Why is my house so sticky?(48 Posts)
4 boys aged 6 to 1. Does anyone else have a sticky house? They pour juice and milk all over it, wee where they shouldn't (ds3 in particular) and smear yoghurt, chocolate everywhere. I am trying to wash my sofa as we speak but as I was trying to get the covers off the cushions on the floor I could feel myself sticking to the carpet. I feel sad (and sticky).
Are they allowed to walk around with food, juice and milk? Only have one DS (3) but if he looks like he's in a careless mood I give him sippy cup with lid on. Or only give him water.
smearing yog and choc would be an "end of dinner" offence here. I guess you mean on the table or wall within reach of table? If so, oldest and 2nd don't get to go off and play until table, wall etc wiped. Present a wet cloth/flannel to them all when eating is over. The youngest may need help wiping face, but it's a good habit for all of them.
As far as for wee accidents, again here nobody leaves the toilet bowl in a worse state than found. Bit radical but you could even decree wees are to be done sitting down until tall/dexterous enough to aim properly.
PP- with all the best will in the world, I'm guessing four little boys is a world apart from one three year old!! Seriously. I might be wrong but I've only got two and I relaxed the "no eating in the living room" rule as soon as I needed to get myself some sanity. Hence we have crumbs to Hoover up all the time! Not sticky though as I still make sure drinks are kept in the kitchen (apart from water in sippy cups or sports type bottles).
OP- can I recommend a pack of babywipes in each room?! Lol. They clean up s multitude of sticky messes!
I have three boys, all grown up now. However at one time I had three under five and worked full time. My house was permanently grubby and a bit sticky.
When they were very little I started a meal time rota of laying the table, clearing the table, wiping and sweeping. It changed on a weekly basis. It helped with the mess but also made them realise that things had to be cleaned up and that it was a pain in the neck. They did all become a lot less casual with their food, juice, rubbish etc.
my only other advice is to whizz round with a bucket of hot water and a cloth occasionally and relax about it. It doesn't last long.
I humbly apologise for my total naivety.
Was a CM with 6 kids 4 of them under 4, and sorry but had a strict only food sat down rule and drinks in sippy cups are as they got older, water bottles.
I have a strict food and drink at kitchen table only rule. Only water gets taken out.
They eat 3 times a day, and have a set snack time ( after nap/ nursery/ school) so there doesn't seem any reason for random food wanderings
How sarcastic!! Goodness me. I humbly apologise for my terrible parenting (allowing children to eat in places other than the kitchen)
It's not sarcastic. I am just lazy and don't have time to be cleaning the entire house of crumbs and handprints, hence that everyone ( including adults) eat at the table
I don't have a sticky house, have a 4yo and a toddler. Have beakers with lids on for the general house area, if older toddler wants an open cup he has to sit down at the table to drink it. Things like ice lollies they have to sit down to eat and I usually give them a tissue to catch drips and wipe hands with baby wipe afterwards. I do allow the odd sandwich or piece of fruit in the lounge for the older toddler but make sure it's nothing that will make too much mess. They rarely have chocolate but when they do I keep an eye for chocolatey hands as soon as they are finished.
I wipe up spills when they happen and keep tester pots of the wall paint in easy reach. I literally paint away any marks that won't wipe away as soon as they happen.
As for wee, do you mean they sprinkle on the floor next to the loo occasionally, or worse, as in actually wee in places that are not even near the loo? Anything that is not an accidental tinkle is disciplined, (told off firmly and made to help wipe up).
I have babywipes and tissues all over the house - in each loo, by the highchair, in the lounge & dining rooms. That helps too as does reminders to wash hands for 4yo.
I fear my horror of a DD1 may have paid you a secret visit.
She's almost 15 and she still wipes her sticky fingers on the Sofa
Ooh yes and then there's my 12 year old with her trail of orange peel - mind you, she's very easy to find
I'm obviously not very good. No cup is ever lidless yet I leave the room and find baby pouring them upside down. We have open plan arrangement with table next to living room and they seem to migrate to sofa and I'm constantly rounding them back to table. Eg dinner time ds3 will need a wee and when I arrive back from toilet ds1 and 2 will be on sofa. As for wees ds3 taken to removing pants and tinkling on deck but this week in house. He is 2.5. I think I must be a slattern perhaps but I find it very hard to constantly be on top of every drink they have etc. maybe it's having 4
I have 4 though no boys.Here's what I've discovered along the way.No eating or drinking away from table for preschoolers,ever. Leather sofas and hard floors are a godsend with only rugs that can go in washer.When my youngest 2 were little I went through 3
almostwhite carpets in as many years. (The eldest dd had disabilities which led to frequent accidents and vomiting.)
ALWAYS wipe hands before they leave the table.Once they get old enough get them to help.. make a game out of it give them all a wetwipe and see who can find +remove the most marks on paintwork/walls etc.Set a timer to make it a race! Sounds daft but it works.
As for the weeing on floor, reward charts and good old time out for doing it on purpose.Lots of praise and recognition when they help you keep the home clean and tidy.
It really does get you down when the home is a mess so make it a priority and be consistant with the ground rules.HTH and goodluck
Like the wipe idea - can see mine going for that. Used to have wooden floors in UK in my old house and never felt so sticky but we have emigrated and in rental with carpets throught (even under dining table ) and sunscreen and sand to boot. I notice the difference alot.
I make my son clean up every spillage, every dropped item. He scrapes his plate into the bin as well. Eats only in kitchen. The odd dry biscuit in front of tv but other than that, nothing outside kitchen. Sounds draconian, but ive never had to get angry about mess and hes now a very tidy three year old.
My dc's cousin is nearly three and his mum has made him OCD about tidying and cleaning mess/hands. It's abnormal if you ask me, for a toddler to be stressed about mess and dirt, especially a boy (sorry for generalising but you get what I mean?)
Food and drink only allowed in the kitchen when DDs were small. It was a nice cheap treat to allow a picnic in the living room in front of the TV on high days and holidays.
I don't pay a lot of money for carpet and furnishings to have them covered in food.
Fergus, do you only have the one child? If so, you aren't really qualified to comment on how to manage three+ children.
Staying on top of one child spilling/dropping food is easy. Try doing it with three - one has just spilled their drink across the table, the toddler is launching pasta across he room, and third child has just fallen off his chair. Dealing with all three simultaneously is a world apart from supervising one house-trained three year old.
Lol HDee - whilst the fourth is in the toilet shouting 'mum wipe my bum'
OP I know what you mean about them migrating from table to lounge - I have 5 under 6 years. Admittedly all girls though
If you don't mind them eating in the lounge, could you put some kind of plastic mat (glorified table cloth) on the floor so that they can eat there?
Or to solve all issues, just give them dry food that cannot make any sticky mess?
Nope, HDee, I am one of six and our house was immaculate thanks to rules like that, so i believe I am qualified. I am expecting my second and will be equally firm. I refuse to live in a pigsty and will happily scrub a kitchen over and over again, but not an entire house when all it takes is strict enforcement of food wandering.
Lots of useful advice from those with one child here, I have 3 and no4 on the way, all boys so far and my house is also rather sticky. Migration also a problem here, someone always needs the loo/ nappy change during a meal. My 19/12 old is also very fond of shaking his sippy cup upside down, I'd almost be better giving him an open cup so at least there is only one 'splash' rather than a trail.
I do try to make them stay outside with lollies, and wipe hands (and faces) after meals but I am resigned to having a certain amount of stickiness for a few years yet. I guess it probably feels worse in rented accommodation?
If it helps, my three (only 3, though. Am hoping not to be blessed anymore...) were wee grubbers despite my best efforts. They are now 9, 7 and 5 - and we are out the worst of it.
I really think that if you have a bunch of kids in quick succession that 1. your house will be sticky and smell a bit peculiar 2. your carpet will have those tiny, weird black stains 3. you will have welly boots breeding in your hall and 3. your bikini line will extend to your ankles.
There was just not enough time or eyes in the back of my head to keep a clean house in my experience. Mind, there are
freaks better women than me who managed it...though, I suspect their kids lived in a cupboard most of the time...
It gets better. We're about to decorate, never really seen the point until now.
Fergus, come back when you have three.
PMSL mybabyweight. I have loads of cupboards in this rented house - id never thought of using those as the solution. KWYM about the frigging wellies that are swimming round hallway.
Must stop msnetting - ds4 has emptied the baking cupboard.
Our last house was VERY sticky, the dining table was in the living room as was all the kids toys and so the food/drink/toys all combined into a hideous soup.
We've just moved and looked for somewhere that meant all food and drink could be contained. All eating and drinking, apart from water and only pure water, takes place in the kitchen and the children are throughly decontaminated before they leave the kitchen.
It's the only way.
Strictly no food or drink outside the kitchen. Its the only way.
Goodness, I only have 2 children and my house is sticky. Our table is in the living room which doesn't help. So the floor around it always gets splattered with food at meal times. And if my youngest keeps weeing on the floor <sobs>
baby wipes are your friend though.
Oh chedder, I want that sort of house. Where the kitchen is big enough for at least a small table. Life would be easier.
I only have three and the rule that works for us
when I remember to enforce it is food and drink stays in the kitchen, except for sippy cups (and not for anyone who turns it upside down, they do learn quite quickly when you enforce that) and except for the odd biscuit/cleanish piece of food like an apple.
We live in chaos but are much less sticky than when I just let them wander.
It has seriously changed my life! I now live in a house that people can just pop round to without me having to clean up beforehand. It's a total joy having weetabix free carpets.
Quite sticky here and just the one ds. I like a clean tidy house but tbh if I just let ds eat in the kitchen we would never leave it as it takes so long for him to eat. Main meals are at the table but I give him snacks in the living room. I spend most evenings playing hunt the raisin/tangerine skin!
Cheddar - I'm living with a situation like your previous one. Toys/sofa/table (with carpet under) all within 3 foot of each other. Have no room for table in kitchen
I feel your pain, I live in stickyland too. I have 2 dc but they are both really messy, they both trail food and juice/milk everywhere, throw things everywhere, decide random places are the bin despite me never changing the location of the two bins we have, they'll just decide to throw their fruit peel or rubbish down behind the toilet, in a kitchen drawer, the laundry basket etc
The youngest pees randomly despite being potty trained (she just gets engrossed in whatever she's doing and suddenly oops...) the eldest pees in the bathroom but seems to experiment with how high he can get his pee, or perhaps just doesn't bother looking/holding his willy at all, and he also wipes pooey hands on the walls/sink/bath and leaves random turds on the seat which I once sat on. I could cry honestly.We are at our wits end with this, it seems like every time I go in there's a fresh pool of piss on the floor and on the top of the cistern. This week he managed to piss into an open packet of loo roll, soaking the rolls. Wits. End. I've done nothing but shout and reason and explain today! Makes NO difference.
There are little sticky handprints all up the stairs wall, the cream leather sofas are pretty revolting right now, there are slobbery marks on every mirror and window. The toys all seem to end up covered in a thin layer of hairy biscuit. I do clean and an hour later it's as bad again. God forbid I should properly deep clean the rug as someone will definitely vomit or wee on it before it's even had a chance to dry, Sod's law.
It does get me down. I've done a fair bit of cleaning today but there's nothing really to show for it as they were just trashing another room while I did it. It's like shovelling snow in a blizzard here!
I've just realised this was in larger families so I shouldn't really have posted here, but if it helps I have another one on the way!
james - in that situation of doing things on purpose i would add consequences. ie: wiping poo all over the place would equal a punishment of some sort (favorite toy gone/ no tv if usually has etc), snacks thrown behind toilet or other random places would simply mean no snacks..
might be harsh, but it wont happen for long. you cant possibly start to get control of anything if they are wandering through pissing/ smearing stuff as your cleaning away the last bit! i simply wouldnt have time to reclean something all day which has just been cleaned. how old is youngest? maybe they need a nappy on again if not really potty trained (goes to the loo when needed)
I have four DC eldest 8, youngest 2, I don't know the sticky house thing. Mine only drink open top cups at the table, they eat most things at the table apart from biscuits and the odd sweets. DS has only been toilet trained 2 weeks or so but so far no pee. Mine hate having sticky hands though "mum wipe" is a common phrase in our house.
House is also messy with plastic tat though and upstairs are a fright but downstairs generally presentable.
Tie damp rags to the baby's knees?
( which is daft - but a little boy with a damp rag can be surprisingly effective)
I really sympathise lollystix, it was really getting me down, and once I knew we were moving I pretty much just gave up and it got HIDEOUS.
Is there not even room for a small plastic children's table? At my mum's there's not room for a table, but at the kid's meal times they sit at a plastic table - it takes up most the kitchen but at least contains the mess there. Might be a solution for breakfast/lunch/snacks if not dinner?
In the summer feed them outside!!!
Actually I should probably get the wee table out on the deck again. They just are so Noisey I don't like them going out there before 9 for the neighbours sake.
Obvious really but I think the way forward is table in kitchen. We had that in UK and didn't have the same issues.
I do feel like I constantly clean and wipe things. I go to work for a break
To be honest we never eat at the table these days in my defence though we used to every single day, i was really into the family dinner time thing having watched lots of supernanny but it was a nightmare, the eldest inhales his food, the youngest hardly eats anything, so the oldest would be finished and demanding yoghurt/pudding when the youngest still had a full plate, then she'd give up and demand yoghurt too, no amount of cajoling/telling off would get her to eat as she has a will of steel. And he won't slow down or be considerate. We seemed to spend every meal just constantly talking at them, warning him and coaxing her, and refereeing their constant fighting, it was so stressful. Then one day I gave them their tea in the living room in front of you've been framed and they just quietly munched their way through with no fighting, whinging or persuasion needed. It's so much easier, anything for an easy life. It's just the mess!
My ds who wipes poo on the walls is really tricky. His whole attitude to the toilet is odd, he gets completely naked then squats on the seat with his feet. He uses so much loo roll he regularly blocks the loo. We haven't tried punishment other than telling him off, but we've tried giving him toilet "lessons" (he's 5.5) but nothing sinks in. He has very mild learning difficulties, I don't know if that's why nothing we do or say helps. It's very frustrating. He's always been a very messy child.
Yes, just cram a small table into the kitchen lolly. We have a small toddler-size table you could borrow if you need it.
Hi justabout - we have 2 little ones. I lived with one in the kitchen until the furniture arrived on the boat but I kept falling over it and baby is at the table now. Need to find a new rental for various reasons and no carpet under table will be top of my agenda.
James - I know where you are coming from. We (still) have the same issue. The way we deal with it is that the quick eater is allowed to get down from the table and play quietly (no computer or screentime though, otherwise distracting the others) whilst the other two finish. Then we all meet up at the table again for pudding.
We have a kitchen table but crumbs get stuck to feet and tailed through the house anyway, despite best efforts to keep it all in the kitchen! Not sure about the poo/wee issues as we have the occasional wee on carpet when she's too busy playing... Mind you I haven't tried to train the DS yet!
Ohmaigawsh - I've just realised WHY my house is disgusting...
...I've been reading the suggestions thinking "yep, we do that, we do that, we do that" and thinking "despite this, we have a disgusting home, it's just the way of tiny kids"...
...and, right now, I've realised that WE don't do that. I do, but DH lets them.
Buggrit. I'm not sure I've got the energy for tidy training DH. Might tie damp rags to his feet though, Anne?
I just have one,.but we have 3 kids at the house because of my 2 nephews. Its was always sticky specially this past few days,. with my DD it was not that sticky or dirty but when we started to encourage them to eat on their own their spillage can't be control specially with the toddler's undevelop motor skills. plus my 2 nephews are always going in/out of the house so our tiles would always be sticky. After cleaning expect another mess in less than 30 minutes,. so I'm really need to be decided when I will plan to have my second.
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