There’s no place like home, hey? Except maybe that other place we checked out during the open house and definitely that last place we looked at for the property launch. It seems that houses were back on the agenda this month. Perhaps a little more your agenda than mine but I am usually happy to look. To be brutally honest, this is often because I am pretty damned sure that there is no way on Earth that I’m going to like it so it’s not like I might have to face moving house in the near future anyway. Sorry, but it’s kind of true.
I do have a list of things that are important though. I also have a list of things that are desirable. I have offered to give you this list if you are really serious about us moving but you have assured me on more than one occasion that you already know basically what I want. Which has confused me from time to time because apparently you only show me pictures of the places you think that I will like. Although I must admit that you have also let me know on plenty more occasions that I am never going to get everything I want in our price bracket anyway so close enough should be good enough. Unfortunately for you however, it’s not.
Just because something is a brilliant buy, doesn’t mean that I think we should make the jump. We saw a house recently that dropped over 30k in a matter of weeks because the owners were desperate to sell. When it finally sold, it was back on the market within a week because someone else knew what it was worth and could afford to sit on it for the period of time it might take to make that extra cash. It wasn’t our home though. I had problems with it. Some of them were deal breakers.
This is unfortunately a cause for tension between us. You seem to really want me to like things that I really don’t. You say you’re not desperate to move house but also that I should learn to see the potential in places. Structural changes probably aren’t in our budget but cosmetic changes are easy. If I like something however, I wonder where you expect me to go with that. The natural progression for me would be to seriously investigate selling our house and buying another one. And if I’m pretty sure I don’t want to commit to buying the new house in question – what is the point in liking it?
If we are going to spend a frivolous day looking at houses for the hell of it just to see things we like the look of, let’s stop checking out things in our price bracket. Lets jump a couple of hundred thousand dollars! If you want me to fall in love with a new place, find something worthy of the emotion. Like that house we saw at the end of the month.
I fell in love with this house. Admittedly the real estate agent was a bit of an a-hole and at the time the house was just out of our budget but it was gorgeous. It had floorboards for you and carpet for me. It had gas for us and space for the dog. There was natural light and ceiling fans and multiple living areas and four bedrooms and if it came up again today I would jump at it. But it seems that more frustration is coming our way because now every time I tell you I am holding out for something I like just as much, you tell me it was one in a million and we’ll never get that opportunity again.
Maybe one day the planets will align and we will find a new house. Until then we will have to be satisfied with the home that we have. At least it is one that we share.
Your Loving Wife
* Photo taken at this years Vivid festival
You will always grow up with photos around you. And cameras. I got hooked at a young age and ever since then, everyone around me has had to put up with my urge to document and display. Of course, in these days of the smart phone, it is not so unusual to produce photo essays of our lives but many of my generation have started late you might say. You on the other hand now have a running head start. We have tried to take a photo of you every day since you were born. A task at which we failed dismally not so long after we started but we usually manage at least 20 days in 21. There are loads of photos of you. Photos that have been shared around and now grace bookshelves and bedside tables and walls and wallpapers (the electronic kind).
But just as important as those photos we have of you are the ones that we have of our extended family. Those near and dear to us that are not with us on a day to day basis. Some of these photos are on the wall of your bedroom or in the living room for all to see and you notice them which I think is awesome. Every time we are holding you near to these photos, you stop and point. You scan the faces looking for people that you know and I think you actually recognise us. Your face lights up when you can identify either your father or me…or maybe you just like the photo? I do think you are starting to recognise Bepi now too though.
You love looking at images of us. Brief moments caught in time. I really hope you grow up cherishing things like this. It wouldn’t hurt if you turned out to enjoy taking pictures and developed a talent for it either. I adore good photography. And by the way, I’m not saying that I am fantastic at it. Your father thinks I frequently sell myself short so I will admit that I definitely don’t suck but compared to some of the people that I admire, I couldn’t hold a candle to them. Photography is something I enjoy though and something that I’d like to share with you, even if that is just pictures of our family. Or pictures of you. You look quite cute sometimes.
This is a picture we took of you in your new red wagon. I let your dad loose at a baby and kids market and this is one of the things he really wanted. He is just a big kid himself at times. After we bought it, he promptly put you in it, along with several new toys and pulled you around the market as we finished checking out the stalls. He was, I believe, slightly showing off and reveling in the admiration from other parents> we were not the only people who thought it was a novel way to address the bored and wriggling infant problem. Up until this point you had been constantly squirming and making things difficult but the radio flyer wagon? That was cool.
Sometimes I catch myself looking at you and musing over the fact that you are fast becoming no longer my baby. There will of course always be a part of you that shall remain my baby but since we brought you home from the hospital, you have changed dramatically. Not in temperament perhaps. You still seem to me the sweet child you were those many months ago but in appearance, in weight, in size, in skill and most definitely in ability, you are no longer the infant that you were. Whilst those changes have been dramatic in some respects however, they have also happened somewhat gradually to my mind. So much so that I wondered (not for the first time) the other day, when did you get so…big?
At what point did you stop being the still newborn on the change mat and become the wriggly baby that could contort her body in such a way as to have her butt as far away from a new nappy as possible? When did you start to figure out that dressing went a lot quicker when you helped by bending your elbows or pushing your arms through sleeves? When did you figure out there was joy in being cheeky or that with your limited arsenal of sounds and gestures you could actually make us do almost anything you wished, sometimes for pure entertainment?
Perhaps I underestimate you but you constantly surprise me when you seem to grasp something (either figuratively or literally) that I had assumed was beyond your reach. When you join in with purpose or even anticipate those elements that have become part of your routine. For instance your father kisses you goodnight every night before you go to bed, sometimes a few more times than others. For so many nights you accepted those kisses given in love with equanimity and silence but now you try to give them back. In the nicest sense possible. It’s still a bit hit and miss as to whether you have an open mouth or a closed one of course but they are definitely kisses.
Despite your tender age, you seem remarkably…capable. You are inquisitive, apparently impervious to the general knocks and tumbles that are a part of becoming mobile and quite charming when you want to be. You have your own personality and whilst I admit to being completely biased, I think you are a pretty cool kid. I can’t wait to see how you grow up.
I find myself with not a lot to say this week. I’m sure that you learned new things and probably developed new skills but there were no obvious milestones that I noted. There were no impossible moments where you suddenly started dancing like a Cossack, no crazy times when we were all so busy we couldn’t stand still and no particular highs where the house was full of uncontrollable giggles, disappointing as that may be. On the other hand, there were also no dreadful moments where we were consumed by incredible lows. This week was just…average.
Your father and I went to work. You went to Kindy and we all just got on with the business of being a family. Of course, we never tire of trying to make you smile. Even when you don’t want to.
You now like to try your ability at stepping and walking when we hold your hands. No longer content to stand still on the spot, you will lean your body forward or backwards because you want to move. Unlike another little boy we know a month ahead of you who doesn’t show the same desire to be mobile at all (and in fact if you take his hands and make him lean forward, he just keeps on leaning). You however, want to be off. You don’t quite have the control for a walker though. I’m pretty sure one of those could easily run away from you and leave you with your nose smashed into the floor but it won’t be long…
Of course, you are quite adept and smashing other parts of you into the floor. You had your second fall in a fortnight this week. It wasn’t a major fall such as the dive you took off the dining room table (thank goodness) but when you need to get somewhere else in a hurry, you don’t yet have the self preservation instincts to avoid taking a tumble. You are far more invested in making sure you can get up. On everything. You are now pulling up on the couch, your large toys, your parents and anything else that you feel has the slightest possibility of elevating your position. We are now expecting that you might be walking in the not too distant future.
You are certainly engaging more with the world around you. Although sometimes it is just to show us how cheeky you are. I have mentioned before that you know where every single button that produces noise from your toys can be found. And you press them with a startling regularity. Your dad told me the other day though that he caught you trying to climb somewhere that we would prefer you did not. Your dad tried to admonish you as you looked up at him with your contagious smile and your big blue eyes but you just reached down without breaking eye contact to press the song button on your turtle as if to say here, let me cunningly distract you with a song while I continue doing just as I please. What you fail to realise however is that we both have far more experience at being cunningly distracting than you.
Apparently what we (or rather your dad) do not seem to have as much experience in is how to change all the settings on the smart phones. It seems that every time you get a hold of your dad’s “shiny sparkly” (smart phone), you manage to change the background picture or some other aspect that then requires a further half an hour of playing around on our part to put it back the way it was originally. You haven’t yet worked out how to change the operating language into Chinese though so we still let you play with the phones. Of course, one might argue that before you manage to change the operating language to Chinese is a good time to limit your play but that is a fight for another day.