Sunday, August 2, 2009


Last summer, FB and I made one of those big-time life decisions that makes you feel like a real, live adult — we bought a house. We figured that the market was suffering and we had some extra money, so it seemed like a good time to buy. We found a lovely little row house with a nice kitchen (having a dishwasher was a dealbreaker for FB), a postage stamp of a yard, and a garage (I'll never clean off the car again!). All this and our mortgage payment is only $45.00 more per month than our rent for the crappy little apartment we used to have.

I love our little house. It is warm and comfortable and has an ideal location. It's near several parks, walking distance to the grocery store, and did I mention the garage?

Yet, as I contemplate the possibility of Snapdragon, our little house seems . . . little. At 750 square feet, it is, objectively, a small dwelling. That's fine for the two of us — it means there's less vacuuming and a built-in limit on the amount of crap we can accumulate.

But is there enough room for a baby? What about a toddler?

As I understand it, babies are quite small, but they come with rather a lot of accessories. Cribs, changing tables, high chairs, toys, bouncy seats, carseats, strollers, adorable little outfits with ducks on them — all of it has to go somewhere. Our house is already snug and I'm getting a bit worried.

When I start to panic, I always look to history for some perspective. After all, the average house in 17th-century America was even smaller than ours and those families had way more kids than we'll ever have. An 18th-century family wouldn't fuss about cramming another kid into a crowded house — just swaddle him and put him where the dog/pig/cow/ten other kids won't trample him. I read once that colonial-era parents sometimes put swaddled babies on shelves or hung them on hooks on the wall.

I know we'll manage. We'll shuffle things around and get rid of junk we don't use. In a few years, when we're ready to start looking for a long-term house, we'll look for somewhere where Snapdragon can have her own space.

Until then, we'll just have to keep the volume of unneccessary crap to a minimum.

Is that possible when a baby will be the first grandchild on either side of the family?

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