Since Harper and I were married so long before plunging into parenthood, we definitely got used to having the place to ourselves. We spent most of our free time and money working on the house and the yard, and I loved having a picture-worthy landscape, even if it was only from certain angles. One of the things that I dreaded about eventually becoming parents was the inevitable toy takeover of our home, and especially the yard. Everyone knows it goes with the territory. Some families do a better job of hiding the clutter, but it’s usually visible at our house. We used to be sticklers about putting up all the outside toys before coming inside, but as the collection grew, it became harder to enforce. Especially since we usually head inside without much warning because one of the boys needs to poop/have a diaper change, someone makes a bad choice, the baby wakes up, etc… And now, of course, there are the big toys–the trampoline, playset, teeter-totter, Jeep–the things that are always in the picture. They make the yard more fun, but I’d be lying if I said they don’t bother me when they’re in the background of most pictures. When I found the playground Jeep and metal slide at a local second-hand store, I even wanted to keep them rusty so they wouldn’t stand out so much in pictures. Of course, Harper and Tice wanted to paint them to make them look new. We ended up compromising: the Jeep is bright blue; the slide remains unpainted.
Like everything in life, you take the good with the bad. This stage is beautiful and fleeting. One day, I’ll have my yard back, but I’ll miss the boys being back there all the time.
For now, I’ll accept and embrace all the kid gear. I have two really good reasons.