Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Squeezed in

our floating home...it seemed so big when we first bought it..when there was only two of us!
Some days it just feels like the boat is positively bursting at its seams. Not so much in terms of "too much stuff," but in terms of "too many people." When we first moved aboard it was just the two of us. We had tons of space. A guest bedroom and bathroom even! Then we had our first daughter and it was no big deal. Babies take up very little room and we didn't have very much stuff for her, she slept with us for the first six months of her life..we still had space. Then our second came along and we squeezed in a little more. The vee-berth is 100% kid land now (pink and blue - their favorite colors - little clothes, artwork tacked on the walls, stuffed animals, books - typical kid bedroom stuff). But of course they never want to hang out in their bedroom so they take over the main cabin - the living room. Suddenly our long, tall, and wide boat doesn't have enough space. They are loud (something which I don't discourage...they're kids, I'm loud, we're loud), our toddler demands the entire couch then the older one demands the entire floor and vice versa. Hans and I are relegated to the galley, but we can barely hear each other talk because they girls are so busy singing and playing their loud game of pirates or mermaids or fairies or Frozen. Calm doesn't descend until bedtime. And then it is blissfully quiet.

We could make changes. We could ask for inside voices, we could not have Disney songs blasting from Spotify, we could encourage them to play a quiet game or puzzles or legos. We could (and often do) let them watch some TV in the evening, pre-dinner when we're trying to talk about our days and relax. But, normally, we don't. Just like I encourage creativity by providing art supplies and blank white paper, I can't stifle their creativity by asking them to ease up on their imaginative play. "Captain Hook is coming! Quick! Hide the treasure!" Of course that's loud, and it should be!

When there aren't enough seats for everyone, or a desk to check your email, you improvise.
Chasing down a leak. This is our bed platform all taken apart and Hans is troubleshooting the hot water heater. Note that he's still in his scrubs. Welcome home. Glad you saved some lives...but seems like we have a leak... no rest for the weary! 

But there are times, when we're in the middle of a fairy rescue and the dragon is about to breathe fire, when I dream of a bigger space...a house. A house with a playroom that is not also the living room open onto the kitchen. A house where we can't all touch each other just by reaching out our arms. Maybe even a house where there's a backyard for the kids to be outside, and out of earshot, for an hour or so. Yes, I'd love a little more space. I think we all would. The girls get sick of each other and start fighting or complaining. This morning we had one kid at school and the other one at home, and the one at home was SO happy to have the whole place to herself. No sharing! I hear you little one.
It's impossible to line up all your matchbox cars on the couch if you have to share the space! Lucky Matilda got the boat to herself this morning.
I'll always be tied to boats and to the water. I'll be living aboard and various times throughout my life, but when the kids are little, and loud, some more space would surely be welcome.

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