The problem now with going away is that we have to come back.
This morning we arrived home just after 9am after a taxing drive in the snow to the encouraging site of the builders van parked outside. One of the men appeared in the doorway in a strange kind of role reversal, welcoming us to our own house with pleasantries exchanged including the obligatory British comments on the weather.
I had spent most of the journey planning how I would occupy my day to ensure O was in the house for as little time as possible and when we saw the kitchen units finally being shifted upstairs to our spare bedroom-soon-to-be-kitchen I felt that now, rather than later, was a perfect time to leave again. Finding the kettle let alone the baby’s plate, cup, spoon and a saucepan for his boiled egg would be nigh on impossible. S jumped at the chance of being driven to the station which left no time for grooming. We had set off at 5.30am in the morning in a bid to get the most out of our weekend away and looking at me you could tell. No makeup, unwashed hair, yesterday’s socks. Thankfully I appear to care very little for my appearance nowadays and so, dropping S to the station en route, O and I headed straight out for breakfast. However, before we left S asked me to give the builders some direction regarding where I wanted the kitchen units putting. The choices were fairly limited considering most of the room was already taken up with bags of kitchen contents, so I gestured vaguely to the only empty corner whilst remarking that it would be cold working outside today in the snow.
“Oh, we don’t plan to” he replied.
Apparently it was snowing far heavier where the bricklayer lives so they decided instead to receive a delivery of his bricks and move the kitchen instead. I thought nothing more of it and left, mine and O’s tummies rumbling, returning only a couple of hours later ( we met a friend and added a walk to our itinerary) to an empty house. They had, indeed, called it a day. At midday.
They hadn’t quite moved all of the kitchen upstairs, the baby’s highchair, an awkward and heavy wooden one was downstairs as were all of the chairs. The table had been brought upstairs along with a short run of units though the doors of one pair had been positioned upside down so they catch on the drawer above and are almost impossible to open. I shut ourselves in O’s room for an hour or so to take a few deep breaths and do some safe playing – safe only if I lock his bedroom door as I found out the hard way that he can reach and open these new handles. On one of those frequently documented occasions of looking away for just a second, I looked back to find the door ajar and no sign of O. I found him, paralysed with the overwhelming excitement he must have felt at having escaped, just outside the door so thankfully no harm was done.
Lunch was a tricky affair, with me heaving the highchair up the stairs in one arm whilst holding O in the other. He can quite capably climb stairs himself now but he would find, on ours, all manner of hazardous treasures on the way up which would not only make the journey painfully slow as he stopped in wonder at each step, halted by his discoveries, but could quite possibly make the journey painful in ways I’d prefer not to think about. My job this week is to make the stairs and upstairs a safe and tidy place for us all to exist in as right now it’s an obstacle course. I’m not a believer in Feng Shui…I did once buy a couple of books but I get frustrated with anything which doesn’t have set rules and with one book telling my this corner was the red corner for happiness and money and the other book telling me that corner was the red corner for happiness and money,I had no real faith I was going to get either happy or rich. However I do wholeheartedly believe in the notion of energy flowing through space – that energy, in our house, contained within me, O and S (and in S and, increasingly, O’s case it doesn’t free flow, rather it bumps its toe. O is his fathers son in many respects – loving, clever, obsessed with technology, I feel sure he doesn’t feel the cold…and clumsy). I decided, mid flight, in an attempt to ensure we don’t all kill each other, to ‘feng shui’ our spaces in my own way… to make sure the upstairs rooms are as calming, clean, safe and functional as I possibly can. Perhaps Ill try, this week, a list with just one thing on it and that can be it.