Learner dad: To be honest, I throw away a few bits of cheap plastic every morning to calm myself down

DEAR kids, I presume you never read these articles. If for some reason you’re reading this one, stop now and find something else to do, like cleaning up the latest mess you left in the front room.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been throwing your toys out, on the sly. Not the big ones like a Transformer or a Kidizoom, because they’re expensive and you’d miss them. I’d miss them too because you get hours of enjoyment out of them, hours when you’re not following me around the house asking for ‘something sugary’.

I’ve been throwing out the small things that survive the evening clean-up and end up lying loose around the place in the morning when I’m prowling around before my first coffee. This morning, for example, I found a pen on the kitchen counter, along with a tiny piece of Lego, a hair gogo and a lollipop still in its wrapper. If I’d come across these after a coffee there is an outside chance I’d have wandered around the house putting them back where they’re supposed to be. However, at 7.30am, those things go straight in the bin. I don’t even pick out the bits that could be recycled or composted — they go straight into general waste.

This morning’s haul was fairly small. There are usually a few miniature men along with pieces of click-together shite that came in a magazine, and only one gogo is definitely on the low side. I’m assuming kids, that your mother doesn’t read these articles either. Her favourite phrase in the morning is, “where have all the gogos gone”. She’ll go ballistic if she finds out they’re going in the bin. Say nothing.

I’m not going to pretend I’m throwing your stuff away to teach you a lesson. Everything is lost all the time anyway, so you’d never have found out what really happened to that dinosaur your aunt bought in Dealz if you weren’t still reading this article.

Seriously, the front room is at crisis level, if you don’t go in there and start tidying up I’ll have to use an empty threat about not bringing you on holidays.

To be honest, I throw away a few bits of cheap plastic every morning to calm myself down. I’m the morning guy in our house. I usually get up first, put the porridge on and get the place ready for breakfast. If there was a device that would pump caffeine into my veins when the alarm goes off I’d probably be fine. There isn’t, so the first half an hour or so is cranky-time.

Look, I’m allergic to clutter and also annoyed because my eyes are slow to get going in the morning now that I’m over 50. It’s a miracle I don’t go plate-smashing crazy when I stand on a piece of Lego getting out of the shower.

Seriously, kids, this is for the best. My little plastic purge sets me up for the day. One of my bugbears is the amount of cheap stuff that comes into our house on a weekly basis, cluttering up the place and knocking another few seconds off the life expectancy of the planet. In fairness, I’m not doing this for the polar bears; but clearing some space for the breakfast bowls on the counter every morning lifts my anti-clutter rage and we’re all in a better place when Daddy isn’t trying to deal with that.

For anyone else still reading, first of all, thanks for letting me share. Second of all, I’d highly recommend you chisel away at your child’s plastic mountain every morning, with a trip to the bin.

They say that having children is life-changing — the biggest change is you lose control of your house, as their stuff colonises every millimetre of free space. This token bit of garbage disposal is your cry for freedom, where you reclaim the house for a couple of seconds. It’s a good thing for everyone in the house. Just don’t get caught.

More on this topic

Lindsay Woods: There are many parents in a similar situation to mine, working from home with no childcareLindsay Woods: There are many parents in a similar situation to mine, working from home with no childcare

Is a festival any fun without a load of drink?Is a festival any fun without a load of drink?

Here for you always: New website offers practical and accessible advice for new parentsHere for you always: New website offers practical and accessible advice for new parents

Learning curve: Why we need to drop the idea of the terrible twosLearning curve: Why we need to drop the idea of the terrible twos

More in this Section

Swifts need nest sitesSwifts need nest sites

Islands of Ireland: Welcome to dreamlandIslands of Ireland: Welcome to dreamland

Dividend is        a better option than a carbon taxDividend is a better option than a carbon tax

Gazing at hedgerows a much under-rated summer activityGazing at hedgerows a much under-rated summer activity


Latest Showbiz

The Blue singer used the photo manipulation app to post a realistic-looking picture in which he appeared to have grey hair and wrinkles.Lee Ryan uses FaceApp to post aged selfie on Instagram

The soap star announced her pregnancy earlier this year.EastEnders star Lacey Turner gives birth to baby girl

The viral challenge sees people attempt to kick a twist cap off the top of a bottle.Gemma Collins almost falls off a boat as she takes on ‘bottle cap challenge’

We wonder how much of the lavish celebrations these toddlers actually remember.5 of the most OTT birthday parties celebrities have thrown their one-year-olds

More From The Irish Examiner