Oh Right, My Left Foot
The Helpful Games

Our House, In the Middle of the Living Room

Because I am mean and horrible (and/or about to shit a primary-colored plastic brick if I step on one more goddamned bloody Lego), I recently banished all toys from our living room. All. All the toys. Hereby, I declare: None toys in the living room. 

Originally, in an aspirational what-family-do-I-think-lives-here frenzy, I gave board games a pass. I stacked them up neatly in a relocated buffet behind the couch, all pieces sorted and intact, a organzational masterpiece that lasted exactly 15 minutes before Ike pulled every single game out and upended them all over the floor. 

So if we WERE the kind of family that held regular Game Nights*, the only option at this point would be some bastardized unholy version of Sorry, I Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus to Your Operation While Wearing a HedBanz and Then Some Underfed Hippos Ated The Hospital and A Bunch of Hotels. But you'd have to pretend to roll the dice; we no longer have any.

*Note: We are not. We are all entirely too competitive and it always ends badly. Also, Noah cheats. I SAW YOU MOVE AN EXTRA SPACE. IT'S NOT FAIR. I WAS WINNING. JA-A-SON, STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT. 

Ahem. ANYWAY. Point is, I moved all their toys to the basement playroom and meticulously organized everything into baskets and stations by toy type and category. Trains, wooden. Transportation, other, assorted metal. Food, plastic, wood, felt. Cups, picnic-related. Cups, stacking. You get the general OCD idea. 

Which of course means my children want nothing to do with any of those downstairs toys anymore (so classist!), and this has now taken up permanent residence in the middle of my living room:


This = a house. OBVIOUSLY. Did you not notice the chimney? With the fire and everything?


(Yes, that is The Napkin. Though Noah is less entranced with it now that it's come undone a couple times and my napkin rosette-rolling skills are apparently not restaurant quality.)


I'm sure it's a surprise to absolutely no one that this is all Ezra's doing. 


It's gone through a few architectural changes (depending on pre/post-trash day cardboard box availability), and is surprisingly roomy.


I am currently under very strict orders not to "break the house." Even Noah barely got his pillow back last night. 


Which means the first order of business this morning was install a replacement door.


While Ezra was distracted with breakfast, I admit I did some snooping to see the furnishings.




Because every house needs 1) a dog, 2) half-a-dozen plastic milks, 3) yellow money, 4) ice tongs, 5) picnic food, 6) a wooden cucumber and 7) a Thomas train and Dinoco helicopter.

When questioned, Ezra insisted that all those toys weren't, in fact, in the living room. That's the house's KITCHEN ROOM. The other basket is the house's living room, and it's empty. No toys there, Mom.


LOGIC = FLAWLESS. Outsmarted once again, alas. 



I love the creativity of your kids. And how there are no toys in his living room either.


Sorry to weirdly fixate, but I must know where you got your round green/turquoise coffee table!! So adorable! (like your children, of course ;)


I love kid logic. Makes my brains hurt sometimes but they're onto something.


I love kid logic. Makes my brains hurt sometimes but they're onto something.


Why do you still think you can win with this bunch? They might be short but their skills and logic are close to perfect.


We also have a "no toys in the living room rule". The older 2 follow the rule pretty well but that new one never picks up her crap. You'd think after 8 weeks of life she'd cue in a little. Babies.


See, the thing is, kids are really smart - and they can play work games of attorney caliber.

When I was a babysitter, I discovered that me and my charges were able to come to an unspoken understanding. I stated my requirements explicitly, and if I was completely clear and honest, they would comply - as in:
"I don't want to HEAR any noise from up there" (not "Go to sleep!")

From that point, I didn't HEAR any noise. They weren't asleep, but when Mommy & Daddy came home I could truthfully say "They were totally cooperative and I never heard a peep."

So if you say "I don't want to see any toys in here" They will probably sneak toys in, but you won't see them.

Unfortunately, that brings you up short - who steps on a Lego if they see it first? So tweak your verbiage as needed.

Or live with the house, till the dead cars start piling up in the side yard...


When will you learn? The children own us all now.

I implemented the no toys in the living room a few months ago. Didn't last. I would prefer them all to be downstairs but magically, they've found spots in the dining room. Begone, small plastic pieced irritations!


This is the exact reason I just ordered a couch that does not have removable cushions and removed all baskets from the living room. EXACT. REASON. (Well, ours is a "fort" but whatever.)


This is the exact reason I just ordered a couch that does not have removable cushions and removed all baskets from the living room. EXACT. REASON. (Well, ours is a "fort" but whatever.)


i actually cackled out loud at this line: "Sorry, I Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus to Your Operation While Wearing a HedBanz and Then Some Underfed Hippos Ated The Hospital and A Bunch of Hotels." ...well done. and family game nights never flew in my house either ;)

geeky Heather

Logic not flawless. Time to introduce them to transitive relations. If A is in B, and B is in C, A is also in C. (Where A = toys, B = "house", and C = living room. House living room is D, which is not in this equation at all.)


Hey! That's a Jingle dog from Hallmark. We have one of those, too. My boys love that he "talks" to them!


@Lisa Coffee table is from the Pottery Barn Outlet. Quite old at this point, and missing large chunks of green. Bonus for circular tables, though: I just keep spinning it around so the most dinged-up part is facing the fireplace.





Maxine Dangerous

1. I love the baskets that have become the fort/surreptitious toy storage.

2. I probably shouldn't be mildly turned on by your OCD tendencies. :D


This is the last time I'm going to tell you!
Love your kids and you're funny.
Newsflash: I love paisley.


LOVE the furnishings...and how dare you even consider removing the door so your other child might be able to sleep. Ugh.


That's adorable. I'd like to know if you win one day. But mostly: squatty potty ad? lol!


Those milk bottles were my favorite toy as a kid at my grandma's. My daughter is now crazy about them when we go to my parents.

And if you ever get a new furnace/water heater, keep the box. What a post that will be. . .


That's hilarious.

Lynda M O

Fort building can only be improved by using fitted sheets. A trick I stumbled on one day when the flat sheets were not to be found. Worked like nobody's business and impressed the crap outta my boss !~!

Practical Mama

The same in our household. And every time I forget to take a picture of these, so that I can show my kids, when they want yet another toy, that they will touch only once when we bring it home. Then they will use all other household stuff to build, pretend, play whatever.

Becca Lynn

I lol'd so hard. For serious. THEY'RE NOT IN THE LIVING ROOM, MOM. Duh.


I put a big box in our living room for my boys ... four months later, it's still there. Not exactly sure what I was thinking. There's going to be tears when it gets moved onto the porch for summer. Tears of joy HA

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