I’ve finally accepted the fact that I can’t have nice things. Don’t get me wrong. I want nice things. Crystal chandeliers. Porcelain dishes. A Ferrari in the driveway. I dream of a life of Kardashian riches, but obviously butt enhancements and poodle nannies are not in the cards for me. I’m just your average, modern-day Cinderella without the talking rodents or magic senior citizens at my beck and call.
To top it off, I have toddlers. Now, as any mother of Littles knows, not only can you not have nice things with tots in the vicinity, but you can’t have dangerous things either. Easy-open medications. Weapons. Elk horns hanging on the wall. They’re all out of the question. Naturally.
But I never, ever suspected that as a mother of a toddler these eight things would also have to be banished from my home:
We must look like a concierge stand when you walk into our home. We have a beautiful table. But there are no chairs. We have chairs. We just can’t HAVE chairs. Toddlers like to use these handy pieces of craftsmanship to their advantage. Mainly climbing. EVERYTHING. We’ve also hidden the coffee table, foot rest, and ironing board (don’t ask). In other news … it’s never been easier to play ping pong right from the convenience of our dining room.
Speaking of tables, tablecloths are also on the NO list. With tablecloths come avalanches. Of food. Drinks. Bills that need to be paid by a Fairy Godmother. Anything that is resting comfortably on top of said tablecloth will come down in a crashing heap if a toddler gets a handful of that silky fabric.
Do you know what toddlers do with blinds? They pretend they’re Tarzan and swing their little bodies across the room by the pull strings. They may not weigh all that much, but they weigh enough to rip the strings out of place, throwing you into a state of forever darkness … because what mother has time to shop for new blinds or pay to have them repaired? Not this mother.
4. Any Kind of Display Shelf or Bookcase
There has never been a better way to climb than by utilizing a shelf or bookcase. And if you’re a toddler, spidey-grip is not required. I’m a book lover. A picture hanger and knick-knack hoarder. Yet glance around my home and you won’t see any of these items. They’re all tucked away, squarely out of the reach of itty bitty hands.
5. Toilet Paper
I cannot tell you the number of times I have walked into my living room or kitchen to see it has been transformed into a Charmin factory. When you’re sitting on the toilet doing you-know-what and you’ve been invaded, it’s often impossible to run after little ones once they’ve escaped with the bathroom tissue. Before you know it, they have all 9,000 economy sheets unraveled like Donald Trump at a political debate.
6. Coffee Mugs
Around these parts, we have to hide our coffee mugs like smuggled drugs. Toddlers love the warmth and aroma of a good cup of java. They’re attracted to it like bears to an outhouse. But they can’t have it! And, obviously, neither can we!
7. White (Or Light-Colored) Clothes
New to toddlerhood? Well, welcome to the world of Human Napkintism! Once upon a time you were a goddess in that flowing white maxi skirt and lavender top. Now you could be mistaken for an Olive Garden table cover. They’ll plaster you in pasta sauce, orange juice, and just about every mushed food known to man. I even discovered squished honey bun on the outside of my real buns the other day. Be prepared to enter the Goth Zone with dark wardrobe coordinates and a whole lot of jeans!
8. Potted Plants
There’s a sandbox on the porch. A yard filled with rich earth. But nothing speaks to the heart of a toddler more than a potted houseplant. If you dare have a non-poisonous one (be careful), you’ll enjoy the rewards of dirt all over your floors, shredded leaves on the windowsills, and crushed flower heads lining the couch cushions. It’ll be like bringing the gardening indoors! The only vegetation that’s safe are canned peas and ground thyme. And even that’s pushing it.
If you’ve mothered a toddler, you’ll understand why we can’t have the fairy tale for quite some time. The first years are tricky. Even though your heart is full, your house might be a little empty. But that’s OK. There’s plenty of time to find the other glass slipper.
Carry on, my Queens!