How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Top 2 Reasons You Don’t Have Nice Things Anymore…

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Top 2 Reasons Why You Don't Have Nice Things Anymore Kids and Pets

Years ago I bought a leather executive chair that was blonde-colored. Within a week, Cody (at age 6!) wrote Xuck on it (he missed the top line in the F). He used permanent marker and scrawled it in large letters on the broad expanse of the chair’s back. Amid feeling super bummed and being totally confused about how he could have even known that word, let alone write it, when it was never said around him and he could only just barely spell his own name, a small part of me was proud. A VERY small part of me.

You see, it’s not just that your “nice things” get ruined. Yes, that’s the biggest factor, but it’s also the nice things you DON’T buy any more as a sort of preemptive defense tactic against the “fun-spiritedness and creativity” of a kid or the “natural instincts” of a pet that basically amount to the systematic destruction of everything you possess.

Here’s an example. My wife and I are out shopping. I say, “Hmmmmmm-no. Let’s get the cheaper one.” She reassures me we can afford the better, more expensive one, no problem. I turn to her and say intensely, “Look. I will not be able to withstand discovering a peanut butter and jelly sandwich crammed into this really nice DVD player. Let’s get the cheaper one.” We got the cheaper one.

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Instructional Diagrams
We’ve lost count of how many beverage nasal sprays and woken up babies all the laughter at these has caused.
 

38 Comments

38 Responses to “Top 2 Reasons You Don’t Have Nice Things Anymore…”

  1. H* says:

    We have to change our sofa… but considering that we have a 3 months old and he has lots of things to destroy in a near future we are seriously thinking about keeping our beloved old sofa.

    Sorry if my English is not too good!!! :D

    • Andy says:

      Your English is just fine, probably better than me, and I don’t speak another language other than English. Anyway, I know EXACTLY what you mean. ;) We speak the international language of parenting.

  2. Andy,

    I can relate to your less is more mantra. I recently acquired a brand new top end MacBook Pro and have been beyond paranoid that my children will find a way to systematically destroy it either in one fatal blow or a death by a thousand cuts. Short of wrapping everything we own in plastic and bubble wrap, a better solution is to go no frills as you suggested.

    Vincent | CuteMonster.com

  3. Despite having a dog and a little human poopasaurus as well, the wife still wants white carpet.

    She’s in denial.

    • brianna says:

      then u better buy her a steam cleaner to go with it. i have 2 boys allmost 2 n almost 4 and a white carpet. i wish we had a chocolate milk or red juice colored carpet instead lol

      • stacey says:

        We should totally get the patents on those color selections. I’d add two features. 1)Self replicating fibers for the sections the dog/child tear out. 2)Liquid repelling base pad. I hate the smell that goes with the absorbing kind…

    • Andy says:

      Oh my god. I hope it’s made of military-grade stain-proof Kevlar.

  4. Phil says:

    This is where society has it all xucked up. We get married and get all this nice stuff, and THEN we have kids. There are a few “relic” wedding gifts that survived our kids only because they were in boxes that were behind other boxes. Some things automatically break purely out of fear when kids get near them.

    That’s why I propose that in the future people have kids, raise them, send them off to college, let them move back in for a bit, then ship ‘em off. THEN get married and get all the nice stuff that can stay pristine until we’re gone.

    Bonus: No more messy divorces, aka “broken” marriages.

  5. Stacy says:

    My designer sofa (destroyed by the evil 2nd child), 4 DVD players,countless cd’s, dvd’s and video games, car seats, our bed, carpets, walls, smartphones…all destroyed by marker doodles,glitter glue, pee, vomit,and thumbtacks. Not to mention everything else that I’ve blocked from too much trauma. Our first child was pretty well behaved aside from the DVD players, but our now nearly 3 year old has quite a list of destruction. I can only hope the infant (and only girl) will not decide nail polish goes on everything!

    • Andy says:

      “They’re so worth it” is a statement most people forget implies sacrifice, loss or suffering of one form or another. ;) But, really, they so are.

  6. Jen says:

    So, I’m going to be a devil’s advocate. I know, boo! I wanted to share a different side to this with the disclaimer that I know this doesn’t necessarily apply for kids under a certain age. While I agree that my kids did their fair share of damage, I still wanted to buy nice things and teach them to respect those nice things. I have a ‘friend’ and her thought process is ‘let kids be kids.’ Therefore, she does not have nice things in her home and about ninety percent of her walls and furniture either have holes, coloring, or snot on them. Which, if that’s how she chooses to raise them I’m not going to argue with that. Every parenting technique is different and is suited to that individual family. When it does become a problem for me is when I watch her children and they have zero respect for me or my things when I gently remind them to not rip my magazines from the coffee table or not to throw my kids’ toys against the walls. I know I’m giving an extreme example here, but one thing I’ve noticed about hopefully teaching my kids to be respectful of our things is that they treat others’ property in a similar manner. The dog, well, that’s a different story. Loved the post.

    • Andy says:

      I like the way you think. I completely agree, this has to be worked on whether you chose to avoid nicer things or not. Kids must learn respect for others possessions. And my commitment to this statement is proved out by the fact that I’m typing this 10 minutes after my son tossed my hat out of the car window on the freeway. ;)

  7. Steve says:

    ^Phil^ Sounds like a GREAT idea…

  8. When we renovated a house a few years ago and bought new stuff to put in it, we went with the “pre-damaged” look – from flooring to the dining room table. That stuff is expensive, though, seriously – you pay extra for that. Luckily I LIKE the look of wood that looks as though somebody has beat the crap out of it with hammers and old nails, so I could blame it on an aesthetic choice – but we went wholeheartedly with the whole “pre-damaged” concept because I knew I’d never be too upset if some child say, hit it with a hammer.

  9. Shain says:

    We dealt with it in three ways: no pets, only one child and high shelves! As our son has grown up, we’ve gradually moved things up – it’s like being in a low-lying area as the flood waters come in…

  10. Annie says:

    Oh man that office chair story is terrible!! I should follow the “buy the cheaper version” planfrom now on. My child has already wrecked the power cord to my laptop. The replacement was $50 and I was planning to buy a new laptop in six months anyways. I guess I will have an extra power cord now. I had bought some paper dolls with magnets on the back for my little one to play with. I found my dog happily chewing them apart. I agree they are the reason!!

    • Andy says:

      I don’t even let my sons near the bag that contains the case that holds my laptop. Lucas tore off my shift key when I let my guard down once! It pops off every other day. :(

      • Annie says:

        Oh man the shift key is so very important. :( I have NO clue how it happened. She kept coming up on the side the cord is on and some how it would get ripped out. Which broke the connection on the inside. They always manage some how.

  11. My husband gave me a Louis Vuitton bag for my last birthday a few months ago. Apparently he forgot we have three children. I actually screech when they walk near it.

    However, I came up with a brilliant which has officially turned me into my grandmother. I WRAP IT IN PLASTIC!

    Everywhere I go, that thing is wrapped up. But it clear plastic so you can still see the beautiful right through it.

    Can you imagine how fancy and chic I look carrying that thing around? Louis would be proud.

  12. the word *bag is missing right after beautiful. Good God I need an editor.

  13. Braindonkey says:

    There is only 1 nice type of thing in this house, computers. Everything else goes to Satan, i mean Ashley. She has my hand me downs of course. I gave up on nice things, being in shape, sleep, and sanity, the minute I found out we were pregnant. She likes her gadgets. So she respects mine.

  14. Brian Craig says:

    Oh so true! We have three little ones, here is link to my blog about what our kids have done to our once nice house http://trueconfessionsofastayathomedad.blogspot.com/2011/10/distressed.html

  15. Christina says:

    I needed to hear this today! Looking at all my friends’ model homes makes me jealous and wishing my house looked like that. Then I come home and see peanut butter on the walls, toys everywhere, sticky fingerprints on the coffee table and stains on the sofa and I get it!!!

    So I guess when I have teenagers that care about the house they bring their friends home to, I’ll paint the walls, pick out nice flooring that won’t get pee’d or pooped on in the middle of a diaper change and spend loads of money on nice furniture.

    My husband will appreciate this new found spent thrift in me.

    • Andy says:

      Urg! I know what you mean about other people’s kidless museum homes. I almost want to look around for the No Children Allowed sign.

    • stacey says:

      Those homes just about make you want to go find a corner and play a quick body function game of “blame a neighborhood critter that HAD to have gotten in somehow” on the wall…

  16. Jennifer says:

    AHHHAHAHA! As the cat I rescued from death methodically destroys my lovely leather bar stools.

  17. danielle says:

    Ugh, we just found change shoved into our brand new DVD player as well as my husbands XBOX, uhoh, both are broke now and Daddy is not happy!!

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