Monthly Archives: November 2005

Some thoughts on the Great Parking Spot Wars Of 2005

This all happened over on Karen’s blog.

Karen, just in case there’s anyone in blogworld who hasn’t yet encountered her, is a high-school teacher in (I think) NYC, who, after a long struggle with infertility and a fair bit of unsuccessful treatment, is now adopting from China. She’s now sent off the enormously complicated collection of paperwork that needs to be sent off in such cases, and is on some kind of eternal jam-tomorrow waiting list that will allegedly ultimately result in her getting a daughter, although she’s finding that increasingly difficult to believe.

Adoption gets you a child, but it doesn’t, of course, get you the experience of pregnancy and birth. Karen is having to face the fact that, barring a miracle, she won’t get to go through these things. Ever. And this is rough enough for her in itself. It just adds insult to injury that she also misses out on the associated perks.

So, the other day/week/month (delete as appropriate according to when I get this damn post finished) I clicked on her blog for my regular fix of Karenness and found she’d written a Bill Of Rights for the expectant adopting mother. Which basically boils down to: she demands the same rights as any other expectant mother. The right to claim hormones as an excuse for everything, the right to eat chocolate whenever she wants it because her cravings must be indulged, and so on and so forth. I skimmed through it thinking yeah, right on, hope you get all the consideration and chocolate that you most certainly deserve, and with one or two of my brain cells probably noting briefly in passing that I still didn’t think she was really entitled to an Expectant Mother parking space, since those spaces are presumably aimed at easing the difficulty a heavily pregnant woman might have in walking across a large parking lot. None of it got all that much thought from me – next blog, please, and I got on with my day.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch… Posted comments pretty much echoed those views. A lot of “You go, girl!”, and one person who, while expressing appreciation for the general humour, did politely voice an opinion that the parking spot entitlement claim didn’t really hold up. And that was how it went. Until another commenter announced that not only was Karen fully entitled to claim Expectant Mother spots whenever she wanted them, but she herself made a point of taking them, and had, ha-ha, successfully cut a heavily pregnant woman out of one of them just the other day. She didn’t quite go so far as actually to type “And the bitch deserved it for daring to be fertile when I’m not! Hooray for justice!” but the sentiment certainly appeared to be there.

This disturbed some people. One person criticised this attitude. Karen took this as a criticism of her own post, and said so. The critic got upset that Karen was objecting to her post but not the I-cut-pregnant-women-out-of-parking-spots-yay-for-me post, and said that in view of Karen’s increasing bitterness she felt she’d rather avoid the blog in future. Some women who’d had the nerve to be pregnant at some point in the past dared to mention difficulties that they’d had in walking across parking lots at the time, and were shouted down. Umbrage was taken, the lines of Fertile vs. Infertile were drawn, the accusations were hurled – oh, well, you know how these things go.

While the ire actually appeared to have been triggered by the I-cut-pregnant-women-out-of-parking-spots-yay-for-me comment, Karen took it as a reaction to her post and got upset. People promptly rushed to her defense, declaring how silly and humourless all those evil previous commenters must have been to be offended by her post. Fertile women were accused of wanting to be treated with ‘blind saccharine devotion’. For most people, it seemed actually reading the comments in question before criticising them was an optional extra.

I was going to post my own views in the comments, but in light of further events I decided it was probably better just to let it drop. So instead, I’m posting them here. I have no deep conclusion to draw as a result of all this – just wanted to give my take on it and round off with some of the things I’ve learned.

1. Shops in the USA give Expectant Mother spots instead of Parent and Child spots. Yup. Baby to lug around in your belly? Have a parking spot close to the store! That same baby to lug around in a car seat a few months later and a few months heavier, plus the weight of the car seat, plus the cumbersomeness of manoeuvring said car seat out of the car door without denting the car door of the person in the next parking spot? Fend for yourself in this dog-eat-dog world!

I’m glad my parents brought me up in the UK. (Though, of course, that did mean that I also missed out on an Expectant Mother spot, if that makes any infertile Americans out there feel any better.)

2. I was naive and foolish to think that an Expectant Mother parking spot was simply aimed at making life easier for someone who might be having some physical difficulties. It is actually, it appears, a Special Award for Services to Reproduction. (“Thank you for contributing to the next generation. We would like to show our appreciation by presenting you with this parking spot.”) Or at least, that’s how a number of infertile people seem to see it.

(Alternatively, there may be a sort of Karmic Equivalence Theory Of Parking Spots, in which spots are allocated to those who are suffering the most (“Swollen ankles and having to get up at night to pee? Here, have this parking spot to make it up to you”) and infertile women thus deserve them more, as their suffering is greater than that of pregnant women. This was what I originally took to be the theory behind decisions as to who ‘deserves’ a parking spot, but on reading further I decided it was actually the Special Award theory. However, I included this one anyway, since it’s possible that some time may elapse before I next get an opportunity to use the phrase ‘Karmic Equivalence Theory Of Parking Spots’, and I thus felt I shouldn’t pass up the chance while I had it.)

3. There is a Fertile Illuminati out there, dedicated to denying infertile women their happiness in life. By virtue of making it through most of a pregnancy, you are automatically considered to have joined that Illuminati and to have volunteered to be one of their representatives. You are therefore personally to blame for the heartbreak an infertile woman is experiencing, and she is therefore fully entitled to take her frustrations out on you and to ste… ahem, to take the parking spot that you shouldn’t have had in the first place as it was rightfully hers. Which left me wondering – so why didn’t I get the decoder ring, dammit? That would have been even cooler than a parking spot.

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And many happy returns

We had a minor drama on Jamie’s birthday when Rosie, Barry’s parents’ dog, decided to race through a hole in the hedge when let out into the garden last thing at night and promptly encountered some barbed wire. My mother-in-law originally planned to take her to their own vet for stitches once they got home on Monday, but, based on my marginally relevant knowledge of treating humans, I suggested this might not be a great idea and we should really give the local emergency vet a ring. So we did, and they were very helpful and stitched Rosie’s leg under sedation, and she had to spend the rest of Jamie’s birthday with a plastic bag on her leg.

Jamie had a considerably better day, fortunately. He was quite interested by being repeatedly given boxes wrapped in funny paper (as previously planned, we gave him his presents at intervals throughout the day rather than all in a big mountain, so as not to overwhelm him). He didn’t really catch on to the concept of unwrapping despite our best efforts, but he found all those big boxes very interesting to climb on. And several of the touch-sensitive ones made interesting noises when he did, which was even better.

The list of things Jamie got:

From me and Barry: The aforementioned noisy plastic dashboard thingy (which I have now managed to find a link to), and an electronic drum, which makes interesting electronic sounds and flashing lights when you bang it or roll it (it’s much less hideous than it sounds).

From Nana and Granddad (Barry’s parents): A toddle truck with blocks. (He was very pleased when we showed him how to toddle pushing it, but it still wasn’t nearly as interesting as the project of trying to taste every single block one at a time.)

From Uncle Simon (Barry’s brother): A book designed to fit into a plastic board with electronic sensors, so when you touch the pages of the book you get various detailed comments on what the kitten is doing, how furry the rabbit is, and what other things are in the garden. Alternatively, if you just use the plastic board without the book, you can play notes in a variety of simulated musical instruments.

From Auntie Ruth (my sister): A dump truck with big Lego-style blocks.

From Granny Constance (my mother): A purple inflatable bouncy horse to sit on, and a wheelie thingummy that I’m quite glad to have found a link to online as I’d have had a bit of trouble describing it.

From Great-Grandma Martha (my grandmother): A fuzzy stuffed creature (we’re not quite sure what it’s meant to be, but it’s gorgeously fuzzy) and, apparently, a drinking cup from Monterey Bay Casino that is waiting for us at my mother’s house (my grandmother lives in Arizona and left the presents here when she visited earlier in the year).

From Rosie (the aforementioned dog, just in case you were inexplicably not fascinated enough by this post to give it your full attention): A ‘First Words’ baby book, with a wheel that you turn to make different pictures come up in the windows on the pages. (I’m very impressed that she managed to wrap it. Perhaps she had just a little help?)

From some friends of Barry’s parents, who got our old dishwasher recently when my mother renovated her kitchen and we got her old one: Another plastic driving system, fortunately not quite the same as the one I got him, and a grey-and-black striped jumper.

From Grace, my friend from work, who helped us move house and thus earned our undying appreciation and, more concretely, an invitation to the party: A book called “That’s Not My Puppy”, a sort of puppy identity parade with textured bits of each picture to allow children reading it to confirm for themselves that, yes, the paws are bumpy or the tail fluffy or whatever.

We had Victoria sponge cake for tea, and a dinner of fish, baked potato and cauliflower so that Jamie could join in eating it. And, yes, he got thoroughly overtired and we are Bad Parents who should have got him to bed earlier. But he, and we, had an excellent day. And now, the toddler years await. I gird my loins and tremble at the thought.

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Now I know….

….why parents say they don’t know where the time goes to, children grow up so quickly.

It can’t be a whole year since that last day of pregnancy, the last day that I wasn’t a mother. I can’t type ‘the last childless day’ because, of course, the baby was pretty much in evidence, and letting my internal organs know all about it. But it was the last day that I got to wake up in my own bed, at my own pace, without having to get up and tend to anybody. That evening, I went into labour – Jamie arrived at 4 .33 the next morning, and life as I knew it changed and kept on changing.

The in-laws are arriving today ready for the birthday party tomorrow, and my mother and sister, who live nearer, are travelling up tomorrow morning. Barry’s baked the first of the two sponge cakes he’s making, and we’re planning a dinner of fish, baked potatoes and cauliflower florets – things Jamie can join in eating. I was originally going to buy him a toddle truck with blocks in, but then Barry’s parents decided that was what they wanted to buy him. So I went in search of anything that makes a good noise, and ended up buying the kind of ghastly one-trick plastic toy that mothers hate and manufacturers love, because Jamie seemed to be siding firmly with the manufacturers on this one – he played with it for ages in the shop, giving passing attention to the various other bits of plastic all around but always returning to this one. I tried to find an on-line link for it, but without success, so, for the benefit of anyone who was wondering, it’s a toy dashboard with steering wheel, controls, and a little model of a bear in a car at the top of it, that makes an amazing array of electronic car sounds when you touch any of the controls. (Moving it from the old house to the new one was quite interesting.)

But – this time last year I was still huge, and believing it would probably be weeks yet (I was full-term, but the majority of first-timers go over the forty weeks). I didn’t even have my hospital bag packed (I packed it that same evening, when the period-type cramps I was getting seemed to be getting stronger, and went into labour while I was packing). I only knew this little one as a big bulge and an active little pair of feet. Now, he’s sitting on my study floor playing with the deflated mini-Rover I bought to use as a birthing ball (which turned out not to be a blind bit of help in labour, incidentally – a hot bath was far better).

I’ve learned how to do things one-handed, with the other hand supporting a baby on my hip, and how to to get nappies on a wriggly baby while he crawls away from me, and how to type/eat/live my life with a child attached to my nipple. He’s learned how to walk with support (and apparently to lurch a step or two without, although he persists in only doing this when I’m not watching), and how to eat finger foods and drink from a spouty cup, and press small buttons to make Daddy’s bedside radio or his musical star switch on and off, and how to climb up the back of the sofa, or the array of cardboard boxes that Mummy and Daddy have so obligingly been leaving around for him recently.

Which all leads on to the question: what will the next year bring? According to all accounts, we are now in for a year (absolute minimum if we’re lucky) of hell, in which Jamie will mutate into a screaming, tantrumming, irrational little monster, and all we will be able to do is cling feebly to what remains of our sanity until he emerges at the other end of toddlerhood. By which time, we are planning and hoping to have started the whole thing again with another one, so things are only going to get more difficult from here on out.

I am so lucky. So very, incredibly, lucky.

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Made: One day

Wow! Lots of lovely comments. And including people I didn’t even know were reading this. And apparently I have readers in Denmark, according to Trista (where on your blog? What are their names? Details!) And I’ve just realised I’ve been added to Trista’s list of People Worth Reading!

So I am somewhat excited and overjoyed about all this.

And I now have a question. How did you all find this blog? Well, in a lot of cases I know the answer. I know some of you tracked me back from comments on your blogs, and I recognise Lisa and Mummyhaggis’s names from a mailing list I’m on where I have this webpage in my .sig, and I know at least some people found me from Usenet groups I post to (which may well be where the Danish people come from).

But now Kateri has joined the list of commenters, and even though I’ve read her blog several times (and found it fascinating), I can’t remember ever commenting there. Did I comment on your blog and just develop amnesia afterwards? Or did you find me some other way? And that question goes to other readers as well, not just Kateri. I love seeing strange names and knowing that I’m getting more readers, and I’d really love to know how you all found me.

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Some comments about commenting on the comments

I am a comment hypocrite.

I adore getting comments. I bounce with excitement when I see that I have gotten a new comment, clicking impatiently as I wait for it to load so that I can see what someone has written. I love knowing that people are not only actually! reading! my! blog, but are stirred enough by my words to consider them worthy of comment.

And do I ever get round to acknowledging these comments with any sort of response? Do I heck.

This is partly because of my extreme congenital disorganisation, and partly because I find myself a little uncertain of comment etiquette. Should I try to respond to all comments? If more than one person responds to a post and there’s something I want to say about one comment but not the other(s), will those who are not responded to feel slighted by contrast? Is it fairer just to ignore everyone equally? So, I remain paralysed by indecision and procrastination and leave the comments unresponded to, despite the fact that I not only love getting them but also love it when I comment on someone else’s blog and they respond. See? Comment hypocrite.

But if you’ve commented on this blog at any stage, do rest assured that even if I was so rude as to give no indication of this, I treasured your comment. I read it over and over with a thrill of “They want to comment on my blog!” And you have my sincere thanks. Well, unless you’re that bloody spambot, in which case I hope you get toenail rot.

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House opus

Quick update: We’ve moved, we’ve unpacked the basics, the cardboard boxes have retreated somewhat although we still have a mountain of them in what will eventually be the baby’s room, Barry is exhausted from having had to do all the technical stuff like getting the computers wired together and the network up and running and all the other cable-related stuff that I can’t help him with as I don’t have the first clue about it (good god, that sounds girly, I hate admitting it). The TV did not survive the move but we have a gorgeous new one. The baby has taken it all very much in his stride. The cavalry, in the shape of my mother and the in-laws, have been fantastically helpful. The house continues to be a work in progress, but is looking good.

And that’s all I got to say about that.

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This time…..

Since our strategy of trying to unpack as little as possible at our last move actually seems to have worked, and the current packing job is consquently more manageable than I would ever have believed possible, and since Jamie’s always tenuous routine is so topsy-turvy from all this that he’s still sound asleep at a quarter to ten in the morning (something I suspect I will regret later, but the hell with it, later is later and can take care of itself), I find myself, unexpectedly, with some time on my hands. So I will spend it indulging in a little nostalgia, in honour of Jamie’s eleven-month-oldness.

This time last year, I was on maternity leave. (Well, technically I was on holiday, since I used accumulated holiday to push the official date of my maternity leave as late as possible and hence to keep getting full pay for as much of my time off as possible.) Wondering how much bigger I could get. Discovering that Gaviscon absolutely rocks as a heartburn treatment, even if it tastes funny, and that carpal tunnel syndrome is a flaming nuisance when you’re trying to sleep and are already out of comfortable positions. Trying to persuade the baby that he could find other comfortable places to lodge his left foot rather than my spleen. Trying to make myself do perineal massage every night even though, dear god, was it boring (and don’t click on that link if you’re squeamish about such things, by the way). Feeling hopelessly unready for parenthood in the practical as well as the psychological sense (but what about those forty-two reviews of different nappy types and seventy-eight articles on slings that I need to read before I can even decide what’s best to order??). Facing the paradox that, despite this hopeless unreadiness, I was nevertheless stuck with hoping that I’d go into labour in the next few weeks, since the alternative presented distinct disadvantages both in terms of eating away at my maternity leave and thus diminishing the amount of time I could afford to spend at home after birth, and in terms of facing a possible induction and the consequent medicalised labour that I really hoped to avoid. Facing the fact that I was never going to feel ready, that there was just never going to be a morning when I woke up and thought “Aha! I now feel 100% confident about dealing with whatever challenges parenthood may present me. Bring on labour!” and so really, probably the best thing was for me just to go ahead and go into labour and find out that, like millions of parents before and after me, when it came to the crunch [1] I’d actually deal with parenthood perfectly well.

This time two years ago, I was filling my system with folic acid, in the form of huge red pills containing a dozen other nutritional goodies into the bargain and looking like the kind of thing you might give to a sick horse rather than to a healthy woman who’s merely contemplating pregnancy. Waiting with bated breath to find out just how poor my fertility would be when finally put to the test. Feeling glad that at least I’d finally find out one way or the other, after all the am-I-leaving-it-too-late-and-what-if-I-can’t-at-all years of my twenties and thirties. Feeling so boggled at the idea of me, me, being a parent that the alternative scenario of months of negative tests, increasing anxiety, increasing investigations, increasing unsuccessful treatment, that I’d read about so often, seemed much easier to picture.

And this time now? Everything I do is fitted around decisions of whether it will be compatible with taking care of a baby, whether Barry is available to mind the baby while I do something else, what the effect will be on Jamie. Having a shower is an exercise in logistics. Putting dangerous or delicate things out of reach is such a part of our lives it no longer needs commenting on. We have a gorgeous, exhausting, active, exploring, wonderfully adorable eleven-month-old baby making his way round furniture and grabbing/banging/mouthing everything he can. And life, while it has previously been considerably simpler and less frustrating, has never been happier.

[1] For a minute there, I was giong to write ‘when push came to shove’. On balance, though, I decided against it.

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Place your bets now, ladies and gentlemen!

Following a somewhat heated argument between my husband and myself as to whether the overall effects of weaning Jamie at this stage are likely to be good (his view) or bad (my view), I felt it might be helpful to get as much information as possible on how it’s worked out with other children. (Yes, I know the plural of ‘anecdote’ isn’t ‘data’, but anecdotes can still be useful for giving a general idea of what sorts of things might happen.)

Anyway. That is just the essential background. The salient point is this: I have just made a post to an Internet parenting group explaining the above and stating, clearly, that what I am after here is experiences rather than opinions.

The question, dear readers, is this: How long will it be before someone decides that what that means is “But what I _really_ need is your opinion” and proceeds, accordingly, to give it?

Bets may be placed either on that, or on how many people will do so, or on both. There are probably other potential betting topics involved, such as how persistent people will be in insisting that their belief is the one and only objectively correct way to bring up a child and how long it will be before someone invokes the name of Dr Sears, but let’s keep it simple here.

Place your bets now, ladies and gentlemen!

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Remember, remember

5th November is Bonfire Night in the UK. We’d intended to go to one of the public firework displays, but in the end, because it was cold rainy weather and our new house has a wonderful view over the town, we just went there.

The main bedroom now has:

A gorgeous thick squnchy-under-the-toes honey-coloured carpet

Two pine wardrobes, one for each of us

A super-duper-king-size bed, all ready made up with lovely fresh bedding.

What more could anyone want for sitting and watching fireworks?

Barry had seen all this before, as he’d taken delivery of it all (and made the bed up, of course), but I hadn’t. So I had a wonderful time seeing how good the bedroom looked, as well as the new carpet in the living and dining room downstairs – light-coloured apart from the extension at the end of the dining room, which is going to be my study. I’d picked out a rich reddish-brown colour for that, and it looked even better once it was on the floor.

Then, after I’d admired all of that, we dimmed the lights in the bedroom and looked out over the lights of the town, watching all the fireworks going off in different places. Jamie watched them as well for a bit and then crawled round on the new carpet, pulling the under-bed drawers out and pushing them back and climbing into the suitcase of things that Barry had brought over from our rented house, and eventually lay in between the two of us nursing until he fell asleep peacefully in the middle of the huge bed. Barry and I talked about inconsequential stuff – where the furniture and other things would go, mostly. And we looked out at the dark night so full of lights. I pictured us doing the same thing on Bonfire Night time after time, in the years to come, children getting older and sitting with us to watch, just one of the many, many things we’ll do together in this house, one of the many memories that Jamie and any younger brothers or sisters he has will grow up with, one of the uncountable things we will do together as a family.

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House theme

(The theme, unfortunately, being “Bloody HELL, the previous owners did a cruddy job on this house.”)

Question: You have a wooden floor with a hole in. What do you use to fix it?

If you are currently thinking “Is that a trick question? Obviously you’d use wood – what else would you use, for goodness’ sake?” then you aren’t the people we bought the house from. Which is nice, because it means a) you’re probably sane, and b) I don’t have to stick pins in your effigy.

Let me backtrack. Having finally (hallelujiah) bought this house, we have some leeway about getting it in order, because the contract on the rented house we’re currently living in lasts until December 28th. Which is very convenient, given the amount of stuff that needed doing. However, we don’t particularly want to stay in the rented house for all that long – it’s quite small, lots of our stuff is in storage, and there isn’t enough room to have all the immediate relatives to stay for Jamie’s upcoming birthday, which would cause some disappointment. So, we’ve set our moving date for November 8th (ulp) which will give us time to be at least somewhat settled in time for Jamie to have a birthday party. Hence, my husband has been working rather hard to get things sorted out before then.

One of the things we wanted to get sorted was the carpets. The main bedroom has (well, had until Tuesday) one of those inlaid wooden floors that looks rather attractive but doesn’t really give the place the nice cosy feel that we want for our bedroom, particularly with the baby crawling around. So changing that was high on our list of things to do. When the previous owners moved out and the living room was cleared, we discovered that the carpet in there was rucked up and could do with changing as well, and given the obvious advantages in doing this while the house was still empty and there was no furniture to be moved out of the way, we decided we might as well go ahead and do that too. And, in for a penny, in for getting on for a couple of thousand – we also decided to change the dining room carpet, which was a somewhat icky colour and had seen better days.

We also wanted to buy a super-duper large new bed and get that delivered prior to the move, along with some new bedroom wardrobes, since there weren’t any fitted cupboards. This meant that the timing of things started getting somewhat important, since clearly there would be certain flaws in a plan to have the carpet put down after the bedroom furniture was in place. So, we booked the carpet fitters for Wednesday so that the furniture could be delivered later in the week. As you may or may not know, removal of previous floor covering is not included in carpet fitting services, so we (meaning Barry) had to get that done before Wednesday – a procedure that involves leaving a border of nails sticking out of the floor, and is therefore incompatible with caring for an eleven-month-old child. So this was going to have to be on a day when I was home to take care of Jamie. On the weekend, we had a non-negotiable appointment to visit my mother for a major lunch in honour of my cousin, who was visiting from South Africa. The fairly inexorable conclusion from all this was that the one and only day Barry could rip up the existing carpets and wooden flooring was Tuesday. No leeway, no wiggle room – the job had to be done that day, and be completed before day’s end.

Which was perfectly doable. Ripping up that amount of carpet and flooring in a day is not the kind of pleasant, relaxing experience that’s ever going to make it onto the Red Letter Days list, but it’s manageable. Barry set off confidently expecting to have completed that and a couple of other small technicalities involving phone lines by the end of the day and still make it home in time to cook supper at a reasonable hour.

All was proceeding on schedule until he finished ripping up the bedroom underlay. And discovered that the previous owners had patched a hole in the floor with a piece of cheap drywall.

(I don’t know if the USA has that word. It’s the stuff you use for putting up partition-type walls. Walls, that is, as opposed to floors. You know – those bits of the room that don’t generally have people walking on them on a regular basis, and therefore do not have to display anything much in the way of strength or structural integrity.)

(OK, OK, before certain friends of mine comment on that last – most of the time they don’t, anyway. I know there are exceptions. But the whole Fanfic Filming Fiasco story is a different one for another day, and anyway I had nothing to do with it and didn’t even know Barry at the time and was miles away when it happened and you CAN’T PROVE OTHERWISE. So there.)

Cheap drywall, ladies and gentlemen. Not even good quality. One good stamp, and it was ex-drywall. Fortunately my husband has excellent reflexes, and was able to yank his foot out before it hit the downstairs ceiling.

So there we were, sixteen hours away from carpet delivery, with a hole in the floor.

Which entailed a mad rush to the local DIY store, hoping desperately all the way that they’d actually still be open when we got there, because we weren’t altogether sure what we’d do if they weren’t. The good news is, they were. The bad news is, their wood cutting service wasn’t. Barry’s saw is currently one of the many things packed away inaccessibly in the garage, since we hadn’t actually expected to have to saw anything in the time we spent in rented accommodation.

We charged round the aisles, buying wood and a saw and a drill, and headed back to the house. Barry cut the piece of wood to size and fitted it. Since this left him unavailable for vacuuming up rotted underlay from the floors, I got that job. Since the whole nails-sticking-out-of-the-floor thing was still an issue, the baby had to spend this time in a carrier on my back.

I cannot tell you how wonderful Jamie was. He was in that carrier for upwards of an hour while I did this, and he put up with it beautifully. He did try the Let’s Grab Mummy’s Hair game once, but after that he resigned himself to his fate and just uttered the occasional pitiful whimper. Or maybe that was my husband.

By the time we finished floor-related activities at the house, it was nearly nine o’clock and whatever it was Barry had been planning to do with phone lines (something technical, don’t ask me, I am so embarrassingly girly when it comes to that sort of stuff) had ended up on the already overcrowded to-do list for another day. And we still had to do the food shopping. So we did. As quickly as possible. Then we went home and Barry left me cooking the simplest dinner possible according to his explicit instructions while he had a desperately-needed shower. (My girliness unfortunately doesn’t include cooking skills. Bah. Worst of both worlds.) And, since the baby is unfortunately not of the variety that will go to sleep on his own in his cot when put down, he and I finally made it to bed around 1 a.m. What wondrous parents we are.

So that’s how we spent Tuesday evening. That, and speculating on what kind of mental illness leads one to believe that drywall makes a feasible patch in a floor.

On the plus side, we should be spending _next_ Tuesday evening in the house. Overwhelmed by unpacking, mind you, but at least we’ll be there. I may or may not have time to post before then. Given that we still have all our packing to do before then and it is now after 2 a.m. in the early hours of Saturday, I’m guessing that ‘not’ is the key word there. So, the half-dozen or so posts I keep meaning to make on various aspects of life, the universe, and everything, will just have to wait once more.

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