With Baby Applesauce (*see below if you don’t understand the nickname) on the way, I’ve started to rearrange the house to make way for baby things, like a swing, bouncer and playpen in the living room.
Unfortunately, and I felt terrible for it, Dean’s gigantic train set was the first to feel my wrath. While he was tucked away in his big bed for a nap one day after a family outing to IKEA, I took apart the massive train track that was taking over a 25 square foot area of prime real estate. I saved some of it (I’m not that much of a monster!) and made a smaller, more manageable size track. I built our new TROFAST storage unit and arranged the buckets in a way that would make sense for little hands to pull them in and out and off the rails. Then I arranged his toys into bins with similar objects – all the trains into one bin, cars and trucks and things that go into another, musical instruments in another bin and so on.
You’re probably snickering at the moment. “Does she really think a 21 month old is going to keep his toys sorted?!” Snicker away, but my son has done a better job at putting his toys away into the right bins than my husband has!
We equipped his corner with a car mat, also purchased at IKEA, so it’s a bit more cozy. It’s not a push carpet but it beats sitting on the hardwood floor and it’s fun to drive cars along the roads.
Yes, his toys still end up all over the house some days. And other days, there’s only one or two trains laying on the kitchen floor, out to get me when I head to the fridge in the dark to grab a snack before bedtime. I’ve found that with the help of a bucket, and now his new wagon that he got this past weekend, getting him to help gather his toys to bring to the corner is so much easier.
I feel a little less twitchy when there aren’t toys from one corner of the house to the other. It’s wonderful being able to slide into bed and not find yourself putting Duplo blocks out from under your butt. Or going to the bathroom in the middle of the night and no tripping over a Tickle Me Elmo doll that starts laughing at your clumsiness coupled with your child’s attempts of taking you out.
Eventually we will move some of his toys into his bedroom (which is currently ours – more about the bedroom musical chairs another day though) but not until he is older. He has a bin of Mega Blocks in his room for mornings that he wakes up early and we have the small chance of lounging in bed for ten minutes, now that he sleeps in his big bed and can climb down to go play when he wakes up. And we will sometimes leave a few toys set up in the morning for him to find when he gets up. But we’ll be keeping the main source of toys in the living room for a few years to come. We like having him close by while he plays and I don’t think he would play very well in his room on his own, being that he is so social.
Once he gets the biggest bedroom of the house, though, I may set up a small toy corner in there for him, with a large train track and some other toys. It’s a huge room – and we are also thinking of getting him a single bed which will free up even more room. I’m not against him playing solo in his room – It’s great for his independence and for my sanity, but for the most part, we’d like him to play in the living room so we can chat and play with him, too.
Show me your play area! Post a photo or link in the comments below – I’d love to see it!
* The story of Baby Applesauce :
A few days ago, I asked Dean what we should call the baby and he thought long and hard about a name. “Uuummmmmm…. Baby Applesauce!” was his response. So from this day forth, until Baby 2.0 has a name, they will be known as Baby Applesauce.