Ten weeks, five days and seven hours after bringing our new bub home to our half renovated house I finally cracked. She’s an exceptionally good baby, even so, some sort of meltdown was inevitable. The only surprise, that it took that long for it to happen.
On this particular day, I’d spent an exhausting morning thwarting my toddlers attempts to fling himself from the couch onto the baby bouncer (with the baby in it). I was now trying to prevent him driving a toy truck over the poor little dear when I tripped over a plastic car and stabbed my foot with a piece of Lego. I took one look around the cramped playroom, and finally my sleep deprived brain snapped – I uttered the following words:
“I don’t think I can do a winter in this tiny house with two little kids. I think we should move.”
Now, the only people within earshot were both under three, and clearly didn’t grasp the magnitude of what I was saying. But right then, I really meant it. You see, we’ve already salvaged all the space we can while we wait to do our extension – we’ve de-cluttered and de-catted. (This is not as callous as it sounds – the cat is now happily ensconced at the next door neighbours house in a mutually beneficial arrangement.) So at that point in time the only other option I could see was to move.
With those words came an irrational anger at anyone who ever encouraged us to buy a fixer-upper and renovate. How DARE they support us and actually, like, have faith in us. Do it, they said. It’ll be exciting, they said. Come to think of it, when I look back now, perhaps nobody actually said that. In fact, I think we may have even been warned how difficult it would be, but we stubbornly pressed ahead anyway. However, I conveniently repressed those memories as I removed the offending Lego piece from my foot.
Poor old hubby copped the extended version when he got home. By then I’d really had time to build-up a sufficient hatred of my surroundings and form a good case for a move. That’s the thing about being a stay at home mum surrounded all day by little people with limited conversation skills, you think a lot. And yes, minor issues do sometimes get blown out of proportion.
Hubby looked somewhat afraid, like a man trying to placate a wild animal.
“But our plans are finished. We’ve got the okay from our neighbours. We love the location. We’d never get a block this size so close to the city.”
“I know. Don’t care.”
Then, in a cunning, but highly dangerous move, this: “Hmm, well maybe you’re right. Maybe we should move.”
Cue self-implosion. “Move? So you don’t think we can do it! I knew it!”
Did I mention I am seriously sleep-deprived? Honestly I’m usually not quite so irrational.
However nothing cheers you up more than hearing other peoples’ miserable renovation stories. My in-laws came over for dinner a few days later. As we crowded around our kitchen table they regaled us with stories of how they lived in a tiny house with an outdoor toilet, everyone sharing one bedroom. At least, my father in law pointed out, in our case each of the kids has their own room. Practically luxury, right?
So, in the spirit of appreciating what I have, I’ve compiled a list:
Perks to Living in Our Small, Half Renovated House
- We can bathe the kids and watch the TV news at the same time.
- I can watch my toddler wreaking havoc in the playroom from the babies change table.
- Hungry? Or perhaps needing a refreshing beverage? No worries, the fridge is never more than a few steps away.
- Each room is multi-functional. For example, our laundry doubles as a bathroom, which doubles as a brewery. (Hubby brews his own, rather dubious beer)
- Small house = big backyard
- If the kids trash it, oh well. It’s only temporary anyway.
- The neighbours love us. The house was so decrepit when we bought it, they’re grateful for any improvement.
Reason enough to stay, right?