For now, a photo will be my thousand words. Shown here: Sofas for snuggles, a basket of stuffed you-name-it’s, a puzzle table doubling as storage for baby doll toilets and bottles. Apparently they do shit where they eat. What lives beneath puzzle land: aside from babies, there are proto-feminist icons, including Ariel of Little Mermaid fame. Yes, the very one who literally gave up her voice for a man. Then there are the more practical items: the pink feather boa and fluffy sequin-studded phone, for instance.
Next, we have the Arts & Crafts “center,” as Luke likes to call it. I dared, for now, to leave crayons and kid-friendly scissors within reach. If they try to cut their own hair, it will be an improvement on their most recent butcher jobs. There’s a chalk board, a roll of paper, bins of construction paper, then Mama’s got the real goods like rubber cement, googly eyes, pompoms, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, contact paper, glitters, glues, cotton balls, and a loaded flask all within my reach. The paint? Downstairs, away from our stained carpeting, and near our new sofas. I’ll say it. I’m brilliant.
Our playroom. Luke has taken to calling it “The Hive of Activity Room.” He’s fancy like that.
If we still lived in New York, the “Train Center” would be the subway, and costuming would be done in my closet. I’ve asked my New York girls turned hot mamas how they manage, just with all the stuff that comes with kids, and their solutions are all the same. They’ve gone ahead and kept their apartments, deciding to expand them… by buying houses in the Hamptons. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy space!
Our Austin “Game Room,” as deemed by real estate brokers, consists of a Train Center, Baby Doll Center, Music Box. Kitchenette, complete with roaring grill that won’t SHUT IT. The puzzle table also includes actual, ya know, puzzles, and lacing beads, and a corset (never too early). For the puzzles, I keep all the pieces for each in their own zip-locks. As to nurture all of our inner construction workers + future architects, the wooden blocks, plastic comb shapes, and Legos each have their own bins beside the tools. And balls. After all, men with balls always want to fix things. When all we want to do is feel heard. Any more stereotypes? I’m here for you.
I’m most fond of our little Book Nook—with its individual club chairs and plush area rug, for when you’ve had a hard day and need a proper shagging. Speaking of which, a full length mirror is next, added to a beam near the “Costume Center,” which, may I remind you, is indeed a drawer. Need to work on getting Luke some good dress up clothes. As for the sensory toys for sifting + sorting, for all water play, sand, and such, we brave the elements, even here, where, so far, in our yard, we’ve discovered: a skunk, a coyote (and a neighbor with a shotgun), two tarantulas, new baby birds in their nest, scorpion (plural), a Bud Light Big Ass Bullfrog, many cottontail bunnies, roadrunners, hummingbirds, and many Bambi orphans.