Uh Oh

If you have been around Audrey for longer than 30 minutes you have heard her say “uh oh”. It is one of the first things she learned how to say, as well as one of the things she says the most often. It has been a joy to see her use of the phrase evolve.

At first she would say it if she fell over or dropped something. As she had just learned to walk she had many chances to use it.  It was fun to see her learn and express what was going on.

After a few months she started to use it when she did things on purpose. She would look me in the eye, say “uh oh”, and then drop her milk. She was acting like a toddler mean girl. It didn’t take long for us to stop picking up the milk for her so that doesn’t happen as often now.

My favorite way she uses “Uh Oh!” is when she is concerned about Elliot. When we go for a walk with the double stroller she will peek around the canopy to see if he still has his pacifier. When he doesn’t she says “Uh Oh!” over and over again until I correct the issue. I’ve tried explaining to her that Elliot is little and hasn’t decided if he wants to be a pacifier baby or not, but as a pacifier loving toddler she doesn’t get that at all (and can we pretend that I don’t try to reason with a toddler? Thank you in advance for your cooperation).

I’ve started to use the Elliot “Uh Oh” to my advantage when we are going anywhere in the car. As I have mentioned before we have a small house. A feature of small houses is small garages. We have a one car detached garage. It is small. Very small. It is so small you cannot get into the passenger side of the vehicle when it is in the garage. That means when we leave the house I can’t put Elliot in the car until I back out of the garage. Getting the kids into the car becomes a multi step process that is much more difficult than it was when it was just Audrey.

Going to the store with Audrey:

  • Step 1: Leave house.
  • Step 2: Put Audrey in car seat.
  • Step 3: Get in car.
  • Step 4: Drive.

Going to the store with Elliot:

  • Step 1: Leave house with Elliot in car seat and holding Audrey’s hand while carrying diaper bag the size and weight of a third child.
  • Step 2: Put Elliot in car seat on patio where he is in the shade.
  • Step 2: Put Audrey in her car seat.
  • Step 3: Get in car.
  • Step 4: Back up car 12 feet.
  • Step 5: Say “Uh Oh! We forgot Elliot!”
  • Step 6: Get out of car.
  • Step 7: Pick up Elliot and put him in car.
  • Step 8: Get back in car.
  • Step 9: Drive away.

It’s really amazing I ever leave the house.

You may be wondering why Step 5 in going to the store with Elliot exists. I do it because I’m a tired mom of a toddler and baby. I forget things all of the time. I don’t want one of those things to be Elliot. I started saying “Uh Oh!” because I knew Audrey would start saying it and I figured it would be a good reminder to not forget the baby.

What I didn’t know is that I have made it much harder for myself whenever I go anywhere with just Audrey. As we back out of the garage she starts saying “Uh Oh”. As we back out of the driveway her Uh Ohs get louder. By the time we are a block away she is crying because she thinks we have forgotten Elliot. The first time it happened it got so bad I had to call John to have him tell her Elliot was with him. She wouldn’t stop crying for her brother.

It is my favorite “Uh Oh” to hear. I love that she is showing empathy and love for her baby brother. I also love that I’m not likely to forget the baby on the patio while Audrey is in the car.

Tiny House People

When Audrey naps I often treat myself to a little HGTV time. There are lots of things that confound me about that channel, like the people on House Hunters that can’t see beyond the color of the paint (Come on people! It’s not hard to paint a room!). The shows that boggle my mind are the Tiny House shows.

There are three tiny house shows on HGTV: Tiny House Hunters, Tiny House Big Living, and Tiny House Builders. I have no idea why it is necessary to have three shows about crazy people. I cannot understand why someone would chose to live in a tiny house. A small house is hard enough to live in.

We live in a small house. I bought the house years ago, back in my single days. At slightly under 1000 square feet it is a great house for one person and a small dog. When I lived here alone there was plenty of room. There was storage space galore.

When I got married and my husband moved in it was tight. He took the guest room closet and I made several trips to Goodwill. We made sure we each had our own space. He put his office in the basement. I used the guest room for yarn storage and banjo practice (that sentence makes me sound super cool, right?). We were so comfortable in the space we put off selling it and moving into a bigger house.

Then we got a dog. A big dog.  They house got smaller. I had to share my creative space with a dog kennel. No big deal.

Then we became parents. The house got smaller. The dog kennel and I were evicted from the second bedroom by the baby. My husband and I kept talking about getting the house on the market, but it’s hard to keep a house clean and show ready when you have a baby. Having a baby is hard enough. We put off selling the house.

We were about to the point where we could keep the house tidy when we had another baby. The house got very small. We’re stuck for awhile now, because I cannot imagine keeping a house picked up with two under two.

What does that mean for space? It means that the kids share the second bedroom. The living room is filled with toys and board books. There is a changing table in the dining room. My knitting is tucked in a corner for occasional knitting and frequent looks of longing (oh, how I miss knitting for hours). John still has his office.

I have no space of my own.

It really sucks.

I need alone time. Without it I get depressed. And bitchy. My family needs me to have alone time. To create alone time I hide in our bedroom and shut the door. You may have guessed, smart blog reader, that our bedroom is small. You are correct. There is no seating area in the bedroom.  I knit while sitting on the bed watching videos on my laptop. I blog writing on the bed. Alone time gives me a backache because I spend most of it slouching over a laptop.

I see no end to this situation. This is my life for the next year at least. When I see people on the tiny house shows voluntarily giving up personal space to live in closer quarters with their families I want to sit them down and tell them about the struggles of sharing a small space with the ones that you love. I want to make sure that they understand living in a house with a kitchen so small only one person can be in it at a time can be frustrating. I want to share the storage issues that can occur when there are fewer closets than people in a house. And if they are still interested in a tiny house after I have shared this knowledge with them I want to tell them that they are stupid heads.

Perhaps I am being too harsh. I suppose a tiny house could be useful. Maybe I should buy a tiny house….to put in my backyard so I finally have a space of my own.