Calm before the storm

Brooke here:

Those tall ships really raised the nation's spirits after Watergate!

My sister, who is heavily pregnant, called me a few weeks ago and said she had experienced a hormone meltdown while on the phone with our mother.  She was stressing over how soon it was before the baby would come, and how she and her husband still hadn’t bought any of the essentials, like a crib.  Mom had told her to calm down and not worry about it.  Babies didn’t care where they slept, she said.  Why, look at your older sister!  She slept in a drawer for the first six months!  It’s not that big a–

Wait wait wait, I said.  Back up.  I did whatnow?

Slept in a drawer, my sister said.  For six months.

So I called our father to confirm.

Me: Hey Dad, Brie says I slept in a drawer for six months when I was a baby.

My Father:  What?  No.  It was four.


My Father: Oh calm down.  It was a nice drawer.

Me: It was a drawer.  I was an infant.  A drawer is not a crib!

My Father: You’re right; it was also your bassinet and your stroller.  When it was hot, we moved the drawer under the picnic table in the shade with the dogs, and when it was nice, we moved it back on top of the table.

Me: I’m pretty sure that’s illegal!

My Father:  Nah, today it is, but you’re older than most of those child safety laws.  Besides, you like dogs now, don’t you?  And dovetailing?  It built character.

Me: I’m practically made of psychoses!

My Father: Eh, that might have happened anyway.

So I told you that story to tell you this one.

Excessive Sneezing, by Britney.

Apparently, my parents were drawer-poor when I was born, but they figured out how money works.  For the last, oh, two decades or so, they’ve been planning for their retirement as though it was a product launch where every detail has to be perfect or they’ll be stuck with eighty-seven warehouses full of unmovable Britney Spears cosmetics.

One of these details is where they will live while still working.   Dad telecommutes from our Frigid Homeland most days; he’s looking forward to spending a couple of months a year somewhere warm, but he doesn’t want to buy a second house and he says renting is hurling money straight into a stranger’s wallet.

So, it seems when your daughter moves to North Carolina and buys a house with a lot of land, the sensible thing is to build a small in-law suite in her backyard.

This is the home project I’ve been working on for the past two weeks.  More to follow.


9 thoughts on “Calm before the storm

  1. Well, first to address that little bombshell you slipped in at the end: Did your folks invite themselves down, or are you kind (masochistic) enough to have offered them a place to stay?

    Second, don’t worry about the drawer thing. One of my best friends let her kids sleep in a drawer and the kid’ll make parole in a month, so it’s no biggie. Just be glad you didn’t have to help out in the garden by hauling pumpkins around that were bigger than you. Let me tell you, that color of orange still makes me cringe. 🙂

  2. Well, I do have to disagree with the notion of a crib being essential. I slept in my crib for at most two days. Then my mom came to check on me in the night and noticed my hands and feet were blue.

    That ended that. I slept in my parent’s bed, with them, from then on.

  3. Apparently, this is less uncommon than I realized. I shared the link with several people, and got a lot of “Infant-relative-of-mine X arrived early and his/her parents didn’t have anything yet, so they had him/her sleep in a drawer too.”

    Evidently, drawer-cribs are a huge untapped market. Someone needs to get on that.

    1. In the interests of accuracy, I should note that ‘infant relative’ was always someone not presently an infant, like ‘my husband’s grandfather’ or ‘my spouse’s older brother’ or things like that.

      But, still. Untapped market! Drawers that meet safety standards! 😉

  4. My parents used to strap me in the back of the gremlin in an old laundry basket with a seat belt laced through the holes and protected me from carbon monoxide poisoning by stuffing towels in the rusted out wheel well holes. Now I have a PhD. I’m still neurotic, but it’s Dr. Neurotic so that makes it okay.

  5. At least they just want to snowbird in an outbuilding on your property and not under your roof.

    When we finally buy a house, I’m going to be planning for the eventuality that we’re going to have an aged relative on the property. I wouldn’t want it to become an emergency where they would be central and constantly underfoot. 😉

  6. I have no idea what I slept in when I was born. It was seventy years ago and in the middle of WWII. I may have slept in an orange crate for all I know to the contrary. I survived anyway.

    My son slept in a borrowed bassinet for … about six months I think, and then my in-laws gave us a crib. My daughter slept in the same crib, being only about fourteen months younger, big brother hadn’t had a chance to tear it to pieces yet.

  7. My husband and I are now living with our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. (We got seriously broke; Meg cleared out her front bedroom for us.) We’ve been living with them for four years now, and in fact it’s worked out rather well. Meg and I are on the same wavelength, and the guys pretty much the same, and it works. We’re in the downstairs flat and they’re upstairs, so there’s a little bit of space between us. Depending on how much land you have, you can have a little *more* space between you.

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