do any damage to their basements.

  16. Aw the age old question of every good Mama. Messy house vs fun house:) I picked fun house, there will be enough years with no toys on the floor when they are grown up and gone.


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