1) Stickers – All kids love stickers. It’s a fact. And they stick them everwhere. Nobody told me when I was pregnant about how much time I would have to spend over the next few years cleaning stickers off furniture, walls, the floor, clothes, myself, the cat. At 13 and 10, my kids are past the sticker stage, but last week I realised that I have not recovered yet myself when the dentist casually asked them if they were too old for stickers and I snapped back, all too quickly “Yes they are!”.
2) Balloons – Yes, they look very pretty strung up somewhere, and that’s where they should stay. For many years balloons from parties were in my house, under my feet. Or making that annoying squeaky noise they make when they are played with, which eventually ended in the loud bang that scared the wits out of me. Then there were the extortionately priced large helium filled mylar balloons which I was begged to buy. I’m pretty sure I could buy a small island for the cost of one, but occasionally I would give in, and would then be faced with the stress of stopping them from flying away. When they did fly away, then there were the inevitable tears (mine).
3) Making sandwiches – Again, nobody warned me about how long I would be spending on this activity. Every morning there are sandwiches to be made for school. Every weekend there are sandwiches to be made for trips out. The sandwich making is never ending. I wouldn’t mind if there was some gratitude for my sandwich work. But no, there are regular complaints about the choice of filling, or the choice of bread, or the way they are packed (yes, the way they are packed).
4) Cuddly toys – I don’t actually hate cuddly toys, I kind of love them, but that’s the problem. What I hate is how they have taken over the house, there are so many of them, but I just can’t bear to throw them away. Not when they look at me like that with those cute little eyes saying “Please don’t heartlessly throw me away like a piece of garbage”. I can’t do it, I can’t get rid of any of them. I blame Toy Story.
5) Mud – I can’t say that I particularly liked mud before having kids, but I was somewhat indifferent to it. The problem is, in order to get from the car to the front door of our house, you have to walk over some grass, and that means that for at least half the year, you are also walking in mud. My valiant attempts to control it by enforcing rules of muddy shoes to be left by the door, always fail miserably. My sticker cleaning days may be over, but my mud cleaning days certainly are not. You wouldn’t believe some of the places I find mud, but that’s another post for another day…