- Mess!! So much mess. My daughter is like a tiny tornado and can wreak havoc and destruction way quicker than I can tidy it. I would like to call my house shabby-chic but the chic has been replaced with choc, choc stains. Pre kids I used to protect my cream carpet (huge mistake I know) like it was a near extinct species. Now I give zero shits. It’s past saving. We bought a carpet cleaner but it’s no match for my mess makers but who wants to buy a new carpet when we are still in baby food flinging phase, I mean baby led weaning phase. My bad.
- Noise. A cacophony of noise. A sarcastic thanks to all the people who hate us who bought our kids noisy toys. Also my kids are high pitched squealers. It’s deafening. Ten minutes in my home and you’ll begin to understand the phrase ‘I can’t hear myself think’, I really can’t.
- Toys – I think they breed when I’m not looking. Toys everywhere. I keep buying things to contain them and then another birthday or Christmas arrives and more appear! The worst is my sons birthday two days before Christmas. Boxing Day is like trying to organise a toy shop in our tiny house. First world problem but do be mindful of creating expectations. We should have started out much smaller but how do you tell well meaning relatives that you don’t want more toys?! And when we have, they just bought them anyway.
- Smell – if I have guests arriving my little angel will do a toe curlingly smelling poop right before I open the door. And as she moves further into toddlerhood and away from breastmilk these just become, well like adult poo.
- Anything reflective has handprints on it. Once my fireplace glass had an exact face print of my son on it. It was so impressive we didn’t want to clean it off. I have to keep my blinds up on my patio windows at all times because Baby Ginge likes to crush my expensive blinds but them being up allows sticky finger prints. There is literally no point cleaning them. There is more where that came from seconds later. We actually went to the length of mounting the TV on the wall to avoid sticky fingers but somehow they still get up there. I don’t know how. They must turn into tiny Spider-Men when I leave the room.
- Full wash bins. Not a wash bin. We have four now and they are always overflowing. I have to do one wash a day as a minimum to keep on top of it. A gastro bug or holiday has me chasing my washing tail for weeks!
- Your media channels are no longer your own. Netflix is full of recommendations of kids shows instead of the shows you actually want to watch. Just piss off Barney you big purple idiot. My son refers to my Ipad as his ‘bipad’. And YouTube is operating under the incorrect assumption that I would like to watch surprise egg videos (that is when I can get the bipad touch screen to work through the sticky gloop on the front).
- Plates of untouched food wrapped up in cling film in the fridge. My daughter hasn’t quite reached the fussy stage yet (can I naively hope she doesn’t?) but my son will mostly look at a plate and say ‘yuk, that’s gross, I don’t like it’ and refuse many a meal. Even if he just ate it and loved it a week ago. Tonight he asked for sausage pasta and was super excited for it. I put it in front of him and he said he couldn’t eat it because ‘he was tired and itchy’. I did not walk back into the kitchen, roll my eyes, sigh and mutter FFS…
- You are late for everything. I used to always be early and prided myself on my punctuality. These days it seems no matter how hard I try I end up late, someone does a poo when they have all their layers of clothes on ready to leave the house. I get them strapped in the car and mr 4 decides he needs another wee so we all have to trundle back in. The baby decides she urgently needs a breastfeed out of the blue. It all adds up.
- Forgetting you have locks or even doors on your bathrooms.
But this is the stickler, there is also love and laughter – lots of joyous laughter. Yours, theirs, everybody’s together. Rarely five minutes passes without someone giggling and every day someone will do a heart roaring belly laugh. The kind that makes your face ache and tummy hurt. The kind that sounds utterly adorable in children. There is so much joy in a house with a toddler that it makes up for all these signs and then some. You feel like your heart will burst with happiness and home truly is where the heart is with a toddler in your house.
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