What damage can a child really cause?
Plenty. It may help to look at your home through a child's eyes...
- Beds make the perfect trampoline – until the slats go south.
- A pale-coloured living room wall or sofa presents an irresistible blank canvas to junior Picassos...
- Natural curiosity can prompt little hands to pull up carpets or peel off wallpaper to find out what's underneath. Loose threads in carpets can be tempting to pull, and don't forget that any flaky paint will be joyous to pick!
- A game of 'boats' in the bathroom sink can end up disastrously if the captain forgets to turn off the tap afterwards.
- Locking and unlocking things can be fun – until the lock gets stuck. If you have young children visiting, consider removing bathroom locks – or you may need a sledgehammer to liberate them from the smallest room (at the expense of a new door and frame).
- Budding Ronaldos practising their skills have no regard for windows and greenhouses, which are frequently unintended targets.
- Electronic gadgets are often the victims of curiosity, look out for biscuits in DVD players!
- Never underestimate the imagination. A bed can become a boat, a chest of drawers a mountain to conquer. Anything that can be climbed on probably will be, so don't forget to fix things firmly to the wall!
- Carpets, walls and even ceilings can fall victim to spilled juice, flicked paint or thrown food.
Left to their own devices, children get up to the strangest things. Any of these activities sound familiar?
- Emptying the contents of a potty over a laptop
- Using an iPhone as a hammer
- Flushing car keys down the toilet
- Gluing objects to furniture and walls
- Cooking a toy in the microwave
- Cutting shapes out of curtains with scissors
Plus many more ingenious acts of domestic destruction that haven't made it onto parent forums or insurance claims. Bet you can think of some more...