Why Yes, That’s A Tent In My Living Room

posted in: Essence of Now, Kids, Monkey My Son, Photography, Toddler 97 comments


Remember I mentioned that the toddler was at his grandparents for a little while? And I got a lot of one on one time with the baby?

He came home this week.

Of course, being the awesome parents that we are, we welcomed him with this.

Tent and toddler

Oh hello toddler

 Because we live in a high rise building. Because we don’t have a backyard. So we have a tent in our living room.

Toddler and tent

Just kicking back, Mama

Because, obviously.

Toddler in tent

I’m moving in

 All 2 1/2 year olds need a tent. To hang out in. To contain the 50 plastic balls that come with said tent.

Toddler sitting in tent

See those plastic balls?

Did I mention there are balls that come with the tent? Why not? It’s great exercise you know, all that bending and stretching and running around to pick up colorful plastic balls that go everywhere including under the couch.

Toddler closing tent

Clever Papa put those velcro straps in

 Also? Mamas are not allowed into said tent unless invited. I may be making a Stay Out sign soon.

Toddler closing tent

Tents are awesome

There’s a tent in my living room.

I would not want it any other way.

Linking up with My Time As Mom and Mama Track.

Essence of Now

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Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • September 7, 2012 Natalie

    Love this! It’s just as it should be. A tent. Of course. (We routinely have one set up somewhere in the house, by the way. They love them.)

    Enjoy! And love the pictures!
    Natalie recently wrote…Essence of Now (September 7, 2012)My Profile

    • September 9, 2012 Alison

      Oh we’ve been having so much fun with the tent this weekend! So much that we may have gone out to buy another one with a tunnel. Ahem.

  • September 7, 2012 Greta

    Hee hee! Tents ARE awesome. Plastic balls…not so much. 😀

    • September 9, 2012 Alison

      Oh my, those damn balls. Gah.

  • September 7, 2012 Laura

    Awesome! Way to make your home way more desirable than the grandparents! Plus 1 point!
    Laura recently wrote…The Sleep LiesMy Profile

    • September 9, 2012 Alison

      Hah! You saw right through us. 🙂

      (we had to beat the blow up pool, you know?)

  • September 7, 2012 Maureen

    LOL too cute! I bet he’s loving it big time. My son used to have one too when we were still living in an apartment here. That thing can really entertain a tot for hours on end 😀
    Maureen recently wrote…Make Google Love Your BlogMy Profile

    • September 9, 2012 Alison

      Oh yes, he LOVES it. Score!

  • September 7, 2012 Runnermom-jen

    Haha!!! That is awesome!! I love it…everything about it! 🙂
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…Good To Be Home…My Profile

    • September 9, 2012 Alison

      Thanks Jen!

  • September 7, 2012 Co-Pilot Mom

    We, too, have a tent and many, many coloured balls – I find them everywhere. I love to see the ‘forts’ and the ‘camping.’ Looks like his is enjoying it!
    Co-Pilot Mom recently wrote…When I Was YoungerMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      He loves it! I don’t love those plastic balls though 🙂

  • September 7, 2012 tracy

    We had a tent in our living room a few years back. And then the fucking cat peed in it. Now I don’t trust tents.
    tracy recently wrote…When I Was YoungerMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Hahahahahaha! Fucking asshole cat 😉

  • September 7, 2012 Katie E

    Very cool! We used to have a Dora tent in our family room when our girls were younger. And we once had a ball pit with those balls that ended up all over the house, never just in the pit. In our family room now? It’s blocks. Blocks everywhere. And mostly under the couches.
    Katie E recently wrote…School Morning Routine #iPPPMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      See, these plastic balls don’t hurt when you step on them. Blocks however…..

  • September 7, 2012 Vanita

    girl Damian is 4 and Natasha is almost 3 and I haven’t thrown out the playpen yet. Why? Because they want to climb in and have me cover the top with a blanket so they have a “treehouse” filled with so much toys i don’t know how they sit in there.
    Vanita recently wrote…Leaving Feedburner – How I did ItMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      At least it keeps them occupied, yes?

  • September 7, 2012 Sue

    Awww…this almost makes me miss the Tent-in-the-Living-Room-Days.

    Sue recently wrote…Let’s Talk GlampingMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Go on, gloat. I will continue to taunt you with cutesy pictures of almost 3-year olds and FAT BABY THIGHS. 🙂

  • September 7, 2012 Bruna

    We have one of those tents! I absolutely LOVE those balls! NOT!
    Bruna recently wrote…1st grade and last year of preschoolMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      I know right, so annoying those damn balls!

  • September 7, 2012 Adrienne

    Yeah for the tent in the living room! 🙂
    Adrienne recently wrote…My Inner ChildMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      That’s what the toddler says!

  • September 7, 2012 Kristi

    Oh the balls. I hide our balls. That’s not a euphemism
    Kristi recently wrote…No JLo or Steven Tyler but Still…My Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison


  • September 7, 2012 Galit Breen

    Of course a tent. Of course! 🙂
    Galit Breen recently wrote…Mother Daughter JournalsMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Why didn’t we think of this earlier?

  • September 7, 2012 Barbara

    Every little boy needs a tent in the living room!
    Barbara recently wrote…The Girl who Cried Pre-schoolMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Now we have 3. Not even kidding.

  • September 7, 2012 karen

    what a great idea babe, I wish I had enough room in our apt to do that. he looks like he is having a grand ole time.
    karen recently wrote…Graceful, pumpkins and tattoosMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      He is! It’s not that big a tent but if your place is small, it’d take over the whole place 🙂

  • September 7, 2012 angela

    Love that so much! Of course there’s a tent. And of course you can’t come in 🙂
    angela recently wrote…Trust Your Eyes ReviewMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Yeah, I’m not a boy, so no entry. 🙂

  • While I may not have a tent in my living room, I do have ‘Fairy -Fortress’. This is a very complicated structure containing two chairs and a blanket or two. Sometimes pillows are added. The fortress is guarded by the fericious toy dog ‘goggie’ and his trusty mate ‘big bear’.
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…A happy reunionMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      I like the bodyguard idea. Clever girls.

  • September 7, 2012 thedoseofreality

    I think we might have the same one…did yours come with a tunnel, too? Because if having a tent in your living room makes sense then having a tunnel that attaches to it is like the greatest ever. Who needs to be able to walk through the room anyway? 😉
    Love that he was so excited and now has his own spot! 🙂
    thedoseofreality recently wrote…Two For the Price Of OneMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      It did not but you know what we did?
      We went out and bought another tent with a tunnel… that connects to YET ANOTHER TENT.
      Yes, we have THREE TENTS.

  • September 7, 2012 AnnMarie

    My boys used to have two tents and a tunnel. One for each of them with a way to get to the other. I miss those days but I see a princess one in my near future. I LOVE the feet pic! I love toddler feet!
    AnnMarie recently wrote…Random ThoughtsMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Toddler feet are only sometimes trumped by baby feet, hehe.
      Oh and we went and got 2 more tents that came with a tunnel.
      I know, right? Insane.

  • September 7, 2012 MamaCassie

    I love this! I had a tent that had straps on the 4 corners that went underneath the corners of my “big girl bed”. I felt like I had my own little fort. It was my place to read, have tea parties…it was the best! I hope the toddler enjoys his awesome living room tent! 🙂
    MamaCassie recently wrote…10-4 Good Buddy- September EditionMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      He is!

  • September 7, 2012 Sandra

    Yes, and I’m tweeting you a pic right now! Play tents in the living room rock. And they keep warm in the winter, too!
    Sandra recently wrote…Dear WordlessMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      They were awesome!

  • September 7, 2012 MommaKiss

    pretty sure i’d love a tent in my living room. like, full time.

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Um dude, IT IS AWESOME. So says the toddler. Ahem.

  • September 7, 2012 Jessica

    We don’t have plastic tents but we have millions of princess toys. Yep, that’s how you roll when you have 2 girls.
    Jessica recently wrote…Essence Of Now: LaborMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      We have trucks. And balls. Not a euphemism.

  • September 8, 2012 Jessica

    SO sweet! Great idea – on my way over to FB to add to the conversation…
    Jessica recently wrote…Surprise Vacation, Day 3My Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Thank you for your input!

  • September 8, 2012 Jaime

    We have a good sized backyard and we still live much of the time with one and sometimes two tents in our house. They are great places to hide on mom or have our cat jump out and attack your legs as you walk past or put on top of the bed to sleep inside at night. Sometimes it drives me nuts, all the space being taken up but then I remember it won’t last too much longer.
    Jaime recently wrote…Feeling My WayMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      I know that the day will come when I have to pack those tents away and I’ll be bawling. 🙂

  • September 8, 2012 Jamie

    Awesome. I remember those days of setting the tent up..or even letting them drape blankets over everything. Children love that.
    Jamie recently wrote…I was doing fine. Then came the birthday.My Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Yes! The toddler does drag blankets around frequently!

  • September 8, 2012 Kristin

    Love it! We had a tent for kiddo until she was around 5 or so and really hadn’t played with it in a long, long time. Those balls last forever too…just when you think you’ve rid yourself of the last one…

    Kristin recently wrote…Bloggy Mini-RantMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      I know! I just keep finding those stupid balls everywhere!

  • September 8, 2012 Natalie

    Ha ha yes we all need tents in our living rooms…whatever it takes right?!
    Natalie recently wrote…Happy Friday Everyone!My Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Yes, whatever it takes 🙂

  • September 8, 2012 Tricia

    We have one too! Only ours is pink and purple and in the shape of a castle and we often find the most random things in there after my girl has ‘moved in.’. The most random find: a steam basket she swiped from the kitchen!
    Tricia recently wrote…Weekly Gratitude #40: There were smiles. There were tears.My Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Haha! Children are so funny.

  • September 8, 2012 Kimberly

    We have a tent in our living room too. And a tunnel. And I’m not allowed in either.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Essence Of NowMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Dude, we went and got 2 more tents that came with a tunnel. So we have more tents now than children.

  • September 8, 2012 Tara

    We take that very same truck with us to the beach…makes for a great sand carrier/dumper!

    I make tents the old school way- with sheets! My kids love it!
    Tara recently wrote…Raising Humans: Growing PainsMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      It is an awesome dump truck!

  • September 8, 2012 Louise Ducote

    So sweet! You know you’ll miss that tent when it’s gone.
    Louise Ducote recently wrote…Two-Thirds PerfectMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      I will. But I’ll get my living room back 🙂

  • September 8, 2012 bonnie

    we have a tent and a lot of balls in my house too! oh, how i dislike those little balls. they end up everywhere!
    bonnie recently wrote…I told Cole to Kung Fu Chop him in the neck. Just SayinMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Oh yes, stupid balls!

  • September 8, 2012 Kerrie

    Beautiful photos. Love the tent. We have one from IKEA that is a circus tent. Our boys LOVE it! Best purchase I’ve made in a long time.

    Kerrie recently wrote…Cruising Alaska – Seattle and KetchikanMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      I have a feeling that the tents (yes we went and got 2 more with a tunnel!) will go a long way.

  • September 8, 2012 Lady Jennie

    You’re a great mommy.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…I Dream of TajinieMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Aw, thank you.

  • September 8, 2012 My Inner Chick

    —You are a FAAaaaaaaaaabulous MAMA!!!!

    I loooooove that tent & I looooooooove U.
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…Ask Me Something. Anything.My Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Thank you sweet friend. And I, you. xo

  • September 8, 2012 Tonya

    What a wonderful welcome home. Tents and little boys are like salt and pepper. Great fun!
    Tonya recently wrote…Sentimental ValueMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Yes, indeed!

  • September 9, 2012 hilljean

    So cute! I think that’s a much better option than trying to construct something out of all the blankets and sheets that we have. Clean up is way better this way!
    hilljean recently wrote…Vlog: Thank You To Tampons, Houseflies, Forever 21, and PinterestMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Yes, it’s definitely easier – we just leave the tent in the corner!

  • September 9, 2012 Ruth

    It looks like my boy has the same tent as yours! But ours didn’t come with those colorful balls.
    Anyway, my 2.5 yo only enjoyed it for a short while and was back to his other games :p
    Ruth recently wrote…Absinthe Restaurant: It’s All in the DetailsMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      That’s the problem – short attention span 🙂

  • September 9, 2012 Sarah

    Love it. We used to have a blow up contraption that also had a ball pit. Bought it cause I thought it looked like fun. And it was, but man those balls were EVERYWHERE. I have to say, when the blow up thing eventually got busted, I wasn’t sad 🙂 Love those pictures! He’s having so much fun!
    Sarah recently wrote…talk about rocking the carouselMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      He was! And I hate those stupid balls!!!

  • September 9, 2012 Alexandra

    That tent makes this whole page look beautiful.

    Like tangerines against a blue sky.

    My 3 boys have always had a tent.

    When they were little, in their rooms.

    As they got older, one outside.

    One in the playroom.

    I always loved tents as a kid.

    I still get a delicious thrill from being in one.
    Alexandra recently wrote…The Moth StorySLAM Comes to MilwaukeeMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      I like that – tangerines against a blue sky.

      Tents and boys go together like red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting.

  • September 9, 2012 Hope

    Love your blog. I have a princess tent in my living room. Thank God it doesn’t have all the balls. lol. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I stayed a while and read quite a few of your posts. Definitely following…

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      Thank you so much Hope! Glad you like the blog, stick around!

  • September 10, 2012 winn

    sweet idea and fun. i know. because we had a tent in our family room. and the tent was one of those family sized ones. so my whole family of four could fit into it. we don’t have it anymore, though. because my girls thought it’d be fun to turn it into a jumping house. and so they jumped on the sides and rolled it around. …
    winn recently wrote…i know school has started because that’s where everyone was.My Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      I hope our tents last longer than yours 🙂

  • September 10, 2012 Jessica

    I love it! And I’m sure he does, too! I thought to get something similar but I worried that N would just make throwing the balls out all over the place her preferred way of having fun. Does Monkey mostly keep the balls inside the tent?
    Jessica recently wrote…5 Things I Wish I Didn’t Do as a First-Time ParentMy Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      He does, mostly! But if I clear the balls up and put it in the designated basket, he likes to pour them all out. So we just keep them in the tent!

  • September 12, 2012 Elaine A.

    We have a big backyard but it’s too hot or humid to be in in most of the time so I often have “tent city” in my living room! (yes, all 3 kids have their own…) 🙂 Although no balls with ours, thank goodness! 😉

    CUTE pics!!
    Elaine A. recently wrote…A little perspective…My Profile

    • September 12, 2012 Alison

      God I hate those balls 🙂

  • September 13, 2012 Nina

    I love that tent idea in a living room.
    It seems fun Alison.
    Nina recently wrote…Young LoveMy Profile

    • September 29, 2012 Alison

      It is totally fun!

  • September 29, 2012 Kimberly

    Oh I so want a tent in my house. So that way I can jam all my kids toys out of sight. And then lock him up in it…what?
    Kimberly recently wrote…Secret Mommy-hood Confession SaturdayMy Profile

    • September 29, 2012 Alison

      Ooh, tent lock!

  • October 2, 2012 Amanda Jillian

    That is so cute! I had a tent in our living room for a while to, then in AJ’s room then he broke it beyond my mending tent skills lol.

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