penelope and bumblebee

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Monday, June 26, 2006

home is where the mess is


Hubby and i used to pride ourselves on our design sense, knowledge of cutting edge architecture, and occasional splurge on awesome, design-savvy ‘investment pieces’ (like our custom-made gray wool low-profile sectional, modest russell spanner furniture collection and enthusiasm for colour on the walls). We frequented design museums, interior-design shows, high-end king street east showrooms and the mangiest thrift stores alike. We cancelled our membership to the ROM because we hate the crystalline tumor being added to it (although we admit that part of the purpose of design is to get people talking and thinking, so in that way I guess it works). In European cities, we have marvelled at both the historical and cutting edge architecture and have built and designed our dream house (in our dreams, of course), many times over. Hubby even takes into account my personal safety and privacy issues, as well as my midget-like stature when dreaming up our future abode.

Our first apartment together was so funky that it was even used as a set in a tv show. They needed a 1970s den of iniquity, and our moody basement pad, with it’s purple and blue walls swathed in very funky fabric panels (made by moi), and abundance of retro (ok, junk) furniture, fit the bill.

When we were buying our house, we were looking primarily for two things – original charm and future potential. We got it. Little did we know that a year and a half later, the original charm would be obscured by toys, scuffed by trucks, plugged with cheerios and splattered with rejected food projectiles. And that’s just from hubby. As far as future potential goes, well, we are thinking of getting the floors redone when bee turns five.

And what of our lovely things? Our custom-made gray wool sectional, russell spanner coffee table, antique chinese occasional, red-framed mirrors, my favorite decorative bowl with the gilded butterflies, and even the throw-your-coins-in-it record bowl/conversation piece handmade by my bff’s swedish ex? All of our things are either pushed up against a wall, so that the space is bigger for toddling babies to play in, or put upstairs, on high shelves, so that toddling babies can’t touch. And nobody can see.

This isn’t even about baby-proofing. It’s about preservation. I learned all too quickly what happens to nice things when they are left at the 3-feet or below mark.

So, our house looks pretty barren nowadays; the only things on display are sippy cups, board books, dirty onesies and whatever forgotten craft project I am currently neglecting. There’s not even a family photo around, family photos being particularly tasty to a curious 13-month old. Of course, pretty soon our décor will consist of a good amount of first scribbled pictures (hopefully on paper and not gumwood trim), play-doh sculptures and finger-painted masterpieces. And we definitely can’t wait to become a loyal patron of the featured artist.

4 Comments:

  • At 6:49 PM, Blogger metro mama said…

    I used to pick the shit up every night. No more. It only comes out again the very next morning, so why bother?

    As for cheerios...I don't bother picking them up either. She'll come along and eat them eventually--or one of her play dates will ;)

     
  • At 9:28 PM, Blogger Village Mama said…

    You know, it's funny. When I had my mommy group moms over a couple of weeks ago, they were shocked by how much stuff I had on surfaces. The reason for the shock being that if their kids had been at our house, all of the stuff would have been on the floor and probably across the room. Now, don't get me wrong, Alex touches everything all the time and I don't have a problem with that. As a matter of fact, what I've found with him is that the more he gets to touch something, the less he wants to.

    Now, that being said, anything that is of absolute value to me has been hidden away where even the husband can't get to it!

    Oh and FYI, for the cheerio scenario a dog does wonders!! Molly is always available for loan!

     
  • At 11:44 PM, Blogger Her Bad Mother said…

    Dude. I so hear you. I had a 'no plastic/no Fisher Price/no ugly toys' rule in place before WonderBaby even started to kick. I don't need to tell you where I could stick that rule.

     
  • At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Naomi said…

    I hear you! Our son is really good about not getting into things he shouldn't, but, there are limitations. Nothing on the coffee table, stuff like that.

    We do have a toy "station" in the family room (okay, a big train table, and a bunch of toys in another corner), and, mostly, they stay in those locations. But we are lucky to have a full playroom in the basement, so that helps!!

     

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