My children have too much. Too many clothes, too many toys, too many books, too much of everthing.
I know a lot of you are nodding in agreement right now, looking around your home, wondering when it stopped looking like Pottery Barn and more like the Christmas edition of the Toys R Us flyer.
There is a play room for the boys in the basement, with wall-to-wall shelves filled with everything from crafts, to TinkerToys, Wedgits, balls, marbles, books, trucks, cleaning supplies, and LEGO. In between, they have a little table with a magnet board and a variety of magnets. Two other shelves on the other wall hold my my four year old's Playmobil collection, and under those shelves, the chalk and cork boards from Pottery Barn Kids.
There are a lot of toys in the family room, too, where 4 shelves are dedicated to their books, trucks, puzzles and crafts. (The rest of the shelves are mine - filled with my books, photo albums, and pictures.) Their little red Ikea table and chairs are in the family room, and on one side, a section for my their trucks and construction area, where a toy storage unit also is. There is also a little tool section and a little kitchen.
Basically, my entire house looks like a daycare centre.
It is a little cluttered, and every night, after the boys fall asleep, I clean up, and put everything away, getting the room ready for the next day, bringing out toys that have not been played with or used in a while. I like to rotate things, so they have something 'new' to play with every day.
I line up the trucks, tidy up the craft table, put things back together again.
I know as soon as my youngest son is older, he will be able to play unsupervised with his brother in the basement, and then the family room can be 'mine' again.
At least, for now, the living room and dining room are in mint condition, for entertaining adult friends!
Their bedrooms have some toys as well, but mostly books on their book shelves. We often play in their rooms at night, after bath time. "Book, book!" my youngest son will say, and I happily pick him up, and read to him. "A hundred books!" my 4 year old says to me, before bed time.
And I pick up a pile of books and read to him until he falls asleep. It is my favourite part of the day.
I don't mind, really, the fact that our family room looks like a daycare centre. I love to be able to be in the kitchen preparing dinner (macaroni and cheese) or loading the dishwasher and watching them play, having them in my view, in case they need my help, in case I have to break up a fight, or if they want me to play with them.
I know soon enough, they'll be playing alone, both of them, in another part of the house, either in their rooms, or in the basement, and they won't need my supervision as much anymore. So I can totally wait for that day to come, and in the meantime, I can enjoy the chaos that is my house right now... because it is a house filled with giggly little boys, who run around making a mess, and having fun, right in front of my eyes.
I just have to be careful not to step on a piece of LEGO... ouch!