Three years ago, we moved out of the city and became suburbanites. We were a bit apprehensive about this big move at first, but quickly fell in love with the suburbs. A place to park your car…always, even when it snows. A yard to plant pretty flowers. No weird smells floating up from the downstairs apartment. All good. We bought a house that we thought would accomodate the family we had planned—1600 square feet, three bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths. Seemed like plenty of room for us, especially since we moved from a 1 1/2 bedroom condo with one closet and no other storage. Then, we found out that our family was going to grow from two to four members. Ok, so we still thought we had plenty of room. How much room could two little babies need? They were twins, they’d be even smaller than most babies! Then we started buying things that the babies would “need”.
By the time our babies were six weeks old, our house looked like it had been taken over by babies. You’d never know there were only two of them (and they were quite small at that!). Two cradle swings (I know some MOT get by with one, but that was so not an option in my house), two changing stations (upstairs and downstairs), a crib (upstairs in the nursery, so not taking up TOO much room) and two bouncy chairs. Really, our house is not that big. Later, we added an exersaucer (also totally necessary), a jumper (not as key a piece of equipment, since our kids just weren’t that into it), a second crib and a big basket of baby toys. Oh, and a pile of books on babies, with several well-thumbed through books on sleep (why do the babies in these book all respond remarkably to the strategies and sleep through the night? Seriously! I want those babies!).
Yep, those little babies keep taking up more and more space. I realized that we could either have the babies on the floor in the living room, or we could have a coffee table. So, we also moved our dining room table into the kitchen (taking out several leaves) so as to have a playroom off the kitchen where the kids would have space to roll (and now crawl) around and where I could watch them while I was cooking/cleaning etc…in the kitchen. Fantastic living space, unless we want to have people over and feed them.
Lately I have been really excited everytime I can get rid of some large piece of equipment. I sold the swings to a (very) pregnant expectant twin mom. Yay! More space. I put the jumper in the basement…supposedly temporarily…and it never made it’s way back up. The pack ‘n play got put away and replaced by the changing station from upstairs (we never make it upstairs during the day anyway—too much work to carry both kids upstairs). Now I’m eyeing the exersaucer, trying to figure out how much longer we have to keep it. (Sadly, the kids LOVE to pull up on it, throw toys underneath—and I love to have a place to stash the more mobile one for 5 minutes while I run upstairs or outside).
My biggest victory on the battle over space…..little chairs with trays to replace the high chairs. These are the most fabulous purchases ever! Seriously, the trays can go in the dishwasher, the chairs just go right on to the dining room chairs and don’t take up any extra space and the big highchairs got sent to…yep, you guessed it….the basement. (My basement now looks like a consignment shop for babies, but let’s not talk about that). So, for the moment, I am the winner in the baby stuff versus adult stuff battle. Of course, the stacks of baby books are getting taller, the number toys are increasing and with two crawling babies, baby toys get left all over the kitchen like little gifts to trip on. Yesterday a found a baby toy in the cats’ food bowl. (I’m sure they were thrilled by this little gift).
So, when exactly do I get my house back?