650 square feet of crap
Our apartment is small. We measured.
This comes as a relief to me actually. I'd thought it was rather larger. Now we find that all the affordable condo apartments are a good 2 to 3 times the size of this place, instead of just marginally larger.
It's as if for the last 8 years we've been practicing living on top of each other, adding another cat into the mix and then a baby, in preparation for the ultimate compromise, the sacrifice of space to be able to live in the city. That is, to be able to afford to buy a place in which to live, in the city.
Today, we had a meeting at the bank. We are mere hours away from a pre-approved mortgage.
Last week, we bought a vehicle. The good ol' reliable it-looks-like-it-wants-to-be-a-sportscar-but-it's-not-fooling-anybody Sentra — theme: Blur's Song #2 — is finding a new home with my mother-in-law. We are welcoming into our life a kind of SUV — that is, J-F's loving it; I'll warm up to it eventually. (Helena does seem taken with "la nouvelle voiture," most especially, I think, because she can see out the windows. A view!)
No longer can I gripe as we drive "Look at all the #$%#ing SUVs. With no passengers! Does one person really need that much vehicle? In the city! And you can tell none of them learned to drive in an SUV — sitting higher really skews their sense of space on the road!" My only consolation is knowing that if I am in the vehicle, the vehicle will have more than one occupant. I will continue to encourage the use of public transportation. And some day I will come to terms with being a hypocrite, as well as a drain on the environment.
Am I a grown-up yet?
I've been writing about Helena increasingly less in this space. This makes me a little sad. It's certainly not for lack of material. I've seen a few other bloggers go through this sort of transition, and I thought I still had a while — Helena's not yet 28 months old. But she is already so much her own person that my writing about her is starting to feel like an invasion of her privacy, a transgression, an infringement on her space. She's making her own way in the world now.
It feels silly to report on her vocabulary, her eating habits — she's not a baby anymore.
That said, I will continue to relate anecdotes and even post the occasional photo. It just feels different.
Helena arranges for the Tubbies to have something to read while she's off at daycare.
Helena indicates one side of the room with her arm, then the other. A droite, a gauche, a droite, a gauche, a droite, a gouche... I'd say she gets it right a solid 50% of the time.
Helena has started saying "pourquoi" — not persistently enough that most of the whys don't get buried under the usual chatter about our days, but enough for me to notice and to dread having to have answers. So far it's not much more complicated than "why are you making coffee?"; "why are you reading?"; "why are you putting the cordless phone back in its cradle?" the answers to which are "Because if I don't, my head will implode." But there are things to which I don't know the answers, and she will find them out and ask them of me, and when that time comes my head may very well implode.
It snowed yesterday. A lot. I made beef stew. It was delicious. Helena loved it. There are days she eats nothing but apple sauce. Other days are meat days, and she has a third or fourth helping. She eats a balanced meal measured over the long run, just not on a daily basis.
I miss Helena a lot when I'm working to meet a deadline. I miss her now when work is quiet. We should be having tea parties and doing puzzles together.