You know, I was just fine with living in our house. Yeah, it’s small, but hey, that’s less to clean. I’d like a more private, more lush yard, but gosh, we’re so close to everything (and by everything, I mean Target and Wegmans, of course). And, you know, there’s the pool. The POOL. It doesn’t matter that we won’t be able to afford to send our children to summer camp, or piano lessons, or feed them a square meal on days ending with “y” because most of their inheritance has been poured into a new pool liner, various squirrel-attacked covers, and the occasional SCUBA diver to dig glass shards out of the deep end (glass tables and concrete don’t mix, but you could’ve probably told us that already). We liked the light and the character of this house. That, and you get what you get and there’s no use doing anything but accepting what you got.
Until we brought Cian home from the hospital nine months ago, that is. That’s pretty much when our house shrank to the size of an earring gift box, trapping us all inside like the little square of cotton that’s crammed underneath those over-priced faux pearls you bought your mother for her birthday. Now? Well, now I notice everything I’d be more than happy to never encounter again:
- The sight of David using the nursery as an office, his laptop propped on the glider’s ottoman, taking a conference call in a room filled with stuffed turtles and pastel teddy bears. I’d take a picture but it’s too embarrassing for any of the parties involved.
- A art easel taking up a corner of my dining room. Though nothing says “comfort food” like the smell of finger paint wafting through the air.
- My dining room being used as an eat-in kitchen. Those upholstered chairs used to be so darned pretty–not to mention clean.
- A closet that, out of necessity, houses two girls’ wardrobes, one man’s business clothes, and a bunch of jeans. It is one way to mandate a “less is more” approach, I suppose.
- Having a working desk space in the middle of the family room, right beside the dog bed. Listening to the theme song to “Sofia the First” while writing this isn’t as easy as it seems (learning what “a royal’s all about” is a little distracting).
- Watching TV at night with the volume no louder than “8” because from their room the girls can hear each curse word, random sex joke, or televised cheer over a touchdown (“Heh? What’d he say again?!”).
- Wondering what it’s like to own a garbage disposal. You’d think we’ve have started a compost bin by now. We haven’t.
- A full bath that is also the kids’ main bathroom, which means that guests will occasionally walk in to find the soap dispenser floating on a countertop full of water, a drenched hand towel dripping something all over the floor, and a toilet filled with um, you know, because a certain three-year-old refuses to flush the toilet. Sorry about that puddle over there, by the way. Yeah, I don’t know what it is, either.
- A “master” (half-)bathroom decorated in powder blue tile. No statement here. It’s awful.
- A fridge so small I use a cooler sometimes for extra freezer space. Which is why your chicken dinner last night had the faint taste of hot dogs and skunked beer.
- Having more plugs than working outlets. And we don’t have that many lamps.
- Wondering what it’d be like to have a garage. Discovering dried bird poop on my windshield is gross.
- Wondering what it’d be like to have a driveway big enough to fit two cars across without having to sort of prop one on top of another. I’m going to have to figure out how to fit three car seats in a Mini, because if we stay here much longer that’s what we’re buying next.
- Not being terrorized every winter as I push the furniture away from the walls, checking for too-long window treatments and errant children, tamping down run-of-the-mill panic attacks every time I pass by one of our baseboard heaters.
Forget charm. I’m over “cute” and “quaint.” I’m ready for a doorbell that works, landscaping I don’t have to redo myself, and maybe, just possibly, enough bedrooms that I don’t have to hear my oldest daughter forcibly removing my younger one from her pillow/covers/hair every night. It’s not so much to ask. All we have to do is sell this house, and find the next. Easy-peasy.
Now. Anybody in the market for an affordable three-bedroom with an inground pool? I tell, you it is a lovely place. The groundhog family that lives under our deck is just the cutest bunch of garden pests you’ve ever seen. Honest, you’ll love it. Just don’t use that bathroom over there, okay? And please, don’t ask why.
You’ll find out soon enough.