we are not having any difficulty sharing our little bungalow with our baby in terms of space. obviously each new age and stage brings different and sometimes larger gear/stuff (e.g., clothes are larger and take up more space in drawers, she may want sports equipment/a bike/a play kitchen/art supplies, etc.), but i’ve heard from parents with older children that the first year is truly the worst when it comes to stuff. so seeing as we’ve (almost!) survived her first year in 800 square feet, i have no doubt we can make a space of this size work for us long term.
notice how i said “a space of this size” and not “this space”? the layout of this particular house is killing us right now.
it wouldn’t make sense to move within toronto at this time since a move to victoria is quite probably on the horizon. (we hope to have our plans firmed up early in the new year.) but, given our experience here, if we do end up shopping for a new home in victoria then i have a number of thoughts about the ideal layout. we’d still like a small house (under 1,200 square feet), but the bedrooms (at least the nursery) should be as far removed from the kitchen and bathroom (bathrooms? let’s hope!) as possible. right now frankie’s tiny room manages to share walls with our bedroom and the dining room and her door (which is glass and not so square) looks into the kitchen directly and is about two feet away from our sole bathroom.
here is an abridged list of things we can’t do while frankie is asleep:
- make food
- talk at a normal volume
- empty the dishwasher
- watch tv or a movie at a volume above 13 (so we have to use the closed captioning feature)
- flush the toilet
- let the microwave beep
- turn on any lights except the one built into the microwave
- allow the washer or dryer to ding
- empty the recycling off the front porch into the bin at the side of the house
- drop anything
you guys, pierre has to grind his coffee beans in the basement every morning. over the past nine months we have become so used to this madness — like, it’s totally normal for me to hover around the washing machine so that i can turn it off the second that the cycle is done. i can only vacuum my house on weekends when pierre is home to entertain the baby as she cries if i vacuum while she is awake and she will wake up if i vacuum while she is asleep. i have a very hairy cat! this is a problem! when can i shower or eat or go to the bathroom if not while she is asleep?
unless frankie turns into a very heavy (i’d settle for moderately heavy) sleeper as a toddler, i have a feeling we might be shopping for a new house next year, period — whether we stay in toronto or move to victoria. or maybe we can replace some windows and do some soundproofing here. but, for right now, this is where we live with our very sensitive sleeper. so pierre asked me to at least solve the issue of frankie having a direct line of sight into the kitchen when she’s in her crib. i hemmed and hawed because i didn’t want to replace her bedroom door (not only do i really like me a french door, but i like being able to check on her when she is sleeping without opening her door — because opening her door is another no-no) nor did i want to hang a bulky curtain.
so i started looking into window film (not a decor choice i ever thought i’d be googling) and found a pattern i really liked at home depot. the colours matched her crib sheet exactly and we have other mosaic tile-type stuff around the house so i didn’t think it would look out of place. plus, the product i bought sticks to glass with just water; there are no adhesives so it won’t ruin the door at all. i’m super happy with it! i decided to leave the film off the top third of the door so that i could still see in, but frankie can’t see out. it does absolutely nothing to help with our noise problem, but it definitely fixes our sight problem — no more big blue eyes staring at us making dinner in the kitchen.
please, in the comments — is there anything i can do to help us to not feel like prisoners in our own home? she already has a white noise machine. how do you fellow small space dwellers deal with napping babies?