What do they do with the real children?

I love magazines and I love pinterest. I also love browsing baby stores and looking at gorgeously dressed nurseries. Sometimes I am shopping, sometimes I am getting inspiration but mostly I am thinking, why doesn’t my house look like that? And I am weighed down by the little green monster as well as the toddler climbing on my shoulder and the baby pulling at my breast. (Really).

I have to read the magazines with a virtual green monster fork in my hand so that I can stab the little green monster in the eye and tell it firmly, ‘real life is not like that’.

Or is it?

When I come home from an outing with two kids, I come home to a house that looks like I have real kids. They are real live and kicking mess-makers. Little miss has left little white spots over my lovely woollen rug and mister two has made noodles go where no noodle has gone before because he was swinging them like a helicopter earlier that day…

I have a Splat Mat that gets pretty well splatted every day and I have a kitchen that gets full of dishes from our baking adventures. Mister two’s room has a few cool designy elements – wall decals, another Splat Mat and some neat things that I have made for him – but the bed is tousled and covered in books and the tee pee is a bit lopsided due to being climbed on.

So here is a quick critique of some of the enviable nurseries that I have seen lately.

Nursery One has stacks of vintage books placed in beautiful piles of three. It has vintage teacups on display and a Baboushka cushion with long tassles.

It has white carpet and colour-matched walls and curtains and I love it.

But real children can’t live there, can they? Vintage teacups would be smashed in my house and putting them on top of books is a disaster waiting to happen. Putting books out that are not for touching is like toddler torture.

And tassles on cushions get pulled at, torn off or sucked.

I can meet them half way though…

My vintage books are on the top shelf for ‘special reading’ when mummy can help and the vintage teacups are also well ‘away’. My son has melamine teacups from my grandmother’s old picnic set (sweetly nostalgic) and they are ‘allowed’ (just).

Once I had a Cars and Trains Golden Book that I thought might be nice for mister two to go to bed with. It didn’t last and now I only have loose pages that I am either going to have to make bunting with or decoupage onto something one day when I find some time…

Nursery Two is themed with black and white and everything matches. The babies even wear the same designs and can be camouflaged in their own bed. There are no fingerprints on any of the shiny white things and the black and white styling looks, simply, rad.

But my kids go to the beach and go puddle jumping and are often too muddy for white things. Sometimes I put my toddler to bed with jam still on his face and sometimes, we aren’t supposed to talk about it, but sometimes he poos and it goes everywhere and his sheets are not spared.

Once I even put him to bed still wearing his gumboots because I was too scared to yank them off his feet for fear of waking the little beast up.

The black and white nursery also has low shelves with precious things on the bottom shelf. There are porcelain ornament out for display.

Porcelain ornaments?

Do the children that live there have no hands?

I don’t think real children live there either.

Nursery Three has a crane mobile hanging artfully above the cot. There would be close to 100 cranes and they must look lovely swaying and bouncing in the breeze.

I recall hearing a strange noise when my son eventually ‘caught’ his mobile and sent the fish shooting up to the ceiling because he liked the crashing sound it made and how it bounced so well on elastic. Imagine the sound of 100 cranes…

These nurseries must have hidden storage that is out of shot. In addition to all of the stuff that they have clearly swept out of the way and climbed on to take the shot, the real children must be hiding too. Or am I missing something?

Where are the real children?


Here are some tips for your nursery if you, like me, have real children.


1)      Choose a few ‘signature things’ to make the room fun

2)      If you buy white, buy more than one if you want it to stay white.

3)      Invest in more storage than you think you need (and then some more)

4)      Predict a climbing, yanking, drawing monster and try to provide spaces that allow for this growth

5)      Always have an Outie Splat Mat on hand for an eco-design option for messy play

6)      Hang mobiles higher than you think your child can reach

7)      Install high shelves for precious things and/or vintage books

8)      Add your signature with cute nursery prints (free set of six available too!)

 baby elephant crown of butterflies grow wise me love muchoarohagrey and yellow with copyright shinebrightlittlestar


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