A toddler lives here.

You can tell the minute you cross the threshold. There’s a slight toddler smell (yes, that smell), and all surfaces under two feet high are slightly sticky. Crumbs riddle the floor beneath the striped high chair, flanked by a few drops of dried milk.

If you listen closely you will occasionally hear screams of disapproval followed by a passionate “NO!” You will hear pouting, fussing, and grunts of frustration.

There are toys strewn about the floor and hidden in every nook and cranny. There’s a pile of stuffed animals in the middle of the hall. Regular household items like remotes, cups, pens, and dishrags are in various locations around the house. You can find a dog-hair covered paci in each and every room, as well as a pack of baby wipes. There’s a dirty diaper, wrapped tightly into a ball, sitting on the bathroom sink. Tiny stained shirts, shoes, and pants litter the laundry room floor.

The house looks lived in–no, worn down–most days.

A toddler lives here.

But, keep looking, and you will see a block tower built with such care and pride. It’s only three blocks high but it’s a wonder. You will see a little metal pot with a toy egg, onion, and piece of watermelon, used to make the most wonderful stew! You’ll see a tiny shopping cart full of odds and ends, a princess doll on the coffee table next to her prince. You’ll see a basket full of books that’s been poured out on the floor, favorites open and worn already.

Laughter and squeals ring throughout the house. The tiny pitter-patter of chubby feet coming down the hall is like sweet music. Clapping hands and  excited cheers fill the room. You’ll hear the sound of every toy that makes noise. A little voice sings along with the pink teapot and its cup.

A toothy little grin, a drool-filled face, round, pink cheeks, and sparkling doe eyes light up the room and fill the house with more love than it has ever known.

A toddler lives here.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Tavia Smith

Hi, I’m Tavia! I'm saved by grace, a wife, new mom, and lover of coffee and donuts! During the week, I'm a hustle and bustle fourth grade teacher but in my (limited) spare time, you can find me working on my blog Everyday Smith, http://https://everydaysmith.com/blog/. I am a homebody by nature and if I could, I would spend all my time at home with my husband, little girl and our two dogs!