Tuesday, January 23, 2007

More like a crash pad…

The Daily OM today talked about having a space that is our ‘landing pad’ in their article Your Comfort Zone: Create A Soft Place To Land .

A basement or attic, spare room, or unused storage area, furnished with items that soothe you, can give you the privacy you need to unwind…Preparing these spaces can be as easy as replacing clutter with a small selection of beautiful objects that put you in a relaxed frame of mind.

Ah yes. Easy. Lovely. Nice…

Remember to consider noise and activity levels while choosing the site of your landing pad. If you know that ordinary human commotion will distract you from your purpose, look for a secluded spot.





This is a five bedroom house. There are 2300 square feet in this house. Three full bathrooms. This house, people, is enormous. Trust me, I just got done cleaning it. It’s massive.

And yet.

There is not one single place in this whole house that I can go to take refuge, feel at peace and most of all get away from the @*^&@ing noise!!!!!

If there is any design flaw in this house, it is that noise carries most shockingly. It has one of those ‘light and airy, great for entertaining’ floor plans – which means that if the children are playing anywhere in the house, the sound travels beautifully along the vaulted ceilings, is amplified and channeled directly into my brain.

Also, no matter where you are in the house, the TV will sound as if it is in the same room with you – unless, of course, you are in the TV room. If you are in the TV room, dialog coming from the TV will be all but inaudible.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve come downstairs in my PJs to snarl at my husband to TURN THAT @*^&@ING THING DOWN ALREADY at half-past way too late for a work night, well, I’d be able to buy myself a latte to make up for the sleep deprivation caused by Super Kill’Em Cop Kung Fu Midnight Madness Crusader Zee XII – This Time, It’s Personal.

Last weekend, the Den was like a Keystone Kops Kaper. Everywhere I went, the Denizens came right along behind me leaving Denizen Destruction© in their wake.

It was pathetic, really. All I wanted was a wee little tiny bit of time to myself. Quiet time. Peace, and quiet. That’s all.

But what I got…was Denizen Destruction©.

I was about ready to commit acts that would have CPS banging on my door faster than a bill collector.

It seemed so little to ask: Half an hour, thirty paltry minutes, of silence. That didn’t involve leaving my Den. I just needed a little time in my own space, to reflect and relax and not be negotiating a peace treaty between any two entities.

Children, of course, do not understand this. They must learn about a human being’s need for the occasional block of Peace And @*^&@ing Quiet. They must be taught that if they see someone…say, their mother…turning bright purple, with her hair standing on end, smoke coming from her ears and a deep grinding noise from her teeth, this is probably a good time to back sloooooowly away from her, shutting the door silently behind you, get as far as humanly possible away and pretend you don’t exist for a period of no less than thirty minutes.

For some inexplicable reason, survival instinct does not kick in and warn children that they are about to be ended if they don't leave mumsy-wumsy alone for a few minutes. In fact, when they see their mother in this state, her stress communicates itself to them and triggers yet louder cries, demands, wails and protests. Siblings will immediately declare war on each other. Toys will be broken. As will ear drums, from the shrieking about the broken toys. Land speed records will be broken in the efforts to be the first to tattle.

Not to daddy, who is sitting on the sofa watching a (bad) kung fu movie. Oooooooh no. Gotta be mommy, who is just trying to find Five. @*^&@ing. Minutes. of. Peace. And. !!@*^&@ing!! Quiet. They will stand on the other side of a locked bathroom door screaming their case - in stereo - and ignoring the clear sounds of their mother about to come out of there like something out of Stephen King's worst nightmare to end their little lives.

I have a relatively high tolerance for noise (being slightly deaf helps) (if you’d like to enjoy this benefit, just let me know – I’ll send the Denizens to your place for a weekend and you’ll be set), and am not a bit surprised that having four small children underfoot brings with it a certain level of noise, mess, laundry and other irritations.

Remember how I said my house is massive? Well, this weekend, it was way too small.

Sometimes I would give anything to have one of those McMansions, one of the ones that seems specifically designed to put S-P-A-C-E between each and every soul who dwells therein. Sometimes, I would run up and lick the door handle, if it meant I got to keep the place.

Especially the ones that have an in-law unit that is utterly separate from the main house. Where you leave the main house, walk across a courtyard, and enter a separate little apartment with a lock on the door, a mini kitchen and full bathroom.

All the benefits of running away from home…without any travel expenses.

If we got a house that had one of those? Dog as my witness, I would pee on the floor of the in-law unit to mark it as my very own turf. I’d rush in there before anybody else had a chance and do the deed, right away. Then I would announce it.

“See that? That spot right there? It’s pee! In. The. Carpet!!” I would announce.

It would work. That space would be mine, mine forever!!

Because y’all? I am the only person in this family who doesn’t blanch and flee in the presence of peed-upon carpet…


Kris said...

I only have one, but feel the same way. Just a few moments of peace and quite.

I suggest, distracting them, then sneaking out to sit alone in the car.

Lisa T said...

Maybe in the attic?
With earplugs?

Anonymous said...

I have 4 kids and I wonder just how far I would have to travel for moment--just one moment--of peace and quiet. Our house is only 3 bedrooms, but I've got a completely empty unfinished basement which is slated to hold 2 more. I have sneaking feeling, however, that once anything's down there--they still will insist on being upstairs yelling and fighting. I keep telling myself I'll miss this when they're grown?