Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quickie Update

Quickie, because I haven't been able to leave Tot alone -- or be left alone -- in days. We've moved from our apartment to a house. We're partly moved, that is. No dining table, no couch, no bed. We're sleeping on an air mattress and in our new two-person sleeping bag (bought for that camping we were going to do) that's surprisingly comfortable. This place is a tri-level, though, and maybe it's in the nature of the tri-level or just the layout of this house, but it's very difficult to keep tabs on Tot in here. So I'm constantly going up one flight or two flights to find out where he is. So I've been following him room to room (no gates yet, and it would be really difficult considering the design of the stairwells to put up traditional toddler gates) with my book the last few days. Ahh, here's Tot coming down a flight of stairs.

I just sent him back up to play with his cars. Is he too young to be playing without supervision, I wonder.

He just came down the stairs again. Oy.

He's had pinkeye for the last few days, which has meant really terrible antibiotics that are wreaking havoc on his g-i tract.

But what I wanted to say to you all is that the differences between our apartment and this house really makes me reflect on my relationships to nature and people. I'm even thinking of writing an essay about it, about how much I've loved communing with the ducks and geese and swans, especially this spring when they all had babies. Oh how I marveled at the swan tending her nest, then worried when I saw the nest was abandoned until I finally saw the four signets. The Canada geese parents (both) who spend their entire lives walking their babies around, sometimes in the creek, sometimes on its banks. The duck mama and her tiny babies all running down the bank to the creek at the same time. Now our backyard, which is big, gorgeous, and unfenced, looks out into other people's backyards. When I look out the front, it's worse: just houses up and down.

Here's what I'm trying to say: We have a lot more space -- inside and out -- but I feel more closed in.

I think part of this has to do with my dislike of subdivisions and how much this feels a bit too much like the place I grew up. Some of it is, perhaps, my discomfort about being "the mom" and therefore representative of the family, my discomfort about being observed at close range, being someone who has coffee with the neighbors and seems like she has it together. But some of it is my relationship with nature. I'm thinking since there will be no waterfowl in my backyard, I think I must go and seek out spaces where I'll get to hang out with the birds. Until then, I'm going to get very into vegetative life -- me with my nineteen potted plants now sunning themselves on the deck.

Must go now. Tot's been very patient.


Mary Anne Mohanraj said...

We recently made a similar sort of move, and while we do have gates and I have to keep the almost-2-yr-old on my floor, the just-4 is given fairly free rein. To assuage my anxieties, when she's not on the first floor (and I am), I keep the baby monitor (for the 3rd floor) turned on. That helps me feel like a better parent. :-)

Also, our backyard was badly fenced (old chain mail, yuck), and we recently took it out and put in a 7' high privacy fence. SO much better. It feels bigger, oddly enough. I don't know if your neighbors would mind, but if not, an option to keep in mind.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it would be a very interesting essay!

And nineteen potted plants? You're my hero. I have four and only two of them are doing even remotely well...