Tuesday, November 11, 2014

De-Toddlering Your Home

Don't worry - I'm not going to suggest ways to "forget" your two year old for a few hours while on a shopping trip! I'm sure you can come up with your own tips anyway.

No, I was trying to organize my fairly large pantry the other day and noticed that I had two tupperware boxes for pills and medicines, one labeled "Kids" and the other labeled "Adults". I know. How organized eh? Not only that, but they were up so high that I practically needed a step-ladder to get to them. My youngest is now 11, and since he can reach the same shelves as me now, and  probably be trusted not to down half a bottle of gummy Vitamins in one go, the boxes can come down to a sensible height. I also realized that in most cases, he's too big for the child medicines anyway. I no longer need to separate our stuff. Yahoo! More shelf space.

Then I thought about the other night when we had a brief power cut/outage. No one could find a torch/flash-light, until we remembered that they were all squirreled away on a cupboard shelf that only my 6'4" husband can reach. Anyone else used to have kids who loved to play with torches (flashlights) but could never remember where they'd left them? Now though, the 11 year old has assured me that if he uses one, he will put in back in its new home, the bottom drawer. (I may regret this decision.)

Similarly, I can now leave hand creams visible in drawers, confident that they won't be squirted over the sink taps (as a joke) or used on the dog. My lipsticks, should they be lying around in a loo/bathroom somewhere, won't end up all over a small face and the walls, nor will the toilet roll be spun empty and shoved down the loo. (Shuddering at the memories.)

 Not my child, but the mess was the same. 

It's amazing how much one's life has to change to accommodate small children isn't it? And how long it takes us to recognize when we are FREE from it all. Now, I don't have to help him get dressed, although it doesn't pay to move too far away as he needs quite a bit of chivvying still. Teeth can be brushed without my help although again, the allotted few minutes in the morning never seems to be enough and I frequently have to threaten going back to the mommy-brushing of days past. I can leave a room without having to do a safety-scan (what can he destroy? what could fall on him and kill him?) although I am still in the habit of telling him where I'm going as he once forgot and opened the front door, looking for me.

But like I said - FREE AT LAST!


  1. Yes, that freedom is long-earned. Which is why I resent that I have to tuck the chairs under the table if I leave the kitchen, so that the dog can't jump on the table (he probably wouldn't, now he's not a puppy any more, but I don't want to find out the hard way).

  2. I'm with you - FREE!

    But, I still find myself telling my (college-age) son things that he should already know. Old habits die hard.

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  4. Thank God we move every 4 or 5 years or I'd probably still have a cupboard full of sippy cups and latches on all of the toilets and drawers. When we moved to Seoul and I was cleaning things out, I found infant Tylenol in my medicine chest - mind you, the youngest kid was already 14 at the time.

  5. MsC - glad I'm not the only one. I am even questioning why I'm keeping half the Mementoes since none of the kids are interested in them. Perhaps they'll thank me later.

  6. @Gigi - don't worry, my dad still tells me stuff as if I don't know it, and I'm 44!


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