If you have kids . . .

You will relate to this post. If not, you may well think that I have lost my mind, and you should be assured that we will soon return to your regularly scheduled decorating programming.

As I announced earlier in the week, my nephews are staying with us for a week of summer vacation. Now I confess upfront that I am that Aunt, who at weak moments cannot take another minute of tattling or bickering and will turn on the t.v. and pray for just 15 minutes of uninterrupted silence. But don’t worry, I am also that Aunt, who serves fresh fruit smoothies for breakfast instead of sugar-laced cereal. Therefore I can justify a mid-afternoon snack of Noggin with a bit of Mickey Mouse Playhouse on the side, n’est pas? Jesus appreciated times of silence and introspection. I promise. It’s in the Gospel.

The thing with t.v., however, is that the kiddos are much more interested in sitting through a t.v. show if I am actively watching along, laughing along, and making random comments to demonstrate that I am an active participant in their world. Every day this week we have watched the antics of bunnies Max and Ruby, courtesy of Nick Jr.

Demonstrating my rapt attention to said cartoon, I ask A:

“A, is Ruby Max’s mommy or his sister?”

“His sister.”

“Where’s their mommy?”

(insert five year-old’s eye roll here) “They don’t haaaaaave a mommy.”

Hmmmmm . . . . Okay. Rule one, don’t think too hard about the plot. So like any other decorator, I focus on the house. Even if it is a cartoon house. Quite frankly, Max and Ruby’s digs are rockin.

Next I say to A:

“I love their green paint in the living room!”

A responds, “Ya, green!! Can we paint your living room green, Aunt E??!???” (Ahhh, this is a child after my own heart)

I think, “wonder what color that is????” then, “EARTH TO ERIN, this is a cartoon. Not Benjamin Moore.”

But still, I focus on the house. The fact that they have lovely wainscotting, and wide-planked hardwood floors: I have finally found the world’s most affordable way to have your dream house! Draw it!! Coffered ceilings? Check! Designer wall paper? Check! Antique light fixtures? Check Check! I’m suddenly really into this show!

By the way, the all-time best kids’ movie house belongs to Stuart Little. I highly recommend it. The movie isn’t half bad either. At least not the first 42 times.
And for all the parents and fellow-aunties out there, this is my all-time favorite kids’ video. It is so calming and lovely. I got my copy on VHS from a clearance bin at Old Time Pottery a few years ago and I guard it like treasure. A and B love it too. And the characters live in a charming little cottage in the woods. It is the perfect time-out so that you can recharge and have plenty of energy to turn on the sprinkler and test out your brand new Lightening McQueen umbrellas in the yard.
The perfect balance.

Living a life with a lovely backdrop.

Today, for us, it is enough.


  1. Ahhh Max and Ruby! Sometime’s if Wren is cranky I turn on Noggin in the other room so she can just hear the sounds and music (it’s like baby crack I tell you) and Max and Ruby ALWAYS seems to be on. That and In the Night Garden which I find to me extremely weird and kind of creepy.
    I am glad you are getting some quality “Aunty” time in though. Hope your 4th of July is safe and fun~

  2. Yes, I can indeed relate. Our favorite downtime cartoon is Little Bear. I love the music, art, stories. In fact, I use to tape new shows everyday for my LO back then and still have about 5 vhs’s full. And my 10 yr old STILL squeals when it comes on by fluke.

    You sound like a rockin’ auntie to me!


  3. Oh, yes, Elmo saves my sanity every morning while I do my hair and make-up. Even my 3 year old, who is really too old for E, will sit with her little sis and watch. πŸ™‚ She does love Max and Ruby! It drives my husband nuts that the mother is never around. πŸ˜‰

  4. I have never seen Max and Ruby, but it sounds adorable. I teach 4-5 year olds, so I imagine some of them watch it! I love your observations of their home decor, that is TOO funny! You are a true stylist at heart! πŸ™‚

  5. We have a book called Eloise Wilkin Stories and it’s pure vintage fabulosity. Every room has vintage wall-paper drawn into the illustrations, not to mention the hollyhocks in the gardens!

  6. Oh so funny! I’m glad I am not the only one who notices these things. And the fact that Max & Ruby do not have parents (that we see anyways) totally annoys me. πŸ™‚

    I hope you enjoyed your week of summer fun. My niece and nephew were here for the last week and I was introduced to the Jonas Brothers show – not as appealing to the designer eye. Ha!

  7. Adorable, Erin! I do the same thing with kid shows…always look at the house. And our offspring love Max and Ruby too. But I’ll have to check out the house!

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