One of the reasons I’m glad I’ve blogged for this long is because it’s becoming increasingly difficult to believe that not so long ago, I built stuff. I got in there with saws and drills and constructed. Let the laundry closet stand as proof that once upon a time, I did projects that required nail guns.
Nowadays, I rent my home and have a child and just outsource all building to my stepdad. He’s usually ready and willing to take on a project I request, but he’s especially willing when they are for his newest grandson. So recently, I mentioned to my mother that Baby P could use a small play table, one at a good height for him to pull up and cruise around. We came up with some inspiration, which included everything from this adjustable Pottery Barn Kids table:
To one in this more classic “activity table” style:
We really liked tables that were small enough for our living room, had a raised lip he could grip to stand up (and keep his toys from rolling off!), and bottom-heavy enough to support him heaving himself up (a potential issue with the PBK style). After chatting about it, I said, “If my stepdad really wants to make one, I think it would be a really lovely and special Christmas present for Baby P. Thanks for considering!”
A week later, they brought it to our house.
Christmas?! Every day is Christmas with Mimi and Papa, duh.
The reason he could whip it up so fast – besides being a retired and talented guy with a penchant for pleasing his grandson – was because he had all the scrap wood on hand from another project I asked him to do (and that I haven’t totally shared with you). So the design was dictated by the available wood, and I think he maximized its potential!
Oh yes, storage. Never enough!
I actually studied it (when Baby P was napping, natch) to figure out how he designed it all. The lift-off tabletop/lid? So basic, so perfect.
Of course, the table looked like this for about five seconds until Baby P came over to play with it. It now looks more like this, with TOYS, so many TOYS!
And yet, it’s actually petite within the whole room, and the wood tone means it fits right in. It’s more like, “sure, a kid totally lives here,” instead of the ugly kids’ furniture I’ve seen that practically screams PLASTIC PRIMARY COLOR EXPLOSION IN YOUR LIVING ROOM.
In that photo above, I intentionally left his toys out so you could see. If I ever need my living room to look fancy, I easily can stash them inside! But then it just feels a little less like Baby P lives here, and anyway, goodness knows Mr. P and I leave our toys lying around, too.
But of course, it really comes down to function. My stepdad made sure that the design would make the table heavy enough that Baby P can grab and pull on it without it sliding around, or worse, tipping over on him. The spindly-legged PBK table looks nice, but safety first!
And does it serve its function? Oh boy, does it!
This is the single in-focus (barely) shot I have of Baby P at his table, because he is CONSTANT MOTION, with the up-down-up-down of grabbing his toys from the table and squatting on the floor, repeat repeat repeat. He wanted to do that on the ottoman, but it was just a bit too high and too slippery. The table is perfect.
I wish I had some easy-peasy plans to share with you, but obviously... I did not make this. But I could! And you could! And someday, perhaps I’ll be able to start building again and show you how. In the meantime, though... I’ll just keep thinking up projects my stepdad is willing to do!