This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Some phrases get uttered a lot in this house:

“Pants are required to go to the playground; go find your pants.”

“He likes it!” (He almost certainly does not.)

“Stop hugging your brother so hard; he can’t breathe.”

“I have to give him all my kisses.”

And “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

Having two boys, I find myself either thinking or saying this last one on a daily basis. No matter how often I clean, there are always new messes being made, usually while I’m trying to clean something else.

Here are a few examples of our messes:

  • Spit up and drool. Everywhere. Carpet. Couch. Bed. Clothes. You name it, the baby has spit up on it.
  • Our toddler decided to stand on the toilet paper roll holder, breaking it off the wall and leaving a sizable hole.
  • Drinks are usually spilled at each meal. If not beverages then food is dropped, mostly by accident.
  • Chalk art drawings are not restricted to the sidewalk. Instead, it’s mostly on our front door, porch furniture, and cars.
  • Pages of library books are ripped to shreds. Usually this occurs when a tear already exists, but occasionally he’ll begin the ripping.
Bathroom renovation needed
Bathroom renovation needed
No crying over spilt Coke
No crying over spilt Coke










All of these messes are totally solvable.

Once our youngest is securely walking we will replace our disgusting carpet with laminate or wood floors, but until that happens (take your time to walk, little one) we will just keep using Resolve and quietly muttered swear words to clean the mess right out. We are handy and can fix the hole in the bathroom (I’m just happy the toddler wasn’t injured). We use straw cups so the mess is more contained. We buy washable chalk and scrub the house, furniture, and car periodically. We tape up the books and hope that the library doesn’t call us our on book destruction.

Covered head to toe in vaseline
Covered head to toe in vaseline

We try to call the mistakes, “just an oops,” so no one freaks out and obsesses over the little things that can be fixed. These days we have a lot of “oopses,” which is definitely why we can’t have nice things. Someday we will again, just not right now.

Leslie Walbolt
Leslie has lived in Seminole for three years now, following moves from South Florida and Philadelphia due to her clergy husband’s career. An attorney in a former life, she is now a stay-at-home mom to two boys - an energetic four year old and a huggable one year old. Most of her time is spent chasing down (she means playing with) her two littles on playgrounds, during church services, and pretty much everywhere else (they're fast runners). Leslie loves to travel, work on her fitness at the local YMCA, and catch up on movies and books whenever possible. When she finds a free moment, she enjoys writing for her Growing a Kid blog, found at It follows the ups and downs of her life.


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