With my little boy growing up fast, there have been a number of household activities that have become casualties of my toddler. 

One night, when he was precisely twelve months and two weeks old, completely out of the blue, my little boy Rafferty stood himself up and took twenty one wobbly steps across the room. It was his first real attempt at walking and he certainly looked very pleased with himself for making it that far on his little baby legs. I’ll never forget that moment, I was so elated but sad as well because it heralded the final days of my itty bitty baby and the dawning of a new era.

An era that means I cannot relax for one second.

A month later and we have a one hundred percent toddler on our hands. He walks rather than crawls, constantly falls flat on his face and has discovered the many, many exciting objects that are now within reach of his curious baby fingers. If he can grab it, he can destroy it, you can count on that.

Now that we have a toddler in the house, there are some things that my husband and I have abruptly had to kiss goodbye to for the foreseeable future.

Things we once so jovially took for granted are now lost to us as we adjust to living by Rafferty’s Rules:

Going barefoot in the house
What used to be floor is now a booby trapped obstacle course that must be negotiated with utmost care. Cookie cutters, Lego, plastic figurines and forks are just some of the things that really really hurt to stand on. I finally understand how my mother developed an obsessive habit of tidying, but it took a flesh wound involving the potato masher to get me there.

Using the oven
I can’t cook a roast or bake a cake unless Rafferty is asleep, because his endlessly inquisitive nature means he’s more than likely to yank open the oven door and attempt to cook his own head before I can stop him. Once that oven light goes on he is drawn to it like a moth to a bug zapper. Separating him from the kitchen with the help of a baby gate just results in climbing injuries so it’s frying pan (handle turned out of reach) and counter top slow cooker all the way.

Whole sentences
“So you’re not going to believe this, the other day – DON’T TOUCH THAT!!” Have you ever noticed parents of cartoon faced tots under the age of two can’t actually hold a conversation? It’s impossible to sit and have a chat because the second you look away the crafty rugrats are scaling the stair rail with a pair of scissors in their mouth. My poor friends don’t get to say much either – it’s not that I’m not interested, it’s just that I have to put the convo on hold so I can stop Raff from shoving my lipstick up the dog’s bum.

Hot drinks
I pour it. I sit down. I spend ten minutes trying to keep it out of the grasp of my toddler. I give up, tip it down the sink and have a swig from his milk bottle instead.

Any sense of household order
Generally before visitors come we all do that trick where you rush around with a vacuum cleaner then shove things into cupboards and make your house look like you don’t actually live in it – to at least present the illusion that you’re in control of your home and possessions.
When you have a toddler you can try to do this but before you can say “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” there is an upturned box of cereal on the kitchen floor, an unravelled roll of toilet paper in the bathroom and a puddle of milk because ‘yay’ – the baby has learned how to unscrew a lid.
Chaos reigns for the time being at my place – but so long as you don’t get the rats moving in it can actually be a little liberating to just go with a bit of untidiness. Life has changed and our house is a bombsite but at least it’s filled with love.

What has changed in your house now that you have a toddler?


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  • Oh goodness the things they get up to.


  • My toddler loves to help with Mummy the housework; so much so that it is a fun game for him to tip something out (box of cereal, cat food, his water bottle etc) just so that he can grab the dust pan and brush and attempt to clean it up. At least he’s trying to help…


  • yep i know all about this! my toddler is very full on


  • The lego lesson is a painful, painful lesson every adult must learn :P


  • Thanks for sharing this interesting article; household order! what’s that? ;)


  • Hahahaha! That photo is like dejavu for our house! Very entertaining!


  • I am not sure which is worst – kids or pets. If I leave the toilet door open so I can hear the kids, the cat is likely to jump up on the cistern. The 2 year old will stick his head around the door and say” hello”, then I usually say “hello but off you go” and he goes and plays in his bedroom which is only a few metres from the toilet. If we leave any dishes unwashed in the sink at night while bathing the kids the cat climbs up and licks them. Sterilizer goes in the washing up water after the sink has been cleaned with anti-bacterial wipes. By law we are not allowed to leave a cat outside after dar so he sleeps inside, often under the computer desk, bed or dresser. He seems to like sleeping under furniture or on top of the clothes dryer. 2 year old used to think his dry food was good to roll along the floor. Grrrrrr! Consequently the cat food was promoted to a solid cover put on the laundry trough.
    Missy pulled a drawer out of her dresser when she was about 2 1/2 y.o. and the whole dresser fell down on top of her. A trip to hospital to make sure she didn’t have concussion or anything worse because she knocked herself unconscious. No problems diagnosed but better to be safe than sorry.
    When my cousin was about 10 months old my Aunty took him for a walk in his old fashioned big pram and put her bag under his pillow. As he went to sleep she decided to walk down to her Mother’s place. He was still asleep so she put the pram in a bedroom. When he woke up, then sat up and must have wriggled around. He found my Aunty’s handbag, got her lipstick and spread all over his face and insde the pram which was a very deep one. He was in a harness in it and could sit up but not crawl or stand up in it. When he was about 3 years old they were living in a rental property next to a farm so the backyard had a high fence with barb wire on the top. He climbed up over it and back again quite a few times and never tore his clothes. His Grandma didn’t believe him so to her horror he demonstrated how he did it. Little Horror he was.
    When my younger brother was about 18 months old he managed to fall over a few times fairly close together and nearly always skun his nose. In between times it must have got itchy because he kept scratching it. He had a bandaid on his nose a lot for a few weeks.
    I was in bed with Tonsillitis and Chicken Pox. I had missed my vaccination because they won’t give vaccinations if you are sick and I continually got tonsillitis and ear infections.
    When I was about 3 years old I got bored after being in bed for a few days I used he clip out of my hair to draw on the wall behind the curtain next to my bed. At about the same age my brother drew on a wall in another bedroom just after it had been freshly repainted.
    His youngest daughter did the same thing at about the same age – in her freshly painted bedroom but behind the door. Grandma and her had a talk about it. It was grim if Grandma said even a sentence about something she had done wrong. She promised she wouldn’t do it again. Thank goodness she kept that promise but she made up for it in other ways – a big handful that one. I could tell a few other things kids I know got up to but I’ll leave it at that.


  • lol this was funny. i go barefoot and i am always cleaning the floor because i hate the feel of it when it isn’t clean


  • you certainly put a smile on my dial and a giggle in my wiggle. thanks for sharing Raff’s experiences.lol.


  • Thank you for a well written and interesting read!


  • Totally relate to this life is just not the same once you have a toddler


  • Lovely to hear you say your house is a bombshell but you’re happy because it’s filled with love! I’m always stressing about how messy our place is, but I think I’ll adopt your attitude and go with the flow!
    And yes, standing on lego pieces with bare feet – OUCH!


  • I loved this! Yes we suffer from not being able to finish a sentence in our house for about 11 years now!!!


  • hehehehe well written! yes life is crazy but full of love :)


  • Nothing too much has changed in the house. I still have breakable items but I allow for things to be touched & handled carefully.
    One thing I’ve had to let go of though, is to stop being precious about the couch.


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