upstairs or outside

Upstairs or outside.

upstairs or outside

It isn’t just a frequent phrase in my house.   It is a frequent request on my part.   Ok, it really is a command.

Three boys together seem incapable if keeping to themselves in a quiet and orderly manner.

The best non-straight jacket solution is to keep the chaos upstairs or outside leaving downstairs to the civilized.

The phrase is never met with enthusiasm.   It is usually accompanied with a hint of the results of non-compliance.

I prefer outside.

They usually choose upstairs.

And then my home design choices come into play.   When we built the house 8 years ago, it was my intention that we create a home that was indestructible.   Meaning I wouldn’t always be worried about someone breaking something.   We chose solid surfaces for floors, counter tops and bars.   There are no glass vases or fancy accessories.   It is a house built for 3 boys who don laser tag gear, turn off the lights and battle their parents in a pre-bedtime war.   No one wants to stop mid-game to clean up shattered glass.

The downside of kid-proof interior design is that it is not sound proof.   Or even sound deadening.

It is sound amplifying.


So upstairs they go…clunk, clunk, clunk.

Across the upstairs floor…bump, clunk, bonk, shuffle, shuffle, clunk.

This is followed by 2.3 minutes of relative quiet while organization of the next group activity ensues.

Then there is a ceiling buffalo stampede.

Except buffaloes don’t accompany their hoofsteps with screams of heated debate and flying toy missiles.

Thump, thump, thump I tread up the stairs and take away their right of choice with one word:



  1. um. upstairs or outside? that’s what i say! lol. and i have girls. so. yeah.

  2. I say the same exact thing! I’m so thankful we had sound deadening insulation placed between the floors during the remodel. It is cutting down on the stampede sounds when they go upstairs.

  3. I have one child, but when that swells to four when the cousins arrive, I am often saying (okay, yelling) “DOWNSTAIRS” aka the basement playroom.

  4. Definitely outside if you can…unfortunately our neighborhood outside isn’t accommodating for children playing in the streets. So we just deal with the thundering of the noise. At least we know what their doing for the most part.

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