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FSBO, 2br, hi ceilings, chefs kitchen, 1 ba + outhouse in LR


There was indeed some discussion when we first spotted the cardboard house. The discussion being that Nate, in typical fashion, wanted it for Thalia (along with everything else in the store) insisting that she would love it like nothing else. I resisted.

He won. And he was right.

It started with a lot of potential – a pristine white 3-dimensional canvas ready for water colors and imagination. But instead of turning it into a rainy day art project (because that would take planning) we decided to let Thalia go at it with any art supply, any time she likes. Basically the Running with Scissors approach to creativity. She had her way with stickers and shards of Crayolas retrieved from under the sofa. She painted. She let her sitter sketch suns and trees and stars. She wrote the letters in her name.

Even if it yielded a big multicolored mess it was her mess and she loved it. Her beloved mess in the middle of our living room.

Over time we saw the house evolve, as we had hoped. It was a castle, a kitchen filled with play food, a playroom, a dress up space. It was a place Thalia accepted junk mail through the little pass through slot or sat on a single pink toddler chair and ate an apple. She hung her art work on the walls. She invited her sister in for tea.


And then in the last week, it became something we hadn’t expected – a bathroom. Thalia moved her potty in there for privacy. Once a day she announces her intentions, then races in shutting the little cardboard door behind her.

I always wanted a second bathroom in our apartment. I never expected it would be an outhouse.

The best part:
Reading material.

{ 45 comments… add one }

  • Fairly Odd Mother 6.05.2008, 12:28 pm

    Love the commode! Our neighbor just gave us a box that held a hot-water heater (we are known in the neighborhood for liking that sort of gift), and I plan to turn it into a rocket. I’ll have to be sure to leave room in it for a potty.

  • VerWaynia 6.05.2008, 12:59 pm

    Ha! That’s so great! I’ve become the one in this parenting union that thinks he has to have everything in sight…I didn’t use to be that way!

  • slouchy 6.05.2008, 1:05 pm

    What a RIOT!

  • Don Mills Diva 6.05.2008, 1:23 pm

    That sucker would fetch about $350,000 on the market here in Toronto.Seriously.

  • RuthWells 6.05.2008, 1:34 pm

    Don’t you hate it when the husband is right? ; )What a perfect toy. Boxes rock.

  • MetroDad 6.05.2008, 2:20 pm

    Love the house. Love her artwork. Love the fact that she keeps reading material next to her potty. And everyone knows that in NYC, you can get $50,000 more for that extra bathroom!

  • Aimee @ Smiling Mama 6.05.2008, 2:44 pm

    Oh I’ve been wanting to get this for my son, too. Maybe now I will. So cute!!

  • Christina 6.05.2008, 3:57 pm

    This is hilarious!!

  • mothergoosemouse 6.05.2008, 4:07 pm

    I am DYING here. Seriously, I’m laughing so hard that CJ just shushed me.

  • Suzanne 6.05.2008, 4:27 pm

    That’s fantastic!!! Complete with DIY graffiti. ;o)

  • Mom101 6.05.2008, 4:37 pm

    Hilarious, Frog!

  • Karen Sugarpants 6.05.2008, 4:42 pm

    We did the same thing a couple of weeks ago with moving boxes – the house hadn’t sold yet and I thought if I use the boxes for something else, it might about a dose of Murphy’s Law (it worked). Yeah I was wishing on every dandelion at that point. Anyway, Thomas looked at me with a great deal of apprehension when I handed him a bunch of markers and said, “Go to it kid!” :)

  • FearandParentinginLasVegas 6.05.2008, 5:16 pm

    Great – now my husband (Homer) wants to redecorate our bathroom with crayons and stickers. I’m drawing the line (excuse the pun). No fingerpainting.

  • Grandmere 6.05.2008, 6:25 pm

    I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time!!She is wonderful.

  • Grandmere 6.05.2008, 6:26 pm

    I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time!!She is wonderful.

  • Alexis 6.05.2008, 6:28 pm

    I love the cardboard house. We had one just like yours and the girls decorated it and played with it until it was entirely in tatters. Cardboard, in whatever form you find it, is one of the best materials for kids.

  • Overwhelmed! 6.05.2008, 7:26 pm

    Oh how cute! I love how she made herself comfortable by dragging her potty chair in there (with the very important reading material). I wonder, if I buy my son one of these houses and put his potty chair in there, will he finally poop in the potty? If so, then it’d be well worth the $48.00 price tag! :)

  • Lady M 6.05.2008, 10:58 pm

    That rocks! Like Overwhelmed said above, I’d be willing to buy a cardboard house if it made Q happy to sit on the potty!

  • Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels 6.06.2008, 12:05 am

    what a smart girl! Clearly, she realized the potential for developing ideas when one has time to think on the loo. Go Thalia!

  • Amy Urquhart 6.06.2008, 12:43 am

    haha! It’s like a port-a-potty in your living room.

  • dana 6.06.2008, 1:11 am

    Cardboard is Dawson’s favorite toy. Anytime I get a box in the mail he takes it into his room and makes many houses, tents, and other interesting creations.

  • SUEB0B 6.06.2008, 3:48 am

    What a gorgeous little house! And what a smart girl!

  • WMW 6.06.2008, 4:09 am

    My daughter likes to read while having her diaper changed. Soon she’ll demand the crossword.

  • carrie 6.06.2008, 6:56 am

    I love it.

  • ~Kat~ 6.06.2008, 1:38 pm

    < HREF="http://thereluctantmermaid.blogspot.com/2008/01/pee-pee-cha-cha.html" REL="nofollow">Iris reads “The Nation” upon her red Bjorn throne<>Ahh… the choice reading material.

  • Juicebox.mom 6.06.2008, 2:33 pm

    Those photos are precious…i’m picturing a scrapbook page. Enjoy your new addition.

  • Mom101 6.06.2008, 2:36 pm

    Ok Kat, that’s just fabulous! Mine is just reading the PBK Kids catalog.

  • Suburban Turmoil 6.06.2008, 6:15 pm

    Hmm. I need to get one of these (and maybe a bedpan for the inside?) for my husband.

  • Diane 6.07.2008, 2:50 am

    Oh, I love the cardboard house. Now I will have to go out and get one, maybe then my daughter will actually use the potty!

  • VDog 6.07.2008, 3:00 am

    oh mah freakin gawd. THAT is TOO much! LOVES it!!

  • 1 modern mommy 6.07.2008, 4:21 pm

    Too freakin cute! Looks like you have a little piccaso on your hands!

  • the mama bird diaries 6.07.2008, 6:38 pm

    awesome. I laugh my arse off when my 3 year-old asks for privacy and then sits on the toilet “reading” New York Magazine.

  • Jerseygirl89 6.08.2008, 12:35 am

    We’ve done the same thing, arts-wise, with all of Ironflower’s cardboard houses (it never even occurred to me to make it a fancy project, so you’re ahead of me there) but she’s never suggested moving her potty in there. What a brilliant idea!

  • New England Quilter 6.08.2008, 1:00 am

    OMG that is too funny! I will have to keep this in mind when my little guy gets to potty training age.

  • Motherhood Uncensored 6.08.2008, 1:05 am

    I think you might have just solved every parent’s potty training problems.Seriously, who needs to pee on cheerios when you can shit in your OWN OUTHOUSE WITH MAGAZINES.

  • Asianmommy 6.08.2008, 5:51 am

    Oh, I love it! So cute!

  • Redneck Mommy 6.08.2008, 5:55 pm

    My fingers started to itch when I saw those pristine white walls…such a canvass to let my inner art freak loose on.However, I’d never have thought to use it for another bathroom.That’s pure genius.

  • Jennifer S 6.08.2008, 9:24 pm

    Okay, that is awesome!

  • Manager Mom 6.09.2008, 3:52 am

    Well, at least you didn’t have to get your building code modified or apply for any permits with a cardboard structure, right?

  • Aka Alice 6.09.2008, 2:50 pm

    Reading material…priceless!

  • Jyll 6.09.2008, 4:39 pm

    My autistic son had a large TV box that he did this to years ago. It is still one of his fondest memories! If he weren’t so distructive and then angry at me for destroying his own things, I might purchase this too. For now, we are just avoiding them. But she did a great job on hers!

  • Gray Matter 6.09.2008, 4:53 pm

    Sure, cute at 3, but what if that’s her permanent port-o-potty?Kidding, so cute.

  • Melani 6.09.2008, 8:09 pm

    Hey Mom 101~ remember when you said you did the Montel show? Well it aired today at 1:00 this afternoon! I totally recognized you the minute I saw you! I feel like I know a celebrity! I am in California. Love your blog, when I get the chance to read it.

  • Caroline 6.09.2008, 10:40 pm

    I’m not sure anyone could dream up such brilliance! For real. A space such as this HAS to inspire a poop in the potty. Thalia gets a standing ovation down here in FL.!

  • Ruth Dynamite 6.10.2008, 1:08 am

    So would this be an “in-house”?Love it. Brilliant kid!

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