I am starting to understand the whole Less is More phrase. I keep trying to make the rooms contain less, less toys, less tissue, fewer books, fewer people, yet some how it feels like more. With the excitement of Christmas gifts waning I have finally started to put some away and get back into a toy rotation, but some how less toys feels like more. I swear those little people are getting busy multiplying under my couch. Some of this has to do with the girls invading the front room, they enjoy taking all the toys out and leaving them for someone else to clean up, mainly me. No matter how much I clean out though it always feels like a bomb has gone off. No room is safe in this house and the cleaning is really starting to get to me. I know one thing for sure that those new shelves I’m getting in our basement when it is finished will house lots more toys and they will stay put! This also really strengthens my feelings towards creative ideas for gifts, and passes instead of toys.
One thing I do know for sure though more babies always means more, never less. I’m having another one of my the house feels too small for us weeks, and many may just think I’m crazy why don’t we move. A couple of reasons, we do love our home and please refer to the previous paragraph where I mention my house always seems like a bomb went off. There is no way I could keep this place all tidy to show it to strangers. Maybe in a few years something like that will be possible.
Now as I mentioned my boys are very much more than just one baby for sure. They call twins double trouble for a reason. I can’t even say lately because since they started crawling and exploring they have been into everything. We have been working hard to create a safe place for them in our home but it feels like such a challenge. I cannot be on top of those babies at all times or we wouldn’t eat, have clean clothes, and some crazy person would take my place. Here is a few examples of what I have been up against mostly in the last month or so.
- Mark learned how to not only climb onto the couch but up the back and into the bay window – solution we had to move the couch 2 feet from the window and block the access to behind it with our play yard gates all folded up. Now I have to note that this was the last stage, first was putting stuff on the couch, second was putting the gates around the couch, third was MANY firm NO’s and lastly moving it. Each stage lasted a few days to a week.
- Mark learned how to climb onto the glider and stands facing the back rocking it wildly. Now we just face it against the wall so he cannot rock it. I have nowhere to put it in the house.
- Mark learned how to take the rockers foot stool, climb onto it and push it up to our end table, then climb on top of that then onto the couch and back down. Just another form of entertainment.
- Mark learned how to also take that stool and push it to his high chair and climb up to that and stand in it, and then pass things to his brother that are supposed to be hiding on the china hutch. (Sensing a trend here with Mark yet?)
- David found a cupcake wrapper that Amy left behind and on the edge of the table and ate it. No matter how much we tell Amy to clean her dishes up she wanders off into lala land and forgets. It is also harder for her to climb the gate and get those things to the garbage, before the gate she was better. We cannot move the gate because it manages to keep the boys in what is supposed to be the safest room in the house.
- David ate a soap crayon that was hiding in the bath. Bath tub is supposed to only house toys for them to play with. And I was standing right beside him at the sink rinsing their clothes.
- David, Mark and Poppy (our friends daughter) ate the coals from the fireplace. While we were trying to get food ready for 6 kids. A gate and a very heavy box now cover up the fireplace now.
- Both boys are always playing with the phone in the living room recording messages and anything else it does. No where to move it because the only 2 other rooms that hold phone jacks in our house is the boys bedroom and ours. For some reason the cordless phones don’t have ringer volume and we have been drunk dialed before.
- Kleenex and wipes do not survive.
- If it is on the floor it will be eaten.
- If it is not nailed down they will try to move it.
- If it is not nailed closed they will try to open it. I pray every day for the locks on my china hutch. (Again no room to move anything in the house, and I would like to keep the little I do have)
Get where I’m coming from now. If I had known the boys were going to be this much action I would have moved when pregnant or had the basement done long ago. If you are in the position to plan ahead with little ones on the way or while they are still strapped in things, now is a good time to really set up a safe play space. This was never anything I worried about with the girls. Diana listened when we said no, and she was always with me. Then when Amy came along, she wasn’t given as much freedom to start but Diana didn’t have too many small toys then and was an amazing tattle tale, still is today. The play yard was a dream when they were small, now they are too big to want to stay put in it and too curious to stop. So if you have the time and ability try to find an area you can block off with a gate, is close to where you are so you can peak often or be in it, and that is free from every day life stuff. Granted I am hoping that the boys exposure to our living and dining room will help tame some of their curiosity so that one day we can let them have free range of the house. For now we are just forever trying to keep a close eye on them and try to keep the house functioning. If I could be in the room with them it would be even better, I cannot do anything but be a jungle gym for them when I’m in there. Dave on the other hand is mostly ignored and can enjoy laying on the couch reading while they play. One day I will get to have that freedom, and I will get back to being able to read books well before they are due back again. Hopefully by then the chores will be shared a little more too.
Yes my advice to any expectant parent, especially multiples is to really downsize while you have the chance and create a safe space, basic living rooms would be ideal. Scrap all of that because no matter how much you plan and prepare life just seems to go at its own speed. One of life’s lessons I am always learning with multiples. Baby proofing is an ongoing process, keep that in mind and no matter what babies always think of it before you do.