I had Montessori dreams.
The children would only have hand-made toys! From local artisans! It’d be nothing but Constructivism and natural fibres and sustainability around here, baby.
Then I actually had children. And with them came a veritable avalanche of tat.
For a long time, holding dear to my previous ideals, all of their toys were sorted into type and on display. I culled as best I could all the junk that somehow found it’s way into our home. But then they would fall in love with the most ghastly tiny wretched plastic treasure, and though it would break within a week, I still had to find somewhere to put it in the meantime.
It took me a long time to come to terms with the idea of a Toy Box – somewhere to throw it all! Where it cannot be seen! But recently, as I was tearing around the house in a desperate frenzy, just sort of flailing wildly at my intricate system of Piles of Associated Items Ready for Return to Their Rightful Place, and trying to prepare the house for a play-date, I was struck with the beauty of having somewhere to throw it all! Where it cannot be seen!
I found the box that had been used by the children for every purpose imaginable in the time since I bought myself a new hoover for Christmas; every purpose, except one – Storage! I threw everything that belonged in the childrens room in this glorious box and threw it all in everyones secret hiding place for what their lives really look like; the Spare Room.
It was a revelation.
But I believe that if you are trapped in a house with tiny dictators all day, the things your home should make you happy. Or perhaps because I have not left the house in 3 years, my Stockholm Syndrome coupled with my Cabin Fever have manifested themselves in wanting to cover everything with with a wipable surface, I naturally had to cover the Toy Box in contact paper.
I also made a fastener by punching a hold in either side of the lid and using a pipe-cleaner to hold a button onto one side and a loop of ribbon onto the other. Because if you are going to do something, you may as well do something that gives opportunity to use all those pipe-cleaners you have.
When I showed the children, Mabel was thrilled.
Theo was furious that I had defaced his space-ship.
You win some, you lose some.