When our boys were born the house went from magazine-worthy to mega-mess almost overnight. Our wonky little cottage — that seemed roomy for two grown adults — felt like a bit of a squash.
The kitchen went from clear to cluttered, just hours after bringing them home.
It’s single meagre work surface housed an extra kettle, bottle steamer, gazillions of bottles. Plus various other gadgets needed for our two new little residents.
The table had two extra chairs around it; in the form of Stokke Tripp Trapps. Aptly named as they have rather large feet that have a habit of tripping you up if you’re not concentrating).
My work room turned into a nursery. Its contents dismantled bit by bit; then shipped out to other areas of the house. Or to my boy’s office 25 miles away.
And on every surface, in every room of the house, there were muslins, various rattles, baby toys and books.
I had the feeling that our little home had been picked up — shaken very hard — then set back down again.
It was chaos for those first few months.
But despite the clutter and disarray, I secretly loved having a kitchen full of baby paraphernalia. I’d waited so long for it to happen. It gave me a sense of elation to see my house resembling a branch of Mothercare.
Then little by little, as my babies grew, things started to vanish almost as soon as they’d arrived.
The bottles became larger and fewer. Then, as my tiny sons began to have solid food, the Dr Browns and the steamer disappeared from sight totally.
The Jumperoos and bouncy chairs were sold. And the sea of shape sorters and baby toys were replaced by cars and Lego.
Happily, the books have remained —and multiplied.
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Inspiring young readers
One of the things I love most about having children is being able to read to them; to transport them to other worlds with words and pictures.
I used to love bedtime stories when I was little. My dad used to do brilliant voices, for all the different characters; I’ve definitely tried to follow suit in that department. Inspiring young readers is pretty easy if they’re engaged.
When the boys were very tiny, Dear Zoo was the favourite. I even wrote a post about it.
But as they’ve got older and their imaginations have started to grow, the amazing books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have totally captivated them. These are definitely now the favourites.
It started off with ‘Hide and Seek Pig’ — which stayed in the top spot for a long time. But now they’ve just moved on to Room on a Broom and Monkey Puzzle.
Julia Donaldson’s Books
The Gruffalo, The Go-Away Bird and Counting Creatures are just a few of Julia Donaldson’s books that have been entertaining and inspiring children for years.
I love this blog post on the Pan Macmillan site that lists all of Julia Donaldson books and series.
A guide to Julia Donaldson’s books
Reading To Small People
Books aside, I’m pretty sure that our house will never be as it was before the boys arrived.
And I LOVE that.
Give me the colour and noise — and chaos — that two little boys bring, any day of the week.
Who wants a tidy house when you can have chocolate smudged kisses or cuddles from stocky little bodies, throwing their arms round your knees?
What could be lovelier than reading a story to a captive(ated) audience and watching them learn and grow each day?
Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.