Over the weekend we went to a family Christmas party at my grandparents in-law’s house. It made me realise how easy life is when you stay home with your toddlers.
First of all, there were Christmas decorations everywhere. This is lovely, but we have already taken down the few we dared to put up as they just get destroyed when the boys decide they want to take a closer look, or chew on the fairy lights (yes, really). When we arrived, they had a gorgeous model Christmas village set out with old-fashioned cars driving along a street made with silver beading, and delicate little pottery snow-covered cottages. It looked lovely, it really did. T1 thought so too, and spent the entire afternoon attempting to pull everything off onto the floor so that he could play with it properly, which wouldn’t have impressed his great grandma who had spent ages creating the masterpiece.
Then there was the fun of the house layout, where you could run from the kitchen through the hall into the living room, the conservatory and then back into the kitchen in a loop. The boys particularly loved running this route when being chased by their well-meaning second cousin. It’s just a shame that after three hard smacks into the corner of the kitchen table (at eye level) EACH, I’d had enough and had to be a cruel mummy and put a stop to their fun.
When you don’t have toddlers it can be hard to think about child proofing (and before I had the boys I was as guilty as the next person). There were carving knives left on the edge of the table, a washing machine (turned on at the switch) which looked like a really inviting den to climb into, and a gas cooker that was oh-so-tempting to turn on. It didn’t take me long to close both entrances to the kitchen, viewing it as a deathtrap that would leave my children blind (from the table) and maimed before long.
There were even a few occasions when I just managed to catch hold of a boy before he made his escape through the front door which kept being left open while somebody went for a smoke outside.
Eventually, we were forced to leave when T1 had a breakdown because we really wouldn’t let him chew on the cars from the model village. After a full on thirty minute tantrum, I think everyone was pleased to see the back of us.
No, being at someone else’s house has made me appreciate the safety and security of my house all the more. Who needs anything more than two sofas, a tv (on top of a tall locked cabinet) and a coffee table in their living room? Not me, I’m a minimalist all the way. And a big lover of stair gates.