This week's tip was born out of complete laziness on my part. So if you're a bit OCD about the house once the kids are in bed, I suggest you stop reading here.
This is my living room.
Well, it used to be my living room. These holidays it has been a hospital, a house, a village, a farm, a circus, a zoo, a shopping mall, a school and a mosh pit for my daughters' Lego, Playmobile, Barbie and Littlest Pet Shop collections. They all just muck in together. We don't discriminate around here.#diversityrocks
I got home late from a long day of work + rehearsal one night last week (I'm in the middle of the final stages of rehearsal for Priscilla Queen of the Desert - The Musical which opens at The Regent Theatre, Dunedin on May 3 -get our tickets people) and on top of unpacking groceries, unloading the dishwasher, bringing in the washing and absolutely nothing to do with gobbing down 3/4 of a bottle of red, I simply could not face putting away the kids creations that were spread out to every corner of the living room floor.
The next morning the girls stumbled into the kitchen/living area all sleepy eyed and adorable and I braced myself for the not unusual negotiations about screen time. "It's the holidays", "you never let us watch anything" and "I did what you asked the first time once yesterday therefor I am entitled to watch everything I've ever dreamed of constantly for the rest of my days".
But guess what? Yup, they both sat down and just picked up where they left off from yesterday's Playmobile Viking Bah Mitsvah. Zero requests for screens. They played for hours.
Not for one minute out of laziness (ahem) but merely to be sure it wasn't just an accident, I left it out again the next evening. Sure enough, the Littlest Pet Shop Pool Party with Barbie waitstaff resumed. Only this time the neighbours joined in too.
These holidays, in my living room, there have been weddings, multiple pregnancies, a zombie apocalypse, fashion shows, gladiator battles, a unicorn world takeover and more break ups, accidents and deaths than one episode of The Young and the Restless.
So my tip this week - if you can stand it (no judgement here if you can't) - and maybe just for the holidays (because everyone has their limits) - is to leave the kids' bloody stuff out and see what happens. There have been no screens or fights every morning for over a week at my place.
Now if I sound smug about this, it's because I am smug about this. Smug as all hell. Even if I did just figure it out by accident.
Disclaimer - this most likely only works if you have no need to use your living room for anything like actual living and you don't mind an experience not dissimilar to walking barefoot across hot coals just to open and close your curtains every day.
We sell Play & Gos by the way, which are ideal for storing toy collections and little bits.