Kids, chaos and interior design - How to ignore the mess.
“Get those idiots out of my house!”
I’d come back from a weekend away, to chaos. A lads’ weekend in the house had left the fridge bare, the bins overflowing, and the TV on loud. The problem was, the lads in question were 3 and 1. They’d put toast in the DVD player, used my Ruby Woo Mac lipstick as a crayon, and pulled up my tulips. The floor was crunchy with biscuit crumbs and the windows smeared with banana.
My home never used to be like that. Everything had a place, everything was tidy, and everything ticked the Marie Kondo boxes of practical, useful or beautiful. I’m not sure where a jumperoo fits on that scale, because it’s noisy, ugly and takes up most of the room, but still, it’s a necessity for under 1s. And the jumperoo, the changing mat, the Duplo and the mountain of soft toys have kind of skewed with my interior design aesthetic. Farrow and Ball has become pesto and toddler paint, the carpet has been ripped up in corners by the cat and precious belongings are now stored beneath. (Raisins. Mostly raisins). The Neal’s Yard hand wash was flushed down the loo by the big toddler and replaced with something much cheaper and violently orange. And most of the time I’m fine with that. It’s just a stage, after all, and I do know that whilst the #blessed images on Instagram make the bile rise in my throat, they have a point. I wanted kids for years, and I’m lucky to have two such cheeky, happy, chaotic monsters.
But occasionally, after a weekend of zen and rather too much prosecco, when I want to come home and get into clean sheets and listen to Classic FM, the crunch of crumbs underfoot gets to me. So do the smears. So does the theft of my lipstick and the thumb prints on the iPad. And I just need them gone. “Get them out! Let me put this place back to normal.”
And so he did. He took them to the pub because it’s got cold beer and kiddy colouring and because he didn’t want to be near me in a rant. And he had a beer and a cuddle with the kids and fed them non-organic and highly unhealthy sausage rolls, with Scampi Fries for pudding. I bloody love Scampi Fries, but I was cleaning the floor. I was being a massive fun-sponge.
And when I finally joined them, after a crappy 30 minutes, I realised how much I’d missed out on. The house could always be put back to normal after bed time. It would be much quicker with two people rather than one grumpy hungover me. And whilst the chaos was gross, and made me stressed and feel out of control, I think the lesson is to try, as much as the tiredness and the hangover allows, to ride the flow of it. The crumbs can be swept up later.
(Note to my husband – this does not mean you’ve got away with it.)