Dream House is the first to go
When my son came to my house on October 28, 2008 with my granddaughter, S, in hand, I could not take my eyes off of her. I had seen her three months prior, but she had grown more beautiful with time. The other sight that caught my eye was all the stuff on the outside of my door. Making room for S was no problem, but making room for all the paraphernalia that comes with two additional people was a whole other challenge that even Martha Stewart would balk at. My husband and I built our dream home in 1998 by our modest standard. My idea of the house of my dreams meant a guest room and a laundry room with a sink! I wanted a formal room that would be for picture taking only and a large kitchen if I ever decided to cook. This home would be minus sticky hands, dishes in the sink or cups on every flat surface, tattered posters on walls, piles of laundry on the floor, or shoes hidden in every crook and cranny. This was the house built when the children were living on their own and visited occassionally. This was the abode that a visitor could travel from afar and stay comfortably within our home with a clean bathroom, and towels actually hanging from the racks. That is why it is called a dreamhouse--it is the house dreamed about when the children have left the nest. You do not have to actually build a new one, but you can do whatever you want with the existing structure. One can have a weight room or a sewing room or in my friend's case her "sitting place." You get to display crystal and fragile vases because soccer balls will not be tossed to and fro within the living room. The home will no longer depend on being practical to house the younger generation. The TV can be moved to one room and the furniture can be angled away from the set. There are no need for baskets to house homework assignments, sports balls, backpacks and dirty clothes. They are all replaced with baskets that have no habitants and are for decoration only. Each room is painted with a holistic scheme in order to flow from room to room with an ambiance of tranquillity and peace. It can be ZEN rather than a zoo! I loved what my husband and I created within ten years of planning and designing and in one day it was dismantled. The guest rooms are no more. One is bright purple with pink accents and the other is now black and white with a dominant male theme. These colors are a direct contrast to all the other rooms in my home so the ebb and flow have vanished. Many items were removed for safety and I cried when my husband drilled safety locks on all the new cabinets. Presently there is a doll house in the kitchen area and a small plastic table for dining, a stuffed horse in the corner of the family room, not to mention toys and books cattered about because I have yet to pick up. We have actually progressed from the high chair with a plastic mat on the floor, the walker, the booster seat, the potti chair in the family room for easy access, the apparatus that hung from the door frame for high jumps, and of course the tape we placed on the corners of our furniture so she would not bump her head. The house has gone from the house of my dreams to playworld. My deck of flowers and quaint cushioned chairs is now the location for a baby pool and a sandbox with a huge container of wet and sandy plastic toys. I am reminded that a home is simply a box to house your stuff, but it is where the heart lives when loved ones are present.
Nani's tip: Do not remove all treasures. Teaching a baby that some things are yours and others are hers is a great lesson in setting boundaries. My granddaughter can visit anyone else's home and not bother their items.
Safety is imperative, so view your home from your knees and remove the obstacles. Remember that the brighter the shape, the more enticing the item.
Garden Ridge, Texas