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I will never have anything approaching an orderly house while I have a toddler - or will I?

(13 Posts)
inconceivableme Thu 11-Dec-14 17:15:18

He's on a permanent mission to move every item he can reach and access to a completely different place. I know it's natural curiosity but the endless tidying is driving me nuts, especially when stuck indoors in awful weather. And I can't put everything out of his reach.
Rant over!

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Thu 11-Dec-14 17:25:30

I had an orderly house with toddlers.

Rotate his toys so he doesn't get sick of everything. Go outside a lot.

inconceivableme Fri 12-Dec-14 11:32:25

Any other tips Alpha?

TerryDolittle Fri 12-Dec-14 12:19:57

Nap time tidy up? Although I always preferred selfish time when mine were napping. grin
But it might make the end of the day tidy up a little quicker/easier.

Although I do remember the toddler years and to be honest, the pulling out of things is just relentless. I think making the home/living area as minimal as possible, if only for these months/ years, might be the best bet. Damage limitation.

TheLovelyBoots Fri 12-Dec-14 13:15:30

I consider myself to be a superior housekeeper - my house is sorted. But I couldn't manage my house properly when my children were toddlers.

The days that my house was tidy, I felt pretty badly because I had to ignore them/park them in front of a TV so as to accomplish order.

You really just have to lower your standards a bit to maintain sanity.

BingoBonkers Fri 12-Dec-14 13:16:40

This is why we have removed all photo frames and anything that was in reach such as coasters. I don't do ornaments anyway.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Fri 12-Dec-14 13:34:26

We don't have many ornaments. But we do have nice lamps and vases etc.
I used to have definite times I played with my toddlers and times when I said: "Mummy needs to read this paper now/send an email/peel potatoes and then when I've finished we'll go out and sweep leaves. So why don't you build me a lego house?"

I think you need to teach toddlers that some things are pretty and delicate and not to be manhandled: "you have to be very careful with this vase as it has water inside it to give the flowers a drink and we don't want to knock it off the table and squash the pretty flowers" etc. I let them take books off shelves or CDs out of a cabinet <shows age> but I do scoff and say what a bore as now we're going to have to put them all back. Toddlers soon get it that unloading bookshelves is boring. It's only interesting if it winds you up and you jump off your sofa/get off the phone/get off the computer and build a lego tower or take him to the kitchen to do painting/make biscuits or whatever. So ignore it as much as possible. And make sure the tidying up is done with him around so he learns to chip in and help.

Also buy a paper aeroplane kit. So you can distract him with folding a paper aeroplane at the drop of a hat. Or fold two and you and he both throw your planes as a race.

Can he make paper snowflakes with little paper scissors. It's very easy to tidy up as the mess is clean and just goes into the paper recycling with the remainder small cuts going up the hoover

If it's something genuinely dangerous move it. If not just let him investigate, with you close by to instruct him as to carefulness. But if there's spilt soil from a pot plant or whatever, it isn't a disaster, it's just a good feedback loop. Say things like "poor plant needs its soil back because it contains all the plant's food".

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Fri 12-Dec-14 13:37:04

There is a difference between tidy and orderly. It would be weird for a house containing a toddler to be always tidy. I don't think buckets of toys tipped out on the floor is disorderly. Nor do I think painting things or play dough things out on the kitchen table = disorderly.

Lelivre Fri 12-Dec-14 20:10:00

Ok so I managed to with one, but not with two. The second is just as you describe, as quick as a flash and dangerous with it. Very difficult. I've run out of high places to put things. He's scaling everything now anyway. I try and put the house back together again in the evenings. If you do that them go out for the day (library, museum, take age getting there and getting back, having already put the slow cooker on) it helps the situation quite a lot.

Lelivre Fri 12-Dec-14 20:14:46

Oh this may be slightly more helpful; I've started putting my two yr old in the highchair in whatever room I'm doing housework with a succession of activities on the large tray. Play doh, some stacking cups, some wooden blocks, some drawing, some plasticine. He tolerates this remarkably well and I can turn my back and prep dinner/do laundry without him causing havoc or getting in harms way. My first was nothing like this (not an easy child but not pulling and grabbing and eating everything) he really has me on my toes.

TheLovelyBoots Sat 13-Dec-14 07:37:10

I agree that it was manageable with one toddler, but not two. I really lost all control of the house with my second.

I always measured their development partly in what it meant for me, and returning to a tight ship has been a source of contentment. This probably happened when my youngest was 4 or so?

But now, of course, I miss those years so much.

TheLovelyBoots Sat 13-Dec-14 07:38:10

I remember that getting a toddler into a high-chair for dinner was a huge relief. At least 15 minutes of solid kitchen-tidying time.

BauerTime Sat 13-Dec-14 22:43:00

I feel your pain! My 16mo has just turned into the Tasmanian devil. I can not take my eye off of him for a second, so even if he stops making mess for a moment, there is still no opportunity for me to deal with it until he is asleep. So anything other than a tidy round and wipe will have to wait until he is about 9 I reckon blush

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