Thursday, August 5, 2010


I've been reading a lot of design blogs lately. Blogs that tell me how to make my home beautiful. And I look at those photos and the first thing I think is: Those people don't have kids.

If they had kids, I would be able to tell right away. There would be a train track permanently set up by their dining room table, and no matter how many times they tried to put it 'away' within hours, or sometimes minutes, it would reappear in it's proper location: by the dining room table. The track would virtually function as an extremely uncomfortable area rug.

And on the nightstand, next to the bed, instead of the fancy hardcover books they might be reading, there would be a jar of jam. And the books? Well...those are in the fridge. At least, that's what happens to me.

There would be pencil marks on the couch and vagabond toys under the furniture. All the things of value would be awkwardly placed on high shelves...even though that might not look quite right. It would be more about protecting the goods than achieving good style.

So the other day, while looking at one design blog and drooling over someone else's space and stuff (envy, I believe it's called), it occurred to me: maybe they do have kids. Maybe those kids grew up. Or are grown up enough to know that jam goes in the fridge and books on the nightstand. I was reminded again how quickly it all goes by and how this phase of our lives is temporary. Sooooo temporary.

I feel a consistent pull between "don't grow up!" and "would you grow up already!" and that realization, that reminder about how life with little ones is fleeting, helped me lean a little more towards the "don't grow up!" side of things. So here's to enjoying the moment, I guess.

Oh My Goodness Blueberry Coffee Cake. found here.


erin said...

Wow. I clicked on "found here" and your coffee cake looks just like the model one. Amazing!

I like today's blog post. I've been waiting for my little guy to crawl and catch up with his peers but its also a blessing that he stays in which ever room I set him down.

I can hang on to babyhood a little longer.

Mama V said...

Oh boy, thanks for sharing this. I think every parent can relate! I know I can! What's that saying? "A clean house is the sign of a dull life..." I kinda-sorta believe it (and I kinda-sorta don't!). Most of the time I love knowing that the marked-up books or me tripping on yet another train for the umpteenth time in a day are indicators of the creativity and joy and hard play that go on in our home, that the chaos and messes signal that life is happening in all its fullness. We've never been big on baby proofing, but there are plenty of moments when I feel it sure would be nice for a mopped floor to stay clean for more than 20 minutes... or to not see so many grubby hand prints on every wall surface (despite our seeming diligence on hand washing after meals and when returning indoors)... or to not have to scrape off encrusted play-doh from the couch cushions (even though all the play-doh-ing took place in another room). The list goes on and on, doesn't it?!

Though, I must say, you describe design blog homes much in the way I used to see yours. At least before Isaac came along, and perhaps before that little toy nook was created in the dining room (though my memory might be faulty about that part), I remember walking into your home and thinking, "A child lives here? Where?!" because there was practically no evidence of it! (Could this mean that we can safely blame Isaac for most of your home decorating woes?!?!)

Robyn said...

hmmmm....Isaac to blame?? ;)

yeah. I can see that.

It's hard to know though how much of it is Isaac himself and how much of it is just having two kids. More toys, more mess, etc. you know?

but the train tracks, the jam, the pencil on the couch...that's ALL Isaac. Little Booger.

Ladkyis said...

Having a house like the design pictures is your reward for allowing the kids to grow up - I had three and the temptation to spend my days shrieking at them to "clean this up!" was great but something my Dad said meant that we had train track and pencils and play doh for several years.
He said "YOU have to make memories for your children. If you want them to remember their mother as a shrieking harpy then do it."
My three now tell their own children that they remember it was always ok to play and as they got older they learnt to clean up.

Robyn said...

oh!!! i LOVE the term "shrieking harpy"! though...I don't love doing what it takes to become one. Your dad might be onto something...

Ruth said...

Robyn, thanks for this post! This is exactly how I feel, especially when I have tripped over said train track for the 10th time in an hour!

Kirsten said...

You are making me very glad that my refrigerator door is too heavy for a child to open. Of course, give Isaac some time, I'm sure he could find some equivalent trouble to get into. ;) He's a hard one to keep up with.

This year is bringing so much more mess than last year. I do get tired of the constant presence of toys on the floor. Oh toddlers.

dnicolle said...

What a great post, it's so true. Just yesterday my 3 year old said, "why is the living room tidy? Is someone coming over?" I can't believe that it's come to this! But I often tell myself, it's only for a season. And there is a time for everything, a time for clean house, and a time for a messy one!

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I had the exact same area rug in my living room for 2 years. I sort of miss it now.

Deb said...

First, the cake looks amazing.

Second, you are right. All of those blogs with the lovely decor and constant stream of completed craft projects are {most likely} created by people without kids. Myself included. When Carrie was little I crafted with her from time to time, but the extent of my crafting was limited. Then I went back to school to get my degree and crafting was completely non-existant for 4 years. Now? Carrie has moved out and it's just me and my hubby (who is, for the most part, self sufficient [wink]). You will be there one day too, my dear. In the meantime, I am always impressed with the number of scrapbook pages you turn out, as well as the wonderful things that come out of your oven! xo