Beautiful Blogger Award

Beautiful Blogger Award
Thanks to l'Aussie for my Beautiful Blogger award

Hayes House Pages

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I'm Noddy, Welcome to Toyland

How do you get your child to tidy their room? Or more importantly, how do you get your children not to habitually wreck the room in the first place? I've been a parent for twelve years and I still haven't found the a solution to this quandary. I am not even sure there is one. I have heard of mythical children who are clean, neat and tidy, but I'm not entirely sure I believe in them. Even my autistic kids, who should be anal clean-freaks, aren't capable of being in a room for more than ten minutes without destroying it. I have tried bribery, guilt, corruption and death threats but it seems there is no force greater in the universe than the compulsion of a child to live in cuddly-toy induced squalor.

I do try to keep particularly messy activities like painting, playdough etc, away from the kids' bedrooms. Craft-type things are done at the dining table, but my kids have are very practiced at spreading the devastation throughout the house. The glueing and sticking phase was enlightening. Who knew the ingenuity of two-year-olds when it comes to finding interesting places to stick random pieces of Argos catalogue? I was mildly freaked out when, months later, I was finding tiny pictures of remote control cars behind furniture and Charlie's effigies of Iggle Piggle, glued to the inside of my knicker drawer.

Then there were the glitter trials. With hindsight, providing a fairy-obsessed six-year-old (Nicki) with a brand new glitter sprinkler wand wasn't the best plan. I left her at the table in her pink tutu, happily sprinkling 'fairy dust' on her magical castle picture with her magic wand. When I returned, the fairy princess was gone, but the dining room was very... er...shiny. As was the rest of the house. She had managed to cover the dining room, living room, three flights of stairs and her bedroom carpet before being intercepted by the wicked hoover monster (me). She tried to appeal that the carpets were much prettier this way and was not a happy fairy when I didn't agree with her. It didn't matter though, because glitter is one of the hardest things to successfully hoover up, and so along with the interesting Argos catalogue decor, we also had sparkly carpets, shoes and feet for months. Stig and I are Noddy and and Big Ears, welcome to Toyland.

If you had asked me years ago, what the single worse thing in my house was, I'd have said Playdough, in a heartbeat. But I'd have been wrong. You survive the playdough nightmare once or twice, maybe even a third time you'll be foolish enough to think that they're old enough now, to be trusted not to mulsh it all together in one big shit-coloured mass and proceed to smear it over the walls / furniture / each other. But eventually, weary and battle-fatigued, you will resolve never to buy the evil material again, and that's the end of it. The beauty of Playdough is that everybody knows it's evil. Only a half-wit (or non-parent) would give playdough as a gift to someone else's children, and there-in lies our saviour.

The bain of my life, however, is beads. Yes, beads, the toy that maims. The injuries that have been caused in this house because of bloody beads. Not to mention a good few hoovers we've knackered. Our house has not been bead-free in about ten years. They're everywhere! Multicoloured and all shapes and sizes. Square ones, SQUARE ones??? They hurt the most, it's like standing on an upturned plug. The tiny round ones are impossible to pick up and get wedged between your toes. Broken glass beads are a particularly fun thing to encounter on your way to the loo in the middle of the night. The amount of unecessary bloodshed we have endured because of childrens' fashion jewellery.

From bitter experience Big Ears will no longer let me within a ten foot radius of a bead-sighting with the hoover. They're in the radiators, the sofa's are full of them, the washing has to be shaken out before I put it in the machine, it's a constant ghastly nightmare.

So for those of you who think buying a nice little jewellery-making set is a thoughtful, harmless present; a word of advice, please check with whichever parent is responsible for the hoover before inflicting this misery upon them. Perhaps try something that can't be spread all over the house, like a nice cuddly toy, preferably one that doesn't sing at ninety decibels in an american accent or cause you to shit youself everytime you walk past it by shreiking at you.


  1. Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle. Good blog. Funny thing, no more kids roaming the halls, but collies! Talk about finding pieces of things that you have NO IDEA what they are on the place on the sofa where you sit. Darcy brought me a piece of the romote control the other day, saying,"can I play with this? Huh? Please?"
    Thank goodness he asked politely and I was able to rescue said device.

    So, I understand. Your blog is amusing and fun.

  2. The worst for me was when my sons were teenagers and used to leave their dirty socks all over the house. The only thing that completely remedied this gross habit was when they left for college. You can imagine my surprise when my 21-year-old son came over the other day to do his laundry. He didn't ask for any help and I nearly fell over when I walked by the laundry room and found him neatly folding all of his clothes then placing them in the basket. Things really do improve!

  3. My husband learned early and banned both glitter and beads from the house by the time my girls were four years old. We still do lots of crafting, but the girls know that if I find glue, paint, stickers, or anything of the like anywhere but the kitchen table, it will all go to the dump within 24 hours.

    That said, they still find other things to make messes with. Clothes, lip balm, shoes, socks, books, etc.

  4. Thanks you guys.

    Patricia: Did I mention on linkedIn that I had a collie before I had the kids? A daft one too. It's a shame the kids never met her, I think they'd have got on famously.

    Peggy: 21? The last twelve years have just flashed before my eyes and the realisation just dawned that it'll probably be at least another twelve before this miracle happens in our house!

    Kario: I found a pot of children's nail polish in the middle of the living room rug earlier, it now has a shiny purple stain. There are never any tops / lids on lip balm or make up etc. I'm glad it isn't just my kids lol.

    Sometimes I read the blog back and think I must sound like such a whinge bag, but even when they're driving me nuts I'm all too aware that it'll be over too soon and these will be the memories I look back on and smile. They make me laugh every day and they're fab. Thank you for your comments x

  5. Hi Coffee Addict- I love your blog : ) You haven't posted in ages- are you all OK? I can't believe the material has dried up! Are you posting somewhere else? From Jen x (Friend of Esther's)

  6. Hi, Sorry! Life getting in the way etc. I seem to have writers block or something. The family are as crazy as ever and we have a new adition, a chipmunk named Sonny, oh the fun we've had lol. I'll post soon if I can get my brain in gear, and thenk you so much for asking Jen xxx