I know what you’re thinking. Kids & DIY don’t mix. But don’t worry, I haven’t lost my marbles. If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll know that last year we took the plunge and bought a house that needed a complete renovation. The work was extensive and exhausting and I don’t think we fully appreciated the scale of what needed to be done when we first signed the contracts. That said, sitting here 18 months later with the house now completely finished, in my shiny office overlooking my lovely garden complete with big, beautiful deck, I can say hand on heart that it was all totally worth it. Would I do it over again? I’m not sure. But never say never
If you’re interested in my renovation posts and seeing all the juicy before/after shots, then you can check out the posts below:
But today I’m here to tell you the tale of some of our trials, tribulations & triumphs when it came to Huxley and DIY. At the time when we first got the keys, Huxley was only 18 months old. I’m a strong believer that children learn best by being allowed to do things for themselves (so much so that the nursery Huxley goes to is actually a Montessori nursery for this reason). I think that allowing children to do things for themselves makes them into confident, successful people. Obviously, there is an element of safety to be considered and I would never recommend allowing your child to do any kind of DIY without full and proper supervision. But, I believe that in every job, there are smaller tasks that a child can join in with.
One of our first major tasks with our new house was stripping the wallpaper. And boy was there a lot of wallpaper! But, it was one of Huxley’s small pleasures as it often involved climbing the small stepladder and being allowed to use a special tool. What more could a little boy want?!? In fact, a great deal of the ugly green wallpaper in our lounge came away simply by grabbing a loose bit and yanking it. Sometimes it would come off in satisfyingly large strips, other times you’d be left with a minuscule scrap of paper.
A downside to allowing Huxley to be our little helper that we naively hadn’t foreseen was that, being only 18 months old, he didn’t quite understand that you’re not allowed to do this in everyone’s house as we soon found out one day when he was staying at Grandma’s. He entered the kitchen carrying a small strip of paper which we didn’t think any of to start with as children often pick up strange things around the house, and it was plain white so from a distance it looked like a regular scrap of A4 that he’d found lying around. So you can imagine our horror when we came to say goodbye and walked into the hallway to find a nice bit patch of wallpaper missing from the wall! (We’re still apologising now!) Luckily for us, it was Huxley-height which meant that a few strategic furniture readjustments meant that it was easily hidden!
I can’t completely complain though, he’s always been the first to jump in and grab the hoover off me to try and help!
*This post is in collaboration with Dyno