Sometimes I feel as if I live in a suburban desert, with my own version of shifting sands. A blind person would be pretty much f$*$ed. My house is in a constant state of flux. I make the rounds at least twice a day picking up toys so that the living room/kid’s room doesn’t get too insane. For whatever reason, any furniture that she can move, she will. One piece of her play kitchen is not permitted to be against the wall if she’s awake. At least 3-4 times a day, I push it back, she pulls it forward. I call her “Bluto” and push it back again.
The snacks on the living room floor change even more quickly. I put some on the coffee table, they get knocked to the floor and eaten, in no particular order. Rinse and repeat. Will came home with a fancy motion-activated snack dispenser, hoping to keep goldfish off the carpet. It’s a rather amazing device, actually. It looks like a black gumball machine. There’s a spout on the front, and when the system is on, you simply place your hand in front of it and snacks will come out a few at a time. Poor Will. He had this vision of he and I occasionally reaching over and getting 3-4 goldfish or cheerios, handing them to our daughter, and her placing them in her mouth – and only her mouth. What he failed to really think about was that she’s smart. Within 24 hours, she had figured out how to dispense the snacks. Soon the coffee table was awash in goldfish, as was the carpet (crumbs, anyway). The snack dispenser now lives on the dining room table where she can’t access it.
Other things that I’ve had to adapt to: shoes. Shoes cannot be left out, ever. Period. She will chew on them. There’s nothing like seeing your kid gnawing on a tennis shoe or flip flop that you are reasonably certain has stepped in dog poo or cat litter at some point. I’ve given up on the coffee table (even more than I had already, given that I had gotten rid of the drawer and we had screwed rubber bumpers onto the corners), as she is going to climb it. No matter how many times you say no, she will climb it. Her new thing, however, will be a fight worth fighting: standing on the coffee table. I can’t have that.
Finally, and perhaps any creative readers will offer suggestions. I no longer have a front entrance/foyer. Instead, it’s the “garage.” It contains her monster-truck stroller, tricycle, and a pink car riding toy. Why is all of this stuff parked there? Because I have no other place to put it. We’ve lived with the stroller for almost a year and a half, but the other 2 logically could live outside. However, we have stray cats that piss on anything/everything. While I know babies get into gross things, I can’t stomach the idea of Stella riding around on a cat-piss-soaked trike.