Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
I clearly remember lying on the living room couch, heavily pregnant, looking at the expanse of white carpet and all the clear, clean surfaces, thinking, very soon, this space will be filled with crap.
Back then, it was hard to imagine an actual child, with actual child things, existing in the home Clint and I had shared for a handful of years. Now, the toy box and book basket and truck bin are all as part of the living room landscape as the couch and the coffee table—childproofed, of course.
Though my amazing psychic abilities gave me a heads-up on the living room situation, I had no such clear vision about the yard. It took me off guard last week, when it seemed an entire munchkin-sized plastic play world had sprouted in our shady backyard. It was almost as if we’d planted it on purpose.
In truth, everything was accumulated, somewhat accidentally, over the past few months. The house, sandbox and slide migrated from the yard of a dear friend, whose children had outgrown them. I scooped up the pool and chair at garage sales. Roy and Clint scored both the picnic table and the gardening bench streetside.
Scrub ‘em up and stick ‘em together, and our yard, much like our living room, is now a clear reflection of our life: thrifty, toddler-centric and somewhat cobbled together, but earnestly geared toward fun. It snuck up on me, as things tend to do. But what’s to do except embrace it? Hooray for this new phase of toddler entertainment! Hooray for my backyard full of plastic crap!