We moved into this house when I was newly pregnant with Remmy. Young, fresh-faced couple (um, Jack fresh-faced, the first trimester made me look a tiny bit like an eager zombie with a ponytail), super eager to make our new house a home.
“Where should I put this extra nightstand?”
“In the baby’s room!”
“YOU SAID BABY’S ROOM.”
“I KNOW! I LOVE CALLING IT THE BABY’S ROOM.”
Right? Obnoxious. I’m not sure how we retained any friends that first month. They’re having a baby AND they want us to help them move, ughhh we totally need to dump this couple for the Parkers. The Parkers have a pool and their kids are at least toilet trained.
Three kids later, and our house is full. Of love and happiness? Huh? Oh yeah, THAT, but I meant full of humans, furniture, impossibly tiny dresses, instruments, nine healthy potted plants. Okay, like eight and a half healthy potted plants.
Our limited square footage seemed to disappear under weird contraptions that hold babies and supposedly rock them to sleep, toys that promise to entertain children while you’re slicing avocados, and, like, a million tutus. Don’t get us wrong. We adore our children. There’s something endearing about hearing little kid chatter while I’m burning dinner, for example, but I also crave space that is unmarred by trucks and ponies.
Over the course of a couple of days, Jack and I went downstairs into our mostly finished basement, cleared out a space, cleaned it, and it became the girls’ playroom. By mostly finished I mean there’s an actual ceiling and electricity and heat and lights, but there’s some exposed cement and the laundry room looks a little bit like I should be making and selling moonshine out of it during the prohibition.
The playroom is a glorious little space gated off from the rest of the basement. The two big girls can go downstairs and play by themselves, and it won’t be long before we’re letting Minnie traverse the stairs without an adult. It’s their space to be loud and creative and messy. We keep the basement door open and hear peals of laughter coming from downstairs. The plus side for us – our living room no longer looks like Toys R Us vomited all over it. And we can invite an unexpected visitor inside without having to offer to give them a piggyback ride to the couch, lest they be impaled by scattered teeny tiny legos.
It’s still our shared space for family time – watching movies, playing board games – PLEASE MY CHILDREN, PICK ANYTHING BUT CANDYLAND – general snuggling and conversation, but it’s a lot easier to maintain now that toys are mostly relegated to the downstairs.
We have a Home Depot gift card provided by the new, no-annual fee American Express EveryDay card, and we’ll be using it to make the playroom a little bit more playroomier. Instead of just gating off the playroom, we’d like to have an enclosed space with real walls and doors with locks, and we’ll paint the walls something other than ecru. I’m voting for a mural of my face, but that – surprisingly – was shut down by every other member of the family. Want a $4,000 Home Depot gift card to enhance your own #EveryDayMoments? Enter for a chance to win here, and if you do, please invite me over to hang out and enjoy your new deck. Or kitchen remodel. I’ll bring Cheetos.
Disclosure: I was compensated by AMEX EveryDay Credit Card, the new credit card from American Express that celebrates #EveryDayMoments and everyday purchases. All thoughts and opinions are my own.