Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Adult Sanctuary or Nursery?

We used to have a neighbor across the street with two children. I would walk by the house and look in the window every day on my way to and from work. Looking in other peoples windows is normal here, in fact it is a given that if your blinds are open people will look in your window, and if you close your blinds you have something to hide. This stems from WW2 when Holland was occupied by the Nazis and people kept their windows uncovered to prove they were not up to anything illegal or suspicious. But I digress.

So I would look into the living room of this home on a daily basis and see a house completely taken over by the children. There were toys everywhere, a highchair right next to the couch, a play pen sitting near the coffee table. It looked more like a nursery school than a home. The mother usually was either standing ironing in the middle of the room, folding laundry on the couch or shoving food in her children’s mouths.

Mr. P and I would discuss this home regularly as what we did not want our home to look like at any time. We would swear that once we had children the toys would stay in the bedrooms and the living room would remain an adult area where the children were guests. They could play with their toys there and then the toys would be returned to said bedroom. I also quietly told myself that my daily chores, such as laundry and ironing would not find its way from the spare room down to the living room.

Fast forward to today. As I sit here typing on Mr. P’s laptop, which has taken up almost permanent residence on my dining table, I look around our once stylish living and dining room. Next to the no longer so white couches is a playpen full of toys and stuffed animals. Between the TV stand and dining table is a highchair. A play mat lies in front of the fireplace and a bouncy chair sits alongside the coffee table. The baby bjorn lays strewn over the arm of the couch and the diaper bag graces the dining table. A tipsy cup and bib lie on the coffee table. And what is that, partially hidden behind the door to the kitchen, could it be the ironing board, just moved from the spare room so I can iron while watching ER reruns?

Granted, we chose a dark wood playpen with classy toy storage baskets underneath that fits nicely with our furniture, and the old style white wood highchair also fits well. Most often I do manage to put all toys, diaper bags, tipsy cups, spit rags and bibs in their proper homes after Pumpkin goes to bed. However the playmate stays in front of the fireplace unless we are having company, and the bouncy chair has become a normal addition to our furniture.

Only goes to prove that again, you really can not judge another till you walked a mile in their shoes. I am sure that when Pumpkin starts walking, and we add another child or two to our home our adult sanctuary will be completely turned into a nursery. As it is, I am certain that the childless couple that moved into that neighbor's house now look into our window and say "Our home will never look like that".

posted by Laura @ 2:07 PM   5 comments