Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Time for Play

I realize I didn't post about the trip to Halifax, but that's partially because it was so bittersweet (soooo much fun but way too short a visit, so awesome to see my niece and nephew but so sad how much I've missed and how long it will be til I see them again), and partially because the trip home was so awful. No, really, it was awful. If I'm not going on and on complaining about it in painful detail to get laughs and sympathy, you have some idea just how bad. But yes, it was a great visit and we got to see an aunt and an uncle and some cousins and some grandparents, and Jelly had a blast. Unfortunately my sister has an awesome basement playroom in her house, which Jenny adored. And it got me to thinking, 'hmm, if I had a playroom I would be able to get her a train table for her birthday, and she would go out of her mind with happiness and maybe she'd go in there at 5:30 am instead of harranguing me'. Then I thought, 'hmm, I would also be able to get 56,234 Dora, Diego and Weeble toys out of my dining room'. Then I stopped thinking because I realized I was already sold on the idea and just had to figure out logistics. I was trying to keep the whole project a secret, but a video call with my parents last night blew that. They were all like, 'Uh, what room are you in?' and I was like, 'Shit! Jenny, don't say 'shit''.

I bought a 4-bedroom house when I moved two years ago, 7 months pregnant. I knew I needed a bedroom for me, and one for the baby. I also needed a dedicated home office space, and a guest room for the constant houseguests that were going to be staying with me round-the-clock for the next 10 years to help with the baby (hahahahahaha). Here I sit, two years later, with a guest room that only sees guests once or twice per year, and I'm working from my living room couch. Yes, I know it's bad for my back, I don't care, it's closer to the Girl Scout cookies.

So I decided to combine the home office and guest room into one seldom-used room, which meant that I opened up the other bedroom for a 2nd-floor play area, right across the hall from Jelly's bedroom. The best part is, there's an enormous closet, and I have managed to find homes for all the various useless items that were stored in there (a box full of ball caps, a bazillion cassette mix tapes that I can't seem to part with, a steering wheel cover, a 'Dogs Playing Poker' throw pillow - you get the idea). So I am going to make the closet a little play kitchen off the playroom! How cute is THAT?! Her two big birthday presents are the aforementioned train table and a kitchen center, so the kitchen and a little table/chairs will fit in there nicely. I'll make some sort of curtain-type thing to hang from the shelf above. I could faint, I love this idea so much. Also, I found a train table at my local consignment store for $58 with most of a set of train-y stuff (the Imaginarium Light & Sound Railroad, for those of you who are forced to care about these sorts of things), and talked to Customer Service yesterday to get replacements for the pieces that were missing for about $20. So that totally rocked. And it's stored in my garage for two months now, blergh.

The other crazy thing I decided to do was a mural. I can say with a great deal of modesty that I have done professional (PAID!) mural work in the past, for a few different places. I loved it. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't do it for a living because people make me crazy and I can't deal wtih criticism. But it's a great creative outlet when you don't really have anything else like that going on. Work right now is just so crappy, I thought, 'hmm, I've done murals for other people (my parent's house, my friend's house, daycares) but never one for me - maybe it's time?' (yes, I do seem to have a lot of thoughts in this post, I hope that isn't irritating you).

I struggled and lay awake and agonized over what to do, and this is what I've come up with;

An 'outdoor' theme, combining elements of quiet contemplation (reading corner 'garden'), activity (train station), and imagination (see 'fairy door', below). I'll have to sketch it out and scan it in for all y'all. It's great in my head.

The factors involved in my decision included age and gender neutrality, resale of the house, existing layout, level of effort, and copywright law. No Disney, no Diego. No pink, no huge holes in the walls. Plus, I wasn't allowed to do a whole room of dragons and fairies, because that would have been for me, not Jellybean. My compromise on this is to do a 'fairy door' in a painted tree on one wall, which is kind of cute in a subtle, not sad-omg-is-she-really-almost-40-no -wonder-she's-single kind of way.

The only problem is...

I still have



Want to know the good thing about painting with a toddler? THERE ISN'T ANYTHING GOOD ABOUT PAINTING WITH A TODDLER. They try to run circles in the room and step in the paint. They lick the brushes. They bang rollers on the walls. They are irritated you are ignoring them. They scream, 'Help, help help!' but only want to climb on the ladder. It's madness. I will only be able to paint on weekends when/if she naps, or after she's gone to bed. *sigh*

At this rate I'll be done in another two years.

Jenny is primed and ready to go:


marit said...

I can't WAIT to see that mural!!

Maybe you can get Jenny to paint in a corner and then prime it out at the very end? Or maybe let her paint in the closet? I realize I'm talking silly and once you give her a paint brush it's all over but I'm just trying to think of solutions.

Good luck!

Laraf123 said...

"I don't care, it's closer to the Girl Scout cookies" LOL!

After reading this entire post--I'm having second thoughts about painting the entire interior of our house this boys will be 3 and 1!