Catalog Life

If only real life could be like the Pottery Barn Kids catalog.  I’ve mentioned this before when venting some pent-up rage against the PBK bed that is bigger than my first Manhattan apartment.  But it doesn’t end there.  If you take a broader view, it might be nice to just slip into a day in the life of the PBK Catalog Family.  If you don’t vomit first.

Take this simple display, for example.  I have about 104 issues with this, but for the purposes of your sanity and my potential ongoing readership, I’ve narrowed it down to just a few highlights.

{Image: Pottery Barn Kids}

1.  The Family Schedule.  Here, what you can’t see clearly, because I didn’t enlarge the image enough, is the To Do List for the day.  It lists groceries, dentist, vet appointment, art project, conferences and family time.  PBK Catalog Mom clearly has her act together.  My list, not printed on blue construction paper du’jour, but instead maybe on a dirty paper towel or crumpled Post It, goes more like this:  return long overdue school forms, stock up on caffeine, re-hash latest episode of Revenge via texting, yell at General Contractor, cruise Pinterest and decide what the hell to make for dinner.  Family time?  But of course.  As long as kids fighting over the last chocolate cookie counts.

2 a & b.  The PBK Catalog Kids.  I just can’t take it.  Look how sweet, how participatory in life they are.  The curious minds.  The organization.  Ready to tackle the sunshiny day ahead with their undoubtedly well-balanced, color-coded lunches packed away.  Come.  On.  Who has time for this pointing and Family Q&A Session when surely you are running 10 minutes late for school again, and nobody can find their left shoe?  What?  Oh, that’s just my house?

3.  The “Read” List.  Let’s get all the classics up there, right?  Here, it’s Us Weekly.  And Twitter.

4.  Let’s not miss our Sunday 1pm hike!  Does that also count as Family Time?  Is that why the kids are pointing?  Maybe they feel duped.  Or confused.  Or perhaps resentful of their mother’s Type A over-scheduling that is depriving them of a childhood.  And, where, pray tell, is the PBK hiking backpack and canteen set?  These kids can’t just venture out into the woods without being fully outfitted and monogrammed.

5.  Ugh, the Project Basket.  What’s in there?  Loom materials?  Calculus flashcards?  In my house, that basket would be labeled Small Annoying Toy Pieces From China That Don’t Seem To Fit With Anything And Then Multiply Overnight.


Maybe I should seek out other catalogs.  Hanna Andersson is out, ever since I saw the matching family pajama concept.  Does the Land End Family look more realistic?  I’m open to suggestions.  Because the PBK Catalog Family is clearly bringing out the worst in me.  And if they move onto my block, I will not invite them over.  Ever.  Or at least not until I get my kids all monogrammed and ready.


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  1. jennifer says:


  2. Ed says:

    Have I mentioned I’m never having kids? Because if I haven’t, this photo and associated blog post confirms this for me.


    Also, is catalog reading required for parents?

    • fordeville says:

      Of all the things (ok, maybe 2 things) I wanted to accomplish when creating this blog, I never considered “Become Source of Birth Control.”

      And, yeah, the catalogs are required reading. You can’t get your kid into a decent pre-school if you don’t know this shit. They quiz you at registration.

  3. Kristin says:

    My husband often bemoans the look of our kitchen and living room (clutter-central) compared to catalogues. Now, granted, I’m an accomplished clutter-hound, but people don’t actually live in catalogues, right?

    The baskets don’t bother me…in fact, I kind of like them. But the calendar with just numbers? What about info? And the one thing listed on each day of the week? What’s up with that? Nutso.

  4. markus says:

    OK…this is comparable to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. It is the penultimate of what the perfect family can be…but don’t get too close, or the ink might smudge.

    Mind you, LD and I are well into our second glass of wine right now, and perhaps that alters my ability of observation, but I know of no family who has accomplished even 3 of the 5 items. And the hike? Really? No, really? Is this family from Colorado?

    I need more wine…

  5. Leslie H. says:

    Totally agree! I also love on these styled “family pictures” the cute shopping lists people write on their chalkboards – it’s always organic apples, crayons, whole wheat flour, mini pumpkins, etc…

    If I wrote my list on my chalkboard it would be lovely things like wine, mallomars, tampons, anti-aging face cream….

  6. Anna says:

    we should leave PB mom with my kids for 5 mins and see how well her tidy life stacks up. my kids will rip her stuart little and hike notations to shreds.

    then they’ll ask for more mallomars – are those not the best cookie ever???

  7. Brett Minor says:

    We are a cork board family. I have one over my desk. Each of my kids have one in their rooms and we have one in the kitchen. It’s how we keep track of everything. If we lost our cork boards we would just sit in the kitchen surrounded by dirty dishes and die.

  8. Sparkling74 says:

    I’m sad that it looks like these children line in a restaurant. That looks like a huge menu. Who has walls that high in their kitchen? I have just as many issues and probably more! Found you at finding the funny.

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