10 Basic Items You Can Never Have With Toddlers Around


I stare obsessively at the photos posted by a woman on Instagram who has the most amazingly stylish and sophisticated home. It’s all white. It reminds me of my house with the layout, the windows and the design, but her house is all white. White cabinets, counters, floors, walls; everything is all white. It’s bright and beautiful and airy and so perfectly put together in all its Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn goodness – it’s perfect. I don’t get it. She has kids; three of them, including a set of infant twins. I have a set of twins who just turned one, as well as two older kids. I made the mistake of wearing a dress yesterday that had one little piece of white on it and my kids turned it from white to filth in about three seconds flat – in the car on the way to the store. How? I don’t even know. It’s like this superpower that they have.

I don’t know how this woman lives in a white house with three kids. I want a white house. I long for all white. I can’t have it. I have kids. In particular, I have a four-year old who we affectionately refer to as “Instant Junk.” Hand something to Ava and it will take her a half second to turn it to instant junk. I keep a clean house thanks to a touch of OCD in terms of cleanliness, so mess is not my thing. Ava, on the other hand, can go from perfectly clean in the shower to a filthy little monster in the four feet from her bathroom to her bedroom door after bath time every night. I can dress her in the morning for school, carry her myself into the garage and put her in my clean car just like that and it takes about six seconds for her to become covered in dirt. I don’t even know where to finds it. Instant junk. A hot mess. A tiny little disaster (not that the other three are perfect, they’re just a lot cleaner and a lot less like bulldozers who destroy absolutely everything).

Between 4-year-old Ava and the twins, Carter and Charlotte, who are 16-months, we cannot have nice things. We haven’t had nice things in 7 years since our oldest was born. I mean, we have nice things, but they are hidden away deep in the recesses of our attic since our kids will destroy them. But really, at the moment, our house is minimalist. We’ve literally removed half our belongings from our home in order to keep our sanity and our belongings intact, and to keep our kids safe. Oh what am I saying; we can’t have anything in our house – nice or not.

Toilet paper

Now, I’m not going to lie to you. My kids love to eat toilet paper. Not so much eat it as chew on it and make sure it’s nice and disgustingly wet and awful before dropping it on the floor and walking away from it. It’s gross, and it’s a choking hazard. So, if you come to my house and you need to use the restroom, I’d look around for the toilet paper first before things get awkward.

End tables

We used to have these amazing little end tables we picked up. They were oh-so-chic and decorative with windy, twisty legs. Very narrow and chic. And then the babies started using them as toys they push over on top of one another. Bye, bye tables.

Coffee tables

I long for the days when I had my big, decorative coffee table in front of my couches. I had a silver tray on which I displayed this gorgeous crystal vase I used to fill with whatever flowers were prettiest that week at the florist. I had a few beautiful books (that I actually do read because I’m a book whore) and everything was situated so elegantly on there. But since I love my kids and don’t want them to eat broken crystal, all that had to go.

Décor of any kind

Candles, no. Flowers, no. We can’t even have a basket on the fireplace with diapers and wipes so that we don’t have to run up and down the stairs every time someone needs a new diaper since the kids use this as a weapon of mass destruction.

Table cloths

No, no and no. These are not even permitted in my house on a holiday dinner occasion when it’s necessary over my beautiful table that I do not want messed up in any way. We have settled for a runner – that’s too short for the 8-foot table. But I’ll take it, because the kids can’t reach it and pull everything down.

Remote controls

They’re hard, they’re dangerous and they make wonderful launching weapons my kids can throw at me when they want my attention. Also, when they push buttons, we are screwed right out of television for a day since I do not have even a tiny clue how to make those things work.


They can be launched.


Even in drawers, my kids can still reach in and grab them. Then they could stab me, or themselves. Our knives are in a shoe box in a cabinet above our microwave range thing above the cooktop. Needless to say, that’s too high to reach, so we try to avoid foods that require knives.

Anything that touches the floor and doesn’t weigh as much as a couch

Anything – and everything. If it doesn’t weigh a literal ton, my kids can pick it up, push it over and use the broken pieces as weapons. They brandish them without hesitation and it’s kind of scary.

Decorative door handles

When we bought this house, it had long, lovely door handles that were just a dream. We cannot have those anymore. The kids can use them, hang from them and really do a number on our house and their overall health.

See, we cannot have anything nice with kids in the house.

Photo by Getty Images


Leave a Reply