You know that my daughter, son-in-law, grandson and granddaughter and I all live together. And you also know that I have a problem with containing clutter. Now, add two dogs, two cats and two kids. What you end up with is a house wide obstacle course!
Let’s start with the simple part of the problem, my dogs. There are dog toys all over the place, even in the most unlikely places. Sometimes I’ll wake up squinting at some unlikely object on the pillow beside my head. When Sophie (my oldest dog) gets tired she will wander around with a soft toy in her mouth. If she gets up during the night, she is liable to bring one back into my bed with her where she will usually drop it on my pillow. Rosie (the younger of the two) likes those rawhide chewies. My floors are littered with them. If you have ever stepped on a dry one, you know how painful it can be. If it’s wet, it’s just gross.
The cats don’t have toys so much, they play with whatever amuses them. My yarn, the dogs’ round treats (which they use as soccer balls), each other. But the oldest, B-Bert, likes to wind around my feet whenever I’m preparing food. Alternately he like to dart down the stairs in front of me, while Roscoh likes to lurk on the stairs and jump out at me!
Then there are the kids. My grandson has those little cars, seemingly hundreds of them, which are everywhere! Trust me, you do NOT want to step on one of these little metal torture objects. There are also plastic and wooden blocks. And balls of all sizes. And trucks and puzzles and and figurines and wooden and plastic letters and crayons and markers and just about anything else you can imagine. He takes stuff with him where ever he goes in the house, so many of them end up in my living room. Stuffed behind couch cushions, stuck in drawers, up on shelves and down on the floor. He is a tornado of energy, leaving toys in his wake!
My granddaughter is just starting to crawl. She can’t move on all fours yet, so she drags her body around like Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump after he has lost his legs! And she’s fast! She’ll move from one side of a room to another in the blink of an eye, to stuff whatever dog, cat or brother toy she can get into her mouth. She has a few toys that she plays with as well, mostly things she can chew on. But it’s the other stuff that drives me a little crazy because they take up so much space!
Play mats for instance. Which take up about 9 square feet, I’m guessing. And walkers, she has 2 (or 3?), one that actually allows her to wander and another that has a stationary base with a walker attached to it, so she can go in circles around the base and play. Do you have any idea how much space that takes? And there is a jumper, not the kind that hangs from a door frame but the kind in a stand. Then there are swings, at least 2 different bouncy chairs, a highchair, those round rubbery seats for babies. Big round pillows for her to lay on and a pack & play, etc.; I could go on and on. Sometimes it looks like a “Babies R Us” exploded in the house.
When my daughter was a baby I don’t remember her requiring so many things! No wonder people need bigger houses even though there are fewer kids. You need all the room for their STUFF!
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