Childrearing

Being A Parent Means You Can’t Have Nice Things

By  | 

couch

Last week, my husband and I realized a years-long dream and finally had a beautiful new sofa delivered to our house. I say years-long because we thought it would be smart to wait until our kids were done with their I’m A Total Asshole Around Nice Furniture phase before bothering to get something really nice in our family room. The last week, however, has proven that this phase is probably never over. Our kids are five and seven and the last week, trying to keep our new couch intact, has felt as futile as trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. And this is why being a parent means you can’t have nice things.

We long ago stripped our end tables of the pretty and breakable knick-knackery we had accumulated before our first child became mobile and assumed her new life mission of destroying our decor. We took down the picture frames she was able to reach because we envisioned shattered glass (which would have matched perfectly with our shattered dreams). We put away our nice throw pillows because she enjoyed coloring as a toddler and we could not trust her pudgy little hands with their Crayola-sanctioned weapons.

The one thing we could not put away or hide was a couch. Unless we were willing to go full Golden Girls and cover it in plastic, we would have to wait until our kids were at an age where they would understand us when we told them not to wipe boogers on the couch cushions. Where they would not require a bottle or sippy cup of milk (that could spray everywhere) in hand to function. When they would not barf without warning and ruin a whole cushion beyond repair.

We put down new flooring in our family room and decided we could not bring our nasty frat house couch back into the newly pristine living space. It had seen its share of baby vomit, diaper blow-outs, crayons, markers, spilled drinks, and general wear and tear- it was definitely time. Frankly, it sort of smelled. I could not WAIT to trash it. We bought a gorgeous dark brown leather sofa figuring that at least it’s leather and we can wipe it down and hopefully, it wouldn’t stain. I guess we didn’t consider the myriad other ways it could be “injured”.

In the last several days, the kids have jumped on it with their shoes on, went running at it full-speed and slammed it into the wall, placed books and toys on it that were coated in an indeterminate schmutz and scratched at it with their evil, little puppy fingernails. Oh, and last night, one of them had a random bloody nose and I got to wipe blood droplets off the cushions. WTF!? Is nothing sacred? We waited until they were both in elementary school thinking we were solid but we are still having to defend this poor couch to the death. It feels like every five minutes we are issuing a new directive- “Don’t do hand-stands on the BRAND NEW COUCH!” “Don’t bring your lip gloss on the BRAND NEW COUCH” “HONEY NO NO NO STOP BLEEDING!” It’s been a tough week, to say the least.

Somehow, the couch is still unmarred despite my children’s best efforts but I know it won’t be that way forever. After all, kids will be kids. We had a close call again last night when my husband and I were watching football and he had a beer. He started to nod off with the mug in his hand….and guess where it went. If you need me, I’ll be stopping a few Golden Girls at Target asking where they get their fancy see-thru plastic couch covers.

(Image: vichie81/Shutterstock)

144 Comments

  1. jsterling93

    September 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    3 words: Washable slip cover

    • Andrea

      September 5, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      I came here to tell her the same thing! I wouldn’t have even dreamed of getting a leather sofa when the kids were small. We covered the frat house couch with the slip covers and lived with that. It’s not so bad, they sell some fairly nice looking ones and the best part: THEY COME OFF AND GET WASHED!

    • SunnyD847

      September 5, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      We got a leather sofa ten years ago when our kids were 2 and 4. It still looks great and it was in the kids’ main play area for the first 7 years and in our great room now. It is dark brown so that may have helped.

    • koolchicken

      September 6, 2014 at 12:23 am

      I have a dark brown leather sofa too. We wipe it with some leather wipes every now and again and it still looks brand new. It’s almost a year old but you’d really never guess.

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      September 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      I would consider a sofa less than a year old still pretty brand new.

    • koolchicken

      September 6, 2014 at 12:24 am

      I like Pottery Barns slipcovers. They’re tailored to the sofa (or chair) and you’d never guess it was even on there. Love them!

  2. Spongeworthy

    September 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    A dramatic re-enactment of events at Valerie’s house.
    http://quedup.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/dave-chappelle-fuck-yo-couch.gif

    • K2

      September 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      That is so stressful to me.. 😉

    • Valerie

      September 5, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      Where do you think I got eff your cracker from? Bwahahaha

    • Spongeworthy

      September 5, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      Haha when you said that this is the first thing I thought of.

    • leonlara071

      September 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      m m­­­­aking 9­­0 U­­­­SD an hour working at my floor. I was amazed when my neig­­hbour told me she was aver­­aging $­­­­9­­0 but I see how it works now. I feel so much freedom now that I’m my own boss.

      Easiest way to make m­­oney is here➜➜➜➜➜➜➜

      ➜➜➜➜ http://www.bestjob/2014/1/8…,.,

      ————————————

    • Jessifer

      September 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      Cannot… stop… laughing…

    • LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

      September 5, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      I’m Rick James bitch!

    • Spongeworthy

      September 5, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      What did the five fingers say to the face?

    • LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

      September 5, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    • Jezebeelzebub

      September 5, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE THIS! If you hadnt posted it, I would have.

    • Spongeworthy

      September 5, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      It really is the perfect gif

    • Lt, Ft

      September 8, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      I know I’m late but F your couch is one of my fav expletives/expressions and it works in practically every situation! In fact I’m going to use it right now. EFF YO COUCH!!

  3. leahdawn

    September 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Not just kids, but dogs and cats are murder on furniture too. Unless you are a bubble-dwelling hermit who doesn’t actually sit on your furniture, that shit is gonna get wrecked one way or another.

  4. Rachel Sea

    September 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    This is why I have a nice wooden futon couch. The mattress is covered with plastic, and the plastic is covered with an attractive, machine-washable cover because pets, and children are assholes.

    I consider a big gorgeous sectional sofa every once in a while, and then I remember what it was like trying to clean up puke that had gone between the cushions of our old couch, and down onto the fabric covering the springs. The smell basically never came out, hence, futon.

  5. Katherine Handcock

    September 5, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    We have a pair of reclining loveseats in our TV room. I’m pretty sure they’re now the saddest looking pieces of furniture in the world. We got them from my parents, who custom ordered these fairly expensive custom pieces, only to discover that, while the footprint was the same as their old couches, these were WAY too bulky for the room they wanted to use them in. Being newly married and relatively furnitureless, they became ours.

    I don’t know how much my parents paid for them, but it was NOT worth it. The fabric stains. For anything. It doesn’t matter if you clean them or not, because the edges of where you cleaned them turn various shades of unappealing black and grey. The cushioning inside one of the arms slipped down the side, leaving this deflated cover overtop of bare wood. The recliner part of the recliner has fabric that was stapled too tightly; you could see the fabric fraying within the first six months of use. Generally, they were pretty awful to begin with.

    So in a way, they’re the perfect “kid” couches. I could not care less what the kids do to the things, because they were already hideous enough. Sometime in about a year or so, I will get something to replace them, and dance as I take these monstrosities to the curb. I’m normally a “repair, don’t replace” kind of person, but it would cost as much to reupholster these loveseats as it would cost to get new ones, and the new ones can be covered in one of those magic liquid-repelling fabrics.

    I cannot WAIT until these things are gone.

    • Andy

      September 5, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      That fabric you speak of is awesome. I have a very comfy chair covered in it I got as a nursing chair when my daughter was a baby. Four years later it has been vomited on more times than I can count, peed on, pooped on and survived a two year old wielding a Sharpie. While it doesn’t look brand new, I also don’t want to drag it onto the driveway for a bonfire, so I consider that a win.

    • Katherine Handcock

      September 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      I dream of having furniture made of that stuff.

    • Véronique the Attachment Shark

      September 6, 2014 at 11:31 am

      those are water stains. use a hair dryer to dry those parts or get it professionally steam cleaned and scotch guarded.

    • Katherine Handcock

      September 6, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Alas, I wish that’s all they were. No treatment I’ve found thus far has worked on them (although I’ll admit, I haven’t had a true professional service in yet, but no home treatment even made a dent.) In some areas, it appears that it’s actually the colour of the dye being altered. That, or these couches are possessed 😉

  6. LK

    September 5, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    My son broke the curved glass side of an antique china cabinet that has survived the children of my family for 100 years. Let me say, I was extremely relieved that he didn’t get hurt in the process, but as I was trying to break the rest of the pane out to remove it afterwards and it wouldn’t break as I was beating it with a HAMMER, all the WTFs possible were flying around my head.

  7. keelhaulrose

    September 5, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I’m the master of finding cheap ass couches that don’t smell. It’s a necessity in my house, because between the kids and and dogs they get trashed quickly.

  8. LadyClodia the Modest Rat

    September 5, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    That couch in the picture looks like it might be made from human skin.

    The boys do their share, but in our house the cats are the reason we can’t have nice things. Couches, dressers, tables, carpets, and banisters have all had their values seriously depreciated because of the cats.

    I’m done with this week, so party in The Matt Damon Booth!

    http://i.imgur.com/io4Fy7g.gif

    • Spongeworthy

      September 5, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      I am RSVPing yes

    • Lackadaisical

      September 6, 2014 at 3:19 am

      Is there room for another (not at all) little one in the booth?

    • LadyClodia the Modest Rat

      September 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      I like to think of The Matt Damon booth as a sort of dance party Tardis.

    • LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

      September 5, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      Yeah, my cats can do more damage than my son ever could.

    • Garavriel

      September 5, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      Our cat liked to use our leather chair, couch, ottoman as launch pads during what we dubbed “the wilding hour”. He would maniacally tear around the house, leaping off furniture, and leaving big scratch marks behind him.

    • Shelly Lloyd

      September 6, 2014 at 8:57 am

      At my house “The Wilding Hour” is around 6 am. I do not know why but for some reason they all get possessed by the urge to tear through the house. This is when I lock them out of my bedroom.

    • Rowan

      September 6, 2014 at 5:42 am

      You think that one looks like human skin… what about this?

    • LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

      September 6, 2014 at 8:08 am

      This couch both fascinates and repels me at the same time.

    • rhiannon

      September 6, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      AHH, all the vaginas.

    • Valerie

      September 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      #vagcouch

    • Obladi Oblada

      September 6, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      That’s possibly the most graphic seating apparatus I’ve ever seen. I feel like you should hand out condoms to the men who want to sit on it. Wow.

    • PAJane

      September 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Gives a whole new meaning to losing things that get sucked into the couch cushions.

  9. Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

    September 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Tell you what, come visit me. Your children are more than welcome to come and ruin my couch….

  10. wispy

    September 5, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Between my disgusting children and psychotic cats I never plan on having nice things. Our couch and loveseat that are only 3 years old have had cat pee, cat vomit, cat scratches, toddler vomit, breastmilk, food galore, and other nastiness all over them. They are almost fully covered in packing tape to try to keep the dumb cats from shredding them to pieces. We look so classy. We finally decided to buy new bedroom furniture because we were still using the set my husband had SINCE HE WAS A TODDLER. My husband built my brand new dresser the other night. I walk in this morning and some IDIOT cat has thrown up all over it. I give up.

  11. Alanna Jorgensen

    September 5, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    I feel your pain. I bought my first brand spanking new couch last year and I now understand why my father used to have coronary events whenever we approached his new couch with anything other than reverence when I was young. My cats liked to run full speed along the top of mine with claws out and the sound of fabric rending as they passed, and my daughter painted her nails sparkly pink while I took a nap and didn’t wait for them to dry before she got on the couch. It’s the kind of kid polish that peels right off their nails, but somehow managed to form a chemical bond with my dark brown couch.

  12. Ddaisy

    September 5, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I’m 24 and my mom still hollers at me for mistreating her couch. It really doesn’t ever end :p

    • Rowan

      September 6, 2014 at 5:39 am

      I’m 41 and my mum’s sofas are older than me. Because she STILL doesn’t trust me not to wreck them.

  13. Jessifer

    September 5, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I got a brand new coffee table from ikea, made sure it was made of just simple wood because my infant would be rough on it. If only I knew HOW rough! First he made several small dents in it by banging the TV remote over it. Then last week he finished the job by playing with a plastic toy on it that just happened to have a grain of sand at the bottom that scratched up all the paint. Wonderful.

    • Ann

      September 5, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      I have scratches on my kitchen table and I use a similar colored sharpie and color in the scratches and wipe it immediately with a paper towel, it works wonders!

    • neighbor57

      September 6, 2014 at 10:36 am

      I know a mom who wanted wood floors, but she had three teenage sons. So she bought distressed hickory. You can’t tell which dings and scratches are from the boys and which are original.

  14. Fondue

    September 5, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    I’m weeping as I read this. I love our living room sofa more than I should probably love any inanimate object, and I’m trying to think of ways to keep our baby out of the room until she’s at least 18.

  15. jendra_berri

    September 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    A friend of mine was telling me about his couch. I’d recently bought a microfibre sofa due to having a baby on the way and wanting something easy to clean.
    He told me when his 16 year old brought a friend home the day after they’d bought a new leather couch, the friend had left a large scratch down the centre of the cushion. He said, buy nice stuff whenever. It’ll get wrecked when it gets wrecked. It’s just stuff. I think that was how he processed the scratch 😉

  16. OptimusPrime*

    September 5, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Bleachable slipcovers. They can survive anything.

  17. Ann

    September 5, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    I’m sorry to be the downer here, BUT… I have 3 kids in college (24,22,18) and bought new furniture for the family room about a week ago, new “vanilla”(aka off white) pre-treated microfiber furniture. Thinking my “children” are all adults, HA! I have had to take the sponge and furniture cleaner to it 3 times. I have to tell them to not eat on the furniture, not to drink anything but water, keep there feet off (I have dark brown leather ottomans-enough for everyone), I don’t know when this stage passes but I swear my revenge will be in their homes on their furniture when I am older!

  18. ziggy

    September 5, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    For fabric couches, spray some Windex on a rag or paper towel and it will take off the icky. It even got blackberry and marinara stains out of my tan area rug and it hasn’t let blue behind. I discovered when I needed to figure out how to get sour milk and juice out of the floors in my car.

  19. koolchicken

    September 6, 2014 at 12:17 am

    I don’t think all kids are like this. I know mine isn’t. I’m moving this winter and I want a white sofa so badly. I’m on the fence because I’m not sure if I can keep it clean, my kid is the least of my concerns. I frequently dress the kid head to toe in beige or cream, he always looks great. Right up until I smear makeup, or dirt, or food on him. If that kid trips he insists I wipe his hands- he’s 21 freaking months. So sorry, but not all kids are destined to destroy anything nice.

    And why are your kids wearing shoes in the house? Ewww! Kids stomp through all sorts of gross stuff and never give it a second thought. We do no shoes in our house and I couldn’t be happier. There’s no “mystery crap” all over my floors and I only vacuum once a week. Everybody wins.

    • Valerie

      September 6, 2014 at 8:35 am

      You see, my kids are very advanced and can put on their own shoes- have been able to since toddler-hood! They are 5 and 7 so I am not on top of them 24/7 and sometimes, they are overly eager to get out the door and get themselves totally ready! When mine were 21 months old, they were under my constant supervision. I have the feeling you are in for a rude awakening when you cannot control your child’s every movement!

    • whiteroses

      September 6, 2014 at 8:45 am

      This. My son is watched 24-7 when he’s with me, but you know…things happen. He gets dirty. He smears blackberry juice on his shirt. He plays in the mud. And I’m cool with that, because I’d rather not Kate Gosselin him.

    • koolchicken

      September 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      I fail to see how having two non negotiable house rules makes me Kate Gosslin. I let my kid have plenty of fun (what he thinks is fun, not just my version). He colors unsupervised, eats in the couch, and is well dressed but comfortable. In fact I took him shopping yesterday and HE was the one who picked out the striped sweater and blue jeans (which I would have to say are pretty standard kid wear).

      Some kids and people in general, just aren’t that messy. It’s wrong to generalize all kids as being filthy little heathens so you can’t have anything nice. And I think it’s worth pointing out even with a neat kid everything has an expiration date, everything will start to look shabby at some point and the cushions will become worn. It’s what happens. So when we move I’ll buy a nice couch, cause life is meant to be enjoyed. And if I’d enjoy a new couch why not get one? I might get white, I might not. But I’m not going to worry about my son messing it up. I’m sure I’ll do that just fine on my own- or his friends will take care of it when they come over to play…

    • koolchicken

      September 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      You know, it’s not that hard to keep shoes off in the house. We had a no shoes in the house rule when I was growing up and my husband is Chinese so that’s how he grew up too. I’m pretty sure you have at least a few non negotiable rules in your house too. I just don’t think my two, no shoes and no food in the bedrooms is too hard to follow.

    • Valerie

      September 6, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      Yes, kindergartners are well known the world over for following all non-negotiable rules!

    • koolchicken

      September 6, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      Oh I’m sure he’ll “forget” and break them at least a couple of times. But he’ll simply be punished. You know, like all kids that break house rules.

      Sorry, but I’m not dealing with moldy forgotten about food under the beds. And I’m not going to spend my life scrubbing the floors. I have two serious rules, they’re super simple and easy to follow. We have a set up by the door for people to stop and remove their shoes. When it’s how you’ve been raised since infancy it’s not work to remove your shoes. I’m a living example.

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      September 6, 2014 at 8:37 am

      But what about when your son is older and has more independence? I’m not saying that all little boys (or kids in general) are incapable of following rules and keeping things clean, but I would also hate for my child to live in a house where she was not allowed to have a certain amount of comfort because she was afraid of ruining the couch.

    • whiteroses

      September 6, 2014 at 8:43 am

      This. My son is two, and he doesn’t set out to destroy things- but that’s the natural order of it, because it’s just as much his home as it is mine. He’s comfortable- and he knows that the way he acts in my home isn’t the way he is expected to act in other people’s. I don’t care if he destroys my stuff because it’s all a learning experience. And for most toddlers, the way they learn not to get things messy when they’re older is getting messy now.

    • koolchicken

      September 6, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      I’m simply pointing out not all kids destroy stuff. Some people (kids included) are just somehow more careful than others. As I said before, my son is fine I’m the one I worry about when it comes to keeping the furniture looking nice.

      My kid is not uncomfortable and I’m not doing anything that’d make him miserable. He’s allowed to play where he wants, even eat in the living room. I have a freaking slide in my dining room. So I don’t get what you’re trying to say here.

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      September 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      He is not yet two and understandably, you have a lot of control over his actions. I’m not saying that all kids destroy everything, nor am I saying that it is pointless to teach kids to respect their surroundings, but I am saying that your child will grow. As your child grows, so does their independence and their sense of self. He might continue to be finicky about staying clean…but what if he doesn’t?

    • WriterLady

      September 7, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      This. Absolutely this. My 4.5-year-old kid doesn’t “like” to be messy or dirty. He usually changes his clothes very quickly if he spills something or has an accident, but the household items are bound to look a *tad* different than they did pre-kids. And he doesn’t set out to destroy stuff, although it happens from time-to-time–sometimes more frequently than others. Kids learn by making mistakes…after all, they aren’t robots or inanimate objects. That really is the natural order of things…and it has been since the dawn of time. It’s okay to want to have nice things, but it’s unreasonable/unrealistic to think that keeping them in top-notch condition will happen without a stash of cleaning products and the effort required to maintain said things.

    • Lackadaisical

      September 7, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      My eldest child is a bit like that. Had I only one child life would be a lot tidier and everything he outgrows is always in pristine condition. In our case it stems from anxiety about messy textures rather than an innate tidiness, however the outcome is the same. We also have two other children and a dog and there things become more difficult. I personally found that all the rules I set about keeping things nice are harder to police and the effects of three (well, two realistically) children being normal muck magnets are much greater than one child. The author has more than one kid and it really is very hard to maintain that level of care with multiple children unless there is a large age gap between them. I do understand that with the right child things can be kept beautifully without stifling your child but with a larger family it is not as easy.

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Yeah, it’s definitely easier with one. I’m not having anymore and I’m grateful. I still remember when my sister came along. She was deranged or something, getting up every day at 6am. My son is definitely my son, he sleeps till noon and likes things just so.

      I think it can be harder to police multiple children but it’s obviously not impossible. My husband is one of four and I’m one of three. Yet our parents didn’t have any issues with getting us to take off our shoes at the door. It was just something we’d always done, since we first got shoes. So why would we question it? I think if you suddenly try to make it a rule at 7 you’ll have an uphill battle, but not if it’s done since day one. As soon as we come into the house he stops, grabs my leg, and puts his foot up so I can remove his shoes. It’s his normal so he doesn’t question it.

      As for pets. Good luck with that. I’d love a pet but I travel too much, and there’s just no way to keep a house clean with one. It’s not the animals fault, they don’t wear shoes to begin with. And they don’t understand the words “mess” and “pick that up” (well maybe cats do, but they don’t care, lol).

    • whiteroses

      September 6, 2014 at 9:01 am

      The whole “no shoes in the house” thing only really works if you don’t live near a beach. I vacuum every other day, because sand gets tracked in. That’s just life.

      You do know that your child may be completely different in a few months than he is now, right?

    • koolchicken

      September 6, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Where did I say I was smearing random crap on him? Oh right, nowhere.

      No shoes in the house is the rule, it’s always been the rule, for as long as I’ve been alive, same for my husband. When it’s how you’ve been raised since birth it’s not difficult to do. I actually feel uncomfortable when people tell me to leave my shoes on when I visit. Although that’s rare since basically everyone I know has the same no shoes rule.

      I think you lot are just trying to find fault with anything I say, but you’re all just grasping at straws now. I let my kid play, and he’s an extremely happy child who’s forever smiling. We don’t have extreme rules in our house, just very basic ones. I’m fairly sure everyone here has at least one house rule. But you know, to admit it would be wrong. It would totally counter the weird “I’m a cool Mom” image so many of you seem intent of maintaining.

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      September 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Psst. You said it right here:

      “Right up until I smear makeup, or dirt, or food on him.”

    • whiteroses

      September 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Wrong. My son has several house rules. He even wears white sometimes. And we also have a no shoes rule- which is how the sand gets in our house.

      But you yourself said that you smear makeup, dirt or food on him. I’m curious why you would do that.

      Not everyone lives the way you do. I’m sorry you feel attacked, but perhaps you might think about the way you phrase your comments if you receive responses you don’t like.

    • Véronique the Attachment Shark

      September 6, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      KC, you really have to stop thinking that people here “attack” you because they’re mean. I think you also participate on BabyCenter, no? Do you get different reactions there, or do people respond to you in the same way?

      I think you know the answer to that. I think that it’s time that you finally examine objectively what you are doing that is provoking such extreme reactions in people.

      I think I read a post of yours at one point that said that you have Asperger’s. If that’s the case, I can understand that it might be difficult to you to understand why people are reacting to you in that specific way. Maybe you don’t see that it’s the way that you say things that get people up in arms.

      You are constantly talking about how YOU are different, how YOUR kid doesn’t behave. How you KNOW exactly how not to get into the situations that the people you read about online get into. You’re always flaunting your life – maybe it’s not your objective, but the way that you put things it’s all “look at me and my awesome life and my awesomeness and i’ll always be awesome in my awesome clothes that I buy at the Gap and I iron and customize because I love my son”. You place yourself in a superior position to others (perhaps in order to make a point). But it’s annoying and obnoxious as hell.

      Perhaps people would appreciate your input if you didn’t surround it in such privileged fluff. It’s unnecessary.

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 12:57 am

      You know, my last dozen or so comments over there were very well received and most of the time people do agree with me. I think you’ll find the ones who don’t like me are just more vocal than anyone else.

      Quite frankly there’s really only one person who has an issue with anything I say- regardless of wether or not I actually bother to make a comment. This particular lunatic has managed to find fault in virtually every comment I’ve ever made. And even when I don’t comment she imagines what I would say (more often than not she’s wrong). She’s also said she’s “researched” me and I should “watch out”. She’s insane. I have not responded to a single comment she’s directed at me since last January, yet she still harps on. So I don’t think you can take the scorn of one crazy and turn it into I’m hated on every site. Cause no, I’m not. Oh, and for the record this particular individual stated I have Aspergers but to the best of my knowledge I’ve never said I do. Even if I am autistic, it’s not relevant.

      You’re right, I do use a lot of “I” language. Simply because I’m saying “this is how I do things”. I do not use a lot of “You” language because I don’t like to say “You should do things better”. See how that works? At the end of the day, people like to read into things. I’m not going to pretend I’m sitting in squalor, I’m not going to do the woe is me I have no time for myself, I’m not going to act like my kid is ill behaved. I like a clean house, I make as much me time as I need, and my kid does behave. I freaking hate the martyr routine used by so many and I won’t be part of it. I’m just not going to lie and adopt a more socially acceptable personality online just to make strangers happy. I would like to be happy too, and being honest makes me happy. And the online people I’ve met (IRL) would probably stop liking me if they finally met up with me and discovered everything I’ve ever said is a lie. So I’d rather just be me. And it’s just not flaunting my lifestyle when asked what stroller, carseat, clothes, or whatever, that I own (though that’s more a thing they do on BC). I’m simply answering a question, just like everyone else. Yeah, I am lucky. My every outfit does not come from Ross and I did go fancy on my stroller. I recognize and appreciate that, and I make a point of saying how much I’m grateful for my life. But what can you do, when you say “well I have X” and someone else does not have X but would like it, well, they’re going to take it as an attack. Same with me not believing in daycare. I hated it as a kid so I won’t do it to mine. But if someone needs to put their kid in daycare then they’ll happily read my comment as “koolchicken thinks I’m a bad parent cause I put my kid in daycare”. If you want to use me as a scapegoat for your misplaced rage I guess I can’t stop you or anyone else. But the way I live my life is the way I like it, and I won’t compromise (or lie) just to suit the whims of others.

    • Gangle

      September 7, 2014 at 3:18 am

      You are right. If you were on the spectrum it still wouldn’t excuse your rude, disgraceful behaviour. I’m glad you aren’t using it as an excuse for being antisocial, because you would be doing a disservice to people with AS everywhere. You, ma’am, are a dirty street pie.

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 5:48 am

      Jules, is that you! Oh love, I’m not replying to anything you write (on any site). You’re offensive and unstable. I’m simply going to flag every comment you direct towards me on this site from now on.

      Good luck in life. Maybe take a valium too…

    • Gangle

      September 7, 2014 at 6:43 am

      KC, you are seriously deluded. I have no clue who ‘Jules’ is, but you seem flattered to think anyone would follow you around. You aren’t that interesting, just a disgusting human being. No, I have actually been hanging out and commenting on Mommyish for a few years now. You are really rude and self-righteous. Get a grip.

    • Véronique the Attachment Shark

      September 7, 2014 at 9:58 am

      the fact that you imply that whoever dares to disagree with you must be the one same person is telling.

    • whiteroses

      September 7, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      And, you know, making reference to their emotional stability…

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      I make reference to her emotional stability because if it is the same person she does need to seek help. This particular woman is messed up. And even if Gangle is not the same person (and I’d be surprised it she wasn’t) she still needs to get help. She’s ill. Look for some of her comments on BC. Every now and then she seems fine. Then she suddenly goes off the rails screaming and swearing. Does that seem normal to you?

    • whiteroses

      September 7, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      I don’t believe any of us are in a position to make assertions on someone else’s mental health. Those in glass houses and all. Being flippant about it isn’t helpful.

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Actually it was the way in which that particular individual has opted to respond to virtually everything I’ve ever written- even on the most benign subjects. Her specific tone and style of writing, as well as the inability to control cursing… It’s so specific I’d actually bet money it’s the same person.

      Try to remember this particular individual has continued to talk about me for the better part of a year. Imagining what I’ll say or do in every situation and shouting it to the world. Despite the fact I haven’t said a word to her. It’s a deranged one sided fight that’s all in her head. And yes, this particular woman is crazy enough that I wouldn’t put it past her to follow me on other sites.

    • Véronique the Attachment Shark

      September 7, 2014 at 8:57 am

      Yes, you have mentioned it in a comment. I could drudge it up if you want proof. And no, you don’t only have one person who calls you out on your shit. I’ve seen too many. You mentioned it in a post about autism, when you said that your brother is autistic and you hate the way that he is treated.

      There’s a difference between speaking in the “I” and making it sound selfish and egotistical and self-centred, and a way to speak in the “I” that sounds sensitive, altruistic and kind. You do neither of the last three.

      Sometimes you also have to understand that you speak of your own situations and how things work for you, not realizing how much your privilege and wealth factor into things and how unrealistic it is for you to expect others to act just like you. Just the fact that you can choose not to send your child to daycare speaks for a lot. For example, you sit there and tell yourself that people will TOTALLY judge the kid that was wearing the same suspenders as your son that are all rumpled, thinking that they’ll think their mom doesn’t love him because compared to your son who’s dressed immaculately in ironed and customized and perfectly matching stuff, the other kid looks neglected. This only says that YOU think he looks unloved. Because I think a lot of people might interpret it differently – say that they think you’re crazy for dressing your kid up so nicely when he’ll be running around all day, and the other mom knows this and realizes the ridiculousness of dressing up a toddler in ironed and customized stuff to daycare. But you only spoke of how you felt sad for him because he looked unloved. Yet, you are crafty and talented at sewing. You can stay at home with your son. You have the money to buy the fabric and stuff to customize it. Therefore your comment comes off as incredibly privileged and judgemental all in one.

      When people speak of the difficulties of disciplining their multiple toddlers and you chime in to speak of how your single 5 month old was perfectly behaved and will only behave badly ONCE before he knows how not to act, most people will literally laugh and say “You wait, KC, you’ll see” If you’re not talking about your own personal experience in order to make a point about the situation the blog is speaking about, why are you bringing it up? Because you’ve never raised multiple toddlers, so you have no idea what it would be like. You can’t draw upon a situation with a five-month old for example, yet you do. Why?

      If an article is talking about daycare and you don’t believe in it but you’re not trying to imply it is bad, then why do you bring it up in the way that you do?

      I do believe that if people are misinterpreting what you’re saying, instead of saying “you guys just hate people who are different” you should say “I’m sorry you misunderstood. Sometimes I express myself in the wrong way.”

      After all, if you interact with people on social sites, it’s because you’re looking for social interaction. If you didn’t, you would just lurk like millions of other readers out there on BC and Mommyish. But you don’t. So what are you looking for KC?

      Mommyish has been for me the most welcoming and loving and caring community of women I’ve met in my life. And no, we’re not all the same. We’ve got teachers, and mental health pro’s, and administrative assistants, and HR managers… people who love reading, people who love sports, and hiking, and laying around relaxing. We come from all over the planet, and our partners are all different from each other. Some people are more well off, and some people struggle financially. The one thing we have in common is snark and sarcasm and a dry sense of humour. I think it’s the dry sense of humour you have difficulty grasping.

      It’s only when someone shows up and acts like a bitch, says something that is scientifically unsound, or the person is trolling and harassing that this crew speaks up. Sorry if your posts have fit the bill.

      here’s a challenge: change your name and see if people still respond to you the same way. (if you think that people are just out to get you).

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Did you not even read the comments you’re referencing? I’ll say it again for you. The people at the play center thought that I was the mother to BOTH boys. That I showed up with TWO children in similar outfits. The only difference being one was in freshly pressed overalls with a coordinating polo and shoes, and the other looked like his came straight out of the hamper and didn’t match. So yeah, I was embarrassed. Because who would want everyone to look at your kids and think “Wow, twins! How come she only cares about how one looks?”. Would you really have not felt awkward in that situation? Would you really not feel bad for the other mother, who’s child is being directly compared? Would you really not feel bad for the boy who’s been assumed to be a twin, but doesn’t look as well cared for as his “brother”? But you’re right, I lack compassion. Try to remember that was posted to the comments section of a blog post ASKING us if we dress our children well and if we think it’s even important. I simply relayed a story that firmed my belief that it is important to put out that extra effort. Because I don’t want to be the mother of the kid who looks like they just rolled out of bed and put on whatever was on the floor. If other people want to interpret that as I think they’re bad for not doing what I do I can’t help that. To me it just seems like insecurity on their part. If you’re kid is always turned out nicely then you’re not going to take offense. it’s only when you examine your own behavior and don’t like what you see that you end up getting defensive. Or are you arguing that exact thing doesn’t play out in every freaking daycare or formula argument you’ve ever heard?

      And you know, when everyone else is relaying their experiences I have a right to relay mine. It doesn’t matter if you or anyone else thinks it’s relevant. Just yesterday I was standing outside of Pier 1 and was calming explaining to my son how I expected him to behave. Some guy listening started to laugh. But you know what, my kid did EXACTLY what I told him to do and he was allowed to roam freely in a store full of glass. So I guess I’m the one laughing now. People can choose to take my suggestions or not. But I’ve been told time and time again my kid behaves like an angel and once they see how I interact with him they credit my parenting style. So I guess I’m doing something right by not treating my kid like an idiot, changing the rules as I go along, giving in to tantrums, etc. And you’re right, I don’t have a lot of tolerance for those who openly admit to doing those things and then complain their kids never behave. I think all kids are smart and capable or following directions and treating them like they are works whether you have 1 or 100.

      And I like a little snark and sarcasm as much as the next person. But some of the stuff on this site (and really every site) gets a little over the top sometimes. How often do the bloggers on here have to call someone they disagree with an idiot? And how is that sarcasm? It’s not, it’s bullying/trolling.

      I think you’d be surprised. I periodically drop off of many sites for weeks and even months at a time. Sometimes it’s due to travel, other times it’s because I’m sick of the nonsense. But I think reading these sites and engaging is important. You people all have kids, these children are going to grow up alongside my son. And I want to know what’s in your heads, because that’s what you’re going to teach your children. Really, it’s smart when you think about it and it’s why I’m here. To find out what my kid is up against. Sadly I think he’s going to get bulldozed by kids who think they somehow “deserve” things. Because I will not be raising my kid in a similar fashion to what’s shown on virtually every parenting site.

      Oh, and I did once change my screen name. And yes, I did get a more positive response. But I reverted back to my nickname because I’m not going to change my identity to please others.

    • whiteroses

      September 7, 2014 at 9:20 am

      We don’t care what you have. As surprising as it is, there are people on this site who are also quite wealthy. There are ways to be happy about your life, and greatful for it, without also making snide backhanded comments.

      Talking about how wealthy and intelligent you are in any situation is going to be off putting no matter what, especially when you back it by an attitude of privilege. To give you some perspective: my family is rather wealthy. My son also has generous grandparents on both sides who will, no matter mine and my husband’s circumstances, ensure that he wants for very little. He will always have amazing clothes, he will always be able to go to private school if that’s the best option for him, and he will always be able to take amazing vacations. But really, the only person that matters to is my family. Personally, I have never had educational debt. I am able to carry on with a (rather expensive) hobby. I had a trust fund as well.

      I was raised to believe that it’s extremely gauche to discuss money, around your friends and certainly around gatherings of strangers. I have taken issue with quite a lot of the things you’ve said, because you present most of your comments as “I’m sorry all you peasants are poor, but this is how all the rich people live”. You make the mistake of thinking that the same things that matter to you matter to everyone else, the mistake of thinking that the reason you get criticized is because we’re all jealous, and the mistake of thinking that your child is the way he is simply because of the way he is parented (so of course everyone can have a child like yours if they would just parent the way you do!) never mind that children have different personalities, backgrounds, ages, genders, interests, etc.

      If you criticize people’s parenting, you can’t assume they’re going to be fine with that.

    • Lucille two

      September 7, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      I really enjoy your comments. I find them refreshing.
      I am actually envious of the no shoes rule. My sister does that and her house looks great.

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      What can I say. I call it as I see it and I sugar coat nothing. You want handing holding and a snuggle call my mother, it’s just not me. The family rule is don’t ask me a question if you don’t want an honest answer. Needless to say I’m the person people turn to when they need real advice…

      No shoes in the house is the way to go as far as I’m concerned. Heels can mark and damage the floors. So can gravel or glass that’s tracked in. Not to mention the way anyone walking around barefoot could be hurt. There are also different fungi and germs that can cause foot and general health problems outside our homes. So it’s just a good overall rule as far as I’m concerned.

    • Lucille two

      September 7, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Honestly if I was a more organized mom I would do it! Also my husband does the cleaning with a little outside help so I try not to add my 2 cents to his routine. 🙂

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      Hey if you’re husband is the one doing the cleaning I’d avoid rocking the boat too!

      You can always request it of your kids and try to lead by example. Even if they don’t do it, you’ll be cutting back on the dirt on your own. As they get older I’m sure it’ll be easier. As I mentioned in another comment I think it’s hard to start suddenly if they’re over a certain age. A 5 year old is going to “forget” everyday (I blame the light up shoes every kid seems to have, lol). Good luck!

    • Gangle

      September 6, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      Oh my goodness, KC!! What the hell is your problem?? Seriously, did someone wee in your cereal this morning??

    • Véronique the Attachment Shark

      September 6, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      and for once it would be nice if you actually acknowledged what we’re saying (because I’m sure that I speak for many) instead of blatantly ignoring any form of explanation or constructive criticism in order to continue playing the perpetual victim.

    • Ro

      September 6, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      If it makes you feel better, when I read your original comment, my only thoughts were to recommend a white leather couch. I’m on my second one (the first is in the basement) and it is easy to clean and still looks nice and fresh. Also, I live in Canada and everyone takes there shoes off at the door. I find it strange that this is not the norm in every culture. Yes, my kids sometimes wander in without removing them, but I keep on it, and they know that it is the rule. Don’t let these people get you down. They seem to operate under a guise of thinking they’re cool, laid back and non judgemental, but they are mistaken. There is a very mean girl vibe in the commenting section of mommyish. I’ve seen them pick on people time and time again. There was nothing wrong with your original comment.

    • whiteroses

      September 6, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      It’s not just this comment. It’s an accumulation of a lot of the other comments KC has made.

      I wouldn’t argue that I’m cool. I also wouldn’t argue that I’m laid back. But I would argue that I can disagree with people respectfully until they piss me off. That doesn’t make me different from most people, IMO. The original comment came off as judgmental. Which was my opinion.

      Most of the time, if you think you’re being persecuted, it’s time to step back and evaluate your own behaviors. Wouldn’t you get sick of someone telling you what a tragic peasant you are and how awesome her life is by comparison? I just decided to say something in the hopes that KC would understand why I reacted the way I did.

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 12:33 am

      You know I’ve actually found I’m not crazy about the feel of leather. I know people usually like it and it’s considered “better” but I think I prefer fabric. I’ll probably get one of Pottery Barn’s couches with the tailored slipcovers. That way when I inevitably dump nachos or something equally ridiculous on it I can pop it in the wash.

      I’m from New England and we too remove our shoes at the door. I mean it makes sense, with all the rain, snow, and sand. Cleaning the floors would be a full time job. Not to mention the salt they throw down in the winter can damage hardwoods over time. If you live in a temperate climate I understand maybe not feeling the need to take them off. But watching TV in boots just isn’t my idea of cozy.

      Don’t worry about it, I know my original comment was fine. If you challenge the status quo on here you almost have to expect this sort of thing. I have the right to my opinions, and if others want to read into stuff I can’t do anything about it. It’s almost like it’s a crime to say “I’m really happy with my life” on the internet.

    • Elizabeth Wakefield

      September 7, 2014 at 9:15 am

      I’m really happy with my life!

      *Waits for the cops.*

    • whiteroses

      September 7, 2014 at 9:27 am

      My life is awesome!

      Internet police? Anyone? No?

    • whiteroses

      September 7, 2014 at 5:14 pm

      Just out of curiosity- why are we expected to include people who seem to get their shits out of attempting to make others feel like crap?

    • whiteroses

      September 7, 2014 at 9:27 am

      You say you have the right to your opinions, and that’s right, you do.

      But so do we.

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      I base my assumptions on what I’m told. Most of the posts on every parenting site have to do with not having enough. So why would I assume anything different? Should I simply believe everything written is a lie?

      I do not despise the all the commenters. Some of them are quite nice. There are a few who seem intent on attacking anyone they feel is thinking “wrong”. I can’t control them, and I don’t have to change to accommodate them either.

    • Lucille two

      September 7, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      Some of the comments towards you are really harsh. Reminds me of middle school.

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      Yeah. Don’t worry though. Just like 12 year olds, they’ll lose interest in another week or so when someone new to pick on comes along.

    • whiteroses

      September 7, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      You have to give respect to get respect. For someone who doesn’t care, you sure want everyone to know how dumb they are.

    • Ro

      September 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Yeah, I prefer fabric couches as well, they just feel cozier to me. However, I have pets and kids, so if I want my couch to stay looking clean, leather it must be, for now at least. The pet hair comes off with a wipe of my hand rather than a vacuum.

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      I get that. My BIL has a dog and even though she’s not allowed on the couch it still gets filthy. Dogs shed, there’s nothing to be done about it unless you want to shave them. So there will be fur/hair. And unless you want to spend your every waking moment cleaning you have to go with what works. Besides, I think the darker leathers tend to age nicely and keep looking great year after year. Fabric ones definitely have a shorter lifespan even if you baby them.

    • WriterLady

      September 7, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      At 21 months, my kid rarely made big messes, either (except for in his diaper). However, talk to me when your kid is 4 or 5; then we can re-evaluate your theory. In other words, with the natural increase in independence and autonomy, kids become more active and the sippy cups give way to real cups. The play becomes messier…unless you choose to prevent playground activities and such. It’s not a sign of parental failure; it’s a normal part of growing up. You can still have nice furniture, but do your research on how to keep your couches and such clean. Best of luck to you as your baby grows into a big kid! 😉

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      I’m well aware of the changes that’ll happen as my son grows. I also plan to implement rules similar to those my mother had. If you’re hungry or thirsty go get what you want and sit at the table. If you’re truly in need of a little snack you’ll be happy to sit calmly and enjoy your food. If not then you must not really be hungry, just bored. It’s a great way to keep kids from grazing and it helps to contain the inevitable messes that happen when kids are near food and drink!

      I’m fine with my son growing older and becoming more active, and as a result dirty. In fact I tell him every tie he comes to me for a hand wipe he needs to just brush his hands off and move on. Not every bit of dirt is an emergency. If his clothes become dirty I have a washing machine and I can get almost any stain out. My floors are washable, so are my tables, and even my kid. I really can’t wait until we move. We’re finally getting a backyard and you can be sure I’ll be tossing him out there rain or shine!

    • Liberty

      September 8, 2014 at 1:05 am

      So condescending. Children do not have to eat on the couch. That’s a choice parents make so if you decide to let yours don’t whine when they spill things. It seems like you don’t think children should be taught how to control themselves or behave.

    • whiteroses

      September 8, 2014 at 7:57 am

      Nope- writerLady just thinks that maybe a person who has one child that’s under the age of five and doesn’t work in childcare shouldn’t be giving advice to moms who have kids who aren’t toddlers. Either that, or that some people should get some perspective and not whine when others finally decide to stop tiptoeing around her feelings. We sugar coat nothing, after all.

      But she said it a lot nicer than I did.

    • WriterLady

      September 8, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      Oh, the irony in referring to me as condescending.

      Last line of your post: “It seems like you don’t think children should be taught how to control themselves or behave.”

      That is the very definition of having an elitist, patronizing attitude. At no point did I ever infer such a thing. I did state that all children will occasionally make a mess…this is factual. For the record (as inquiring minds must know), my husband and I do discipline our child when it’s warranted. But we aren’t fans of the new-agey, hovering trend, so we are raising our son as we see fit–allowing him to learn by trial and error, and not making a fuss over minor things. So far, it’s worked out quite well for us.

    • whiteroses

      September 8, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      This. So very much this. If you freak out over little stuff, how on earth will kids know how to conduct themselves during actual emergencies?

    • Krissy Aldrich

      September 8, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      I wish I could upvote a thousand times If you let your young children eat on the couch, then don’t be surprised if there are dribbles. If you let your kids wear shoes in the house (which where I live you can’t because its winter six months of the year and it leaves trails of puddles everywhere) than expect footwear related messes.

  20. footnotegirl

    September 6, 2014 at 1:21 am

    This is what throw pillows and a multitude of (cheap) soft fuzzy blankets are for. I don’t know if our kid is magic or what, but the furniture in the room that became her playroom is stone (light greige) microfiber, and our 2.5 year old has yet to do anything to permanently damage it. We keep our fingers crossed and have an embargo on markers.

  21. Lackadaisical

    September 6, 2014 at 3:25 am

    We will have to replace our ropey old sofa soon but as our youngest is 5 and we have a dog that sneaks onto the sofa when we are in bed I suspect it will be replaced with another cheep IKEA sofa with washable covers.

  22. M.

    September 6, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Our couch, which is only about 5 years old, is completely ruined. We cover it with sheets now, but it’s too little too late. My mom told me once “you can decide: either you have nice things or you have kids and pets.” It is wise, solid advice.

  23. Aussiemum

    September 6, 2014 at 8:23 am

    First day of our new couch.
    Mr 9 spilt milk on it.
    Mr 7 spewed on it.
    Miss 5 spilt her dinner all over the arm.
    Mr 2 threw a tantrum and found a texta that one of the older kids had and drew all over the side of it.

    Scotch guarding my ass. I paid extra for that shit and it doesn’t work!
    Poor couch. It was so pretty too 🙁

  24. Jen TheTit Whipper

    September 6, 2014 at 9:49 am

    3 dogs a cat and my clumsy ass has ruined our white carpet. What asshole puts white carpet down?

  25. Allthingsblue

    September 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I was fortunate enough to be given a hand me down black leather couch. It has been the best thing ever! It is Clorox wipe-able and doesn’t show anything. I mean we can all stain treat, wash, and iron our kid’s beige Burberry button down, but we can’t stop them from vomiting, sneezing snot rockets, practicing with pens and lipstick, or being children on our furniture.

  26. TigersInLove

    September 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    So what I’ve learned from reading this article and the comments is that there is no age at which you can trust your kids to treat your things nicely, so I might as well surrender to keeping the slip-covered couch hubby and I bought at an estate sale when we were broke and first moved in together, FOREVER. I’m actually OK with that, and relieved to give myself permission to stop feeling jealous of our childfree friends who have way, way nicer things 🙂

  27. Krissy Aldrich

    September 6, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    My stepson is five and he knows better than to jump on the couch with shoes, he eats at the table most of the time, and prefers to color at the table as well, not to say there are never spills but you can maintain nice things if you tell your children no when they misbehave. How do you expect them to learn how to take care of THEIR things if they aren’t expected to respect your things or things that belong to the whole family

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 1:03 am

      I’ve said the exact same thing about a hundred times over. But people don’t like to hear it and assume you’re “judging” them. It’s not judgement, it’s just simple fact. If you don’t like what your kids are doing tell them to stop, it’s not difficult. Kids are not born knowing not to jump on the furniture. All they see is a giant indoor trampoline and can’t wait to get on it. You have to teach them right from wrong, it’s time consuming but worth it in the end!

    • whiteroses

      September 7, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      “You’ve got to teach them right from wrong, it’s time consuming but worth it in the end!”

      I’m sorry, do you not see how this is condescending? Just because kids mess up furniture doesn’t mean they’re undisciplined little heathens.

    • koolchicken

      September 7, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      It’s a statement of fact. If you elect to find condescension in that I can’t help you.

      When you get right down to it most things can be twisted. If you’re looking for something to fight about I’m positive you can find it even in a simple greeting. You’re actively looking for a problem in everything I write, so of course you’ll find something.

    • whiteroses

      September 7, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      It doesn’t matter what I say. You’re not going to get it, and even if you did it wouldn’t matter. As you said yourself, you’re not going to change- even though that’s not what I was asking you to do, merely to examine how you’re perceived by others. Which is something that everyone must do in social interactions, even if they’re separated by computer screens.

      I said before that I wasn’t going to respond to you any more even in the most benign sense. I meant it. Any further conversation I could possibly have with you would be utterly counterproductive and therefore pointless.

    • Véronique the Attachment Shark

      September 8, 2014 at 9:44 am

      But it’s not fact. At this point, I don’t even know why I bother with you anymore because you don’t WANT to get it. You don’t WANT to think that people actually aren’t raging bitches. You WANT to believe that it’s you against the world, and you hold this TRUTH that not many others hold. You’re fighting this battle that really has nothing to do with reality.

      Look. Your kid is still young. And you only have one. There is no such thing as universal knowledge when it comes to kids. Some kids are more calm and need strict rules for themselves in order to go about their lives. Some kids are more active and need to be silly and fool around in order to go about their lives. There is such a thing as discipline, and there is such a thing as over disciplining.

      You can talk about yourself, but stop moralizing people. Stop telling them what they should be doing because you don’t know.

    • whiteroses

      September 8, 2014 at 9:51 am

      Some people just like to play the victim.

      I don’t get it, personally. I’ve had enough bad shit happen to me to ensure that I don’t need to dramatize things that aren’t that big a deal.

    • WriterLady

      September 8, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      It is actually quite healthy to have active, playful, creative kids who occasionally break the rules. Just 40 years ago, parents never would have dreamed of hovering over their child/children in the manner that a small, but growing contingent of modern-day parents do. I don’t understand this rationale, which is why I left the previous advice to the mother of the 21-month-old. She, of course, can take it or leave it (just as we do when she doles out advice). My husband and I absolutely discipline our almost 5 year-old son when he gets out of line (pushing or talking back, for example, as ALL kids do at some point…to believe otherwise is truly delusional), but we don’t over-analyze every single action to the point of sheltering him and/or forcing him to grow up too fast. He is allowed to have a drink on the couch, which he will inevitably spill every once in awhile. Young kids don’t have the dexterity of adults…this is a proven fact.

      Now, this particular light-hearted article is about furniture, but somehow, someway, it has devolved into the game of “I’m better than you, because of X, Y, Z.” I’m not shocked at all, based on previous posts.

      It sounds like you and I (and many others) hold a similar philosophy: Let kids be kids, let them learn from their mistakes, and when they are older, they will be much better off for it. If certain individuals want to try a different method, that’s great. Maybe it will work out fine…who knows? But I, too, have quietly observed this constant back and forth of “I’m right; you’re definitely wrong” charade for quite some time. This is a pretty inclusive group as Internet forums go, until one or two people start getting all judgmental and defensive for absolutely no valid reason. It’s amusing at times, yet also exasperating.

    • whiteroses

      September 8, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      I have seen firsthand what happens when kids live under a constant cloud of discipline. Not just in my own family but in the families of the kids I taught. I can never think of a single instance where it’s ended well or even halfway decently.

      Does my kid get disciplined? Of course he does. Most people tell me he’s the most well behaved two year old they’ve ever met. But I don’t fool myself into thinking that behavior is solely because of my parenting. A lot of it is his personality.

      I don’t give my son a full cup of milk and expect him not to spill it, no matter how many times I’ve told him otherwise. It seems frankly ludicrous to me to set your kids up to fail like that.

    • Liberty

      September 8, 2014 at 1:03 am

      And you aren’t being condescending and judgmental? Kids who jump on the couch after they’ve been told not to repeatedly are undisciplined. Call a spade a spade.

    • whiteroses

      September 8, 2014 at 7:31 am

      Or they’re being two years old with an attention span of a gnat.

      Look, after a while, a person can only handle condescension and judgement for son long. Again- this conversation is an accumulation of a lot of comments KC has made.

    • Krissy Aldrich

      September 8, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      Your comments are condescending because they imply that anyone who doesn’t just outright accept their child’s misbehavior as a fact of life is somehow needlessly stifling their child and that is simply not the case. My stepkids have their fair share of moments, and they get to just be kids, but that doesn’t exclude some discipline and structure. They just know that our home is something that is a shared space and that we expect them not to destroy things that are in it and that they will suffer the consequences if they decide to not respect the people or things in our home, especially expensive items like couches.

      Parents are obligated to explain the general operating procedures in society, I would be doing my stepkids a huge disservice if I didn’t tell them why they’re wrong when they’re wrong.

    • whiteroses

      September 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks for the explaining. Considering the fact that I’ve been a teacher my entire professional life, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank you for that wisdom.

      I have absolutely, completely said my piece. You people can either let it go or not.

    • Krissy Aldrich

      September 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm

      Teaching kids to care for the stuff owned by both them and their family does have an intrinsic value, I’ve had several conversations with my five year old about why taking of the stuff he’s given is important. a Few reasons being;

      1: it shows you value the things you’re given
      2: Taking care of things makes sure they last longer
      3: Our family is not made of money and we can’t afford to replace stuff all the time because of a lack of care and maintenance.

      I’ve never implied that a couch is more important than my kids and implying such is a gross simplification of all the points I’ve made. And you are the one assuming I don’t let my kids be kids, my kids play and have tons of fun, they just have good sense, because people say no to them, they’ve been raised to consider the consequences of their behavior.

      Having structure in your child’s life is not abuse, its not cruel, its normal, its normal to not let your child run free and do whatever they want whenever they want. That’s life. Man is free but everywhere he is in chains, every situation has limits the sooner you learn this the happier you are.

    • WriterLady

      September 8, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Honestly, you just repeated a sentiment that most of us here agree with, since establishing discipline is part of being a competent parent. In fact, I was under the assumption that this was common knowledge, although I suppose we all know (or have heard of) a few families who allow complete and total free-for-alls. But, yes, it’s important to set expectations and rules/boundaries, with the understanding that accidents and mishaps can and will happen. Personally, I find it silly to get bent out of shape when a toddler spills something. (I’m not at all saying that you do this, but there are perfectionists who have a hard time raising young kids because, let’s be honest, toddlers and preschoolers can be awkward and messy as they grow into older, more independent beings. And at least one or two people seem to be hyper-focused on young kids spilling things.) All children will make mistakes–I feel like I’m repeating myself profusely in this thread–and it is our job as mothers and fathers to provide the proper guidance within reason. Nobody is denying this; not a single individual. Several of us are explaining the difference between developmental, learning experiences that sometimes lead to negative outcomes (i.e. a stain on the couch) from actual bad behavior (i.e. an 8-year-old who flings food across the room at his sister). And this difference is absolutely critical. Additionally, some of simply don’t find it wise to have super-expensive, posh furniture items–especially sofas and other items in the living room–when the kids are young. We specifically decided against a beautiful, light-colored couch when we were looking into new couches, because it just doesn’t make sense when we have a 4-year-old boy spending a good deal of time on the couch. So, we’ll wait until he’s older or we’ll choose a more appropriate couch for families with kids. To each his or her own, I guess. Otherwise, I believe we are on the same page.

    • Krissy Aldrich

      September 8, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      I own nothing posh, I am not posh, more like poor, I have to discipline my kids because a new couch ain’t gonna be in the budget for some time and we need to make this one last.

      I’m not running after my kids with a towel and spray bottle, kids spill and if they were trying to do right then its not a big deal, what I was referring to in my initial comment is, when she talked about how her 5 and 7 year old jump on the super expensive couch that she is remissed about them treating poorly. Perhaps since you have small, really active children who like jumping on things and you don’t like telling them not to jump on things and your sad about your couch getting dribbled on and jumped on it would be wise to enact some kind of ground rules for said children, which not all kids are at the same level but my five year old and his cousins who are around the same age seem able to take simple instructions like “hey, take your shoes off” pretty well, when framed well, you don’t rush in screaming your head off you approach calmly first.

      I certainly would not buy a really fancy easily marrable couch because it doesn’t fit in with my lifestyle, unlike some people I’ve accepted the fact that I have youngish children in my life and that something that stains or mars easily is not my friend. In the end she is the one who has learned a couple thousand dollar lesson.

      My comment was directed not at unintentional dribbles but at behaviors such as jumping on a couch with your shoes on. That most certainly can be stopped in most situations.

      I have however met parents who don’t really care what their kids do and randomly explode with rage at minor offenses, well if you let your kid act a fool 90% of the time and then suddenly drop the hammer, you’re the one to blame.

      Kids make mistakes or are awkward at doing tasks and obviously that is totally different than intentionally messing something up or doing something that they should know better than (because it is similar to or essentially the same as a rule that they have been introduced to and follow). I know my five year old at his current level understands that the couch is not just his play thing (although he’s super cute when he pretends its a pirate ship) but also something the entire family enjoys and uses, so his play needs to not interfere with the usability for the next person who would like to use it. We’ve had a lot of conversations about why taking care of the stuff you have is important (because it shows you value what you’ve been given, because it makes the good things we have last longer, because I don’t have unlimited amounts of money, so ruining something means it has to be replaced, which eats into our fun budget)

      I am way less persnickety about their room, I make them pick up once every week or two weeks (depending on the scope of the mess) , my main concern is that common areas are passable because my husband is visually impaired.

    • Krissy Aldrich

      September 8, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Exactly. I’ll tell them something nicely twice, once it gets to the third time there’s a consequence of some kind. Sometimes its something small, sometimes its something a little bigger. I think teaching your kids to respect the stuff in your home is the first step to teaching them how to respect others and how to most importantly respect themselves

    • koolchicken

      September 8, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      Bingo! It’s exactly what I’m saying. And it seems like the authors problem is really simple and straight forward. She’s unhappy with the way her kids treat the furniture. Okay then tell them to treat it better. If you don’t want shoes on the couch, make them take them off. If they don’t follow the rules, punish them. It’s just not this difficult. It’s a very basic part of being a parent, you set limits they test them you act accordingly. It’s not “crushing their spirits” or “stifling their childhoods” to teach them rules. It’s what you HAVE to do to raise decent members of society.

    • whiteroses

      September 7, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      My son is definitely expected to take care of his things and to respect mine. That doesn’t mean that accidents don’t happen. And it doesn’t mean that I can control his every waking movement, nor that I want to.

    • Krissy Aldrich

      September 8, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Never in my comment did I endorse corporal punishment, all I said is that if you lay out expectations for your child BEFORE something becomes an issue and not after enforcement of rules is a lot easier. You’re child is not made out of tissue paper, they can learn manners and respect both for people and their things. I don’t expect them never to break rules or to test boundaries but I also don’t expect them to act like uncontrolled monsters who can’t respect the space they live in. That is behavior that is worthy of some type of punishment.

    • whiteroses

      September 8, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      I didn’t say you endorsed corporal punishment. I was making the point that what works for some kids may not work for others.

    • Krissy Aldrich

      September 8, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, shoes and furniture did not mix, ever, this was a clearly established rule from the time I could understand words.

      But you are applying to me, the standards of your highly specific situation to me and my parenting and assuming I over-discipline based on one comment. A two year old is worlds different than a five year old, autism or not, they’re at completely different levels of cognition and I obviously wouldn’t expect the same behavior out of a 2 year old that I expect. No sane person would.

      And I was responding to the article, where the author talks about her 5 and 7 year old. As the author did not specifically indicate that they have any disabilities, physical or intellectual, I assumed (perhaps bullheadly) that those challenges weren’t there.

      My 5 year old who does not live with Autism does not require the same style of parenting that your 2 year old with Autism does. My comment was made as a generality, that indeed in a lot situations parents could set more sensible boundaries. There are a lot of things I let go in the interest of a greater household harmony, but there are some things I won’t let go of.

      Couches are expensive and we need at least one. Since it would be very cumbersome for my family to afford a new couch, I discourage my kids from doing intentional damage to it or any other piece of furniture in our home, which hopping on a couch with your shoes on, will wear your couch out much faster than if that isn’t happening.

      I am however fortunate that the couch we have wipes clean very easily, spills happen, even with the grown members of our house.

      Its not that the object is more important than them, but there is an intrinsic value in not needing a new kitchen table every year because no one ever wipes it or maintains it. I’m teaching them an overall lesson about caring for your stuff which you should value because money which you use to buy the things in your home is limited.

      So yes, if I see my five year old or my eleven year old senselessly destroying something in my home, weather they’re aware of the damage they’re doing or not I’m going to say something because if they’re not aware, than they should be.

      I know that they are able to understand me and my reasoning, its just about me taking the time with my five year old especially to explain why the whatever thing needs to be cared for.

  28. ILoveJellybeans

    September 6, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Mine looks fine…..until you take the cushions off. With four kids, there are unspeakable horrors lurking underneath.

  29. Gangle

    September 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    I don’t plan on a nice couch any time soon. Our couch has a lovely patina of breastmilk and baby puke. Oh well.

  30. Cakes

    September 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    My SO and I bought a beautiful couch and love seat set a couple of years ago. It’s not my toddler that’s been destroying them, though, it’s my cat. She just sits there and scratches the absolute shit out of them. She never did this with our old furniture, so I’m convinced that she knows these are way nicer and she’s just a huge asshole. Thankfully the only thing my daughter does on the couches is jump on them occasionally.

  31. PAJane

    September 8, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Haaaaa, relevant. My dude recently bought new furniture that we don’t have room for, because it is super nice and gently used and was really cheap for what it was. I was telling my bestie what I thought was a humerous story about how our living room is full of extraneous couches, and she offered to take the extras from us to (temporarily) furnish her newly added on room. She has a 1 year old. They’re not mine to loan out, which is good, because I don’t have to explain that no, I would never loan my Nice Adult Furniture (TM) to you because I don’t trust your baby not to puke all over it.

  32. Pingback: Don't Put The Baby In The Trunk Of Your Car: An Explainer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *