This post brought to you by insomnia and the refusal to stare at my own face all over the top of this blog.
Our house is slightly less than 1,200 square feet.
I know, pretty damn small.
You enter into the living room and to your left is a hallway which leads to 2 bedrooms and a bath... ahead of you is a doorway which leads to the kitchen and master bedroom and bath... there are French doors leading out to a courtyard which has, off it, a room and bath (which we have always referred to as "the outside room"... I have tried, over the years to call it, "the children's room", "the bonus room" and "the office", but, it remains the low-rent, "outside room").
There is a nice backyard with plenty of lawn (too much grass, says Hugh, the lover of cement) and a pool and a view-ish of the ocean.
And every now and then Hugh and I freak the hell out about SPACE! We need SPACE! And we comb through the real estate sections of the local papers and troll the Internet for listings and drive around to various open houses... we make lists of what we want in a house and in the beginning, the list is very practical:
A formal dining room
More closet space
Then the list gets a bit more specific:
A mud room
A dog run
More closet space
Finally, the list gets ridiculous:
His and Hers dressing areas
4 closets for every person including a cedar one for winter sweaters and ski clothes
And then we come home, and sit in our living room, and listen to our kids down the hall and we say things like, "You know, in a big house we might never see them..." and, "It would be hard to find a location quite as ideal as this..." and well, you get the idea - yes, we talk ourselves right out of that 4,500 square foot 5+ bedrooms with butler's pantry and ensuite bathrooms.
Because we are simply not big house people. Plop us down in the middle of any neighborhood and the house we will both exclaim, "What a cool place!" over will be the small, slightly dilapidated cottage with no garage but a killer garden.
The truth of the matter is that the boys can share a room forever and it won't kill them. In fact, it might be kind of nice. If death threats do come into play, there is always the bonus (see, still trying!) room which could be made over into a hideout.
3 kids sharing one bathroom is a bit tight, but again, not the end of the world... Eva will probably demand a vanity table, or some such thing, in her room, but that won't be for 10 years and by that time, she'll have the whole thing to herself.
Closets are a real problem but I have solved this by issuing forth the following edict:
Do not have more clothes than you have space for in the closet!
The kids wear uniforms, it should work.
In a small house there is a lot of forced contact. There is no sulking off to the children's den to play video games or stomping upstairs to the master retreat to cool off from the day... there is instead a person everywhere you look. Problems must be dealt with or we will spend our day tiptoeing through a frosty DMZ and quite frankly, I don't have the patience for such nonsense.
Right now, I am in the living room, listening to the simultaneous snores of my 4 year old (from behind me) and my husband (in front). There are dogs in every bedroom.
If you think this sounds annoying and somewhat claustrophobic, you would be right.
But, it is also all good.
For some reason, this house works. The doors are always flung open, the courtyard feels like a den in the warmer months (and, during the cooler months, like now, it feels like Dubai... a neat place in theory, but I can't really see getting there) and the outside room, thanks to the magic that is the EZ Bed, makes for a functional guest suite when my mother is here as well as a handy place to keep the PS 2.
There is always talk about expanding the kitchen or adding a second story, but we'll probably end up being one of those couples who jazz the place up the minute the kids are off to college... in a small way hoping that multiple bathrooms and privacy entice them home over the long winter breaks.