17 Items You Only Have In Your Lounge If You Have Small Children

Subtler clues that the house is inhabited by children.

If a stranger were to step into your living room, would they be able to tell that you have small kids? Almost certainly. We all leave piles of toys and books lying around, and you’ve probably got photos of them all over the walls. But what are the subtler clues that the house is inhabited by little people? Well, here are 17 to start with... 

1. A stash of pipe cleaners. An estimated (by me) 99.95% of pipe cleaner sales are for children’s craft projects and not for cleaning pipes.

2. Nobbly rubber things on the corners or cabinets and tables. 

3. A small plastic item whose origins are hotly debated. Did it come with a magazine? Was it part of that cheap construction set from Aunt Flo? What is it? 

4. A partly deflated balloon, upon which someone has drawn a smudged face.

5. A tiny vase on the mantelpiece contains one wilted daisy and yellowing water.

Partly deflated balloon with a smudged face.

6. A dog-eared craft project that has exceeded its useful life, but remains too precious to throw away. Your lounge is a kind of limbo for such objects.

7. A rogue crayon. Science has proven that you are never more than two feet from a misplaced colouring pencil, when in a home with small children.

8. A rolling cavalcade of seasonal decorations. Most households will put up something for festivals like Christmas or Hanukkah, but only a house with small children will be in a near-constant state of decoration. Spring bunting, Easter paraphernalia,  Autumn wreaths, Halloween spooky stuff, winter icicles and paper snowflakes… this show just keeps rolling. 

9. A remote control augmented with at least three unrelated sticky substances.

10. A discarded shirt or vest decorated with bean stains.

11. A cookie cutter, for some reason.

12. A toy dinosaur. I refuse to believe that there is a single family living room that doesn’t contain at least one toy dino. The terrible lizards didn’t go extinct, they reconquered our lounges.  

13. A jigsaw, 75% complete before its inevitable abandonment for the latest episode of Peppa Pig.

14. A small, odorless puddle of mysterious origin. It’s probably just water, you delude yourself. 

15. At least one week-old cereal hoop. These tend to inhabit the floor at the edgelands of the sofa and bookcase for some reason.

16. Your coffee table and part of the sofa are hidden beneath a complex canopy of sheets, blankets and pillow cases.

17. A dozen additional things you know you’re going to have to clean up later.

See Also

11 Items you’ll only recognise if you have kids

8 Reasons you’re late leaving the house… again



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