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It's so cliche that it's become completely true: City dwellers flock to the 'burbs as soon as mom heals from childbirth. As a lady in love with Brooklyn, I was not going to be that mom. Embracing my neighborhood parenting group, I made lifelong friends. I joined babysitting co-ops that defied the "cold" city assumptions that everyone had. I developed a system of grocery shopping, and found the perfect stroller for incredibly crappy sidewalks and subway steps. Then I got pregnant again.
We knew that once #2 was in the picture, our small apartment was not going to cut it for a family of four. Hell, people almost couldn't believe we fit three of us and a dog. So we counted our money and started thinking about getting the heck out of the city. Granted, Los Angeles is still a city, but trading an apartment for a house was one of the biggest draws. Our children would no longer be subject to, "Shhhh! We have neighbors!"
We moved into our dream house, but our kids didn't.
I always assumed children were the reason for my move. After all, these two balls of energy now had a yard and plenty of space to run free inside as well. The weather was great, and freedom would be theirs! So why won't they ever stray away from my side?
Except for the occasional quiet book reading alone, my two kids stay stuck to me like glue. It's never been more apparent than the past few months since we moved into a bigger space, simply because there are so many other places for those kids to be. Yet, it's my lap, or standing over me while I'm on the toilet, or asking me to stand over them while they are on the toilet, that is my day-to-day existence.
My son and daughter have slept separately in a crib and a bed, then in a bunk bed, for two and a half years. Yet suddenly, they insist on sleeping in the same bottom bunk, butt-to-butt. It's almost like all this space is creeping them out, and they can't stand to be alone. Clearly, no one is getting the "you can be free!" vibe that we're putting out, along with the house. What the heck? So why did we move, exactly?
Listen, I'm not going to moan about my new spacious home. My kids might, but I'm thrilled to not trip over a Rody every time I have to go to the bathroom. Watching my kids roll around on the floor is actually novel, since they can roll for much longer periods of time without hitting a wall or an armoire.
But those guys seem less secure with all this space. They're less secure, and I'm suddenly more claustrophobic. Time for a bigger house?
How has your kids adjusted to a move into a bigger (or smaller) space?
Image via james.thompson/Flickr