We used to live in a big three bedroom condo across the street from Disneyland. No really, it took us ten minutes to walk from our front door to the park gates. It was a great, lively area, close to food and entertainment. The best part was that we had new neighbors every week because most of our complex was vacation rentals. There were some things that weren’t so great though.
First of all the rent was pretty high and eventually the landlord raised it high enough to price us out of the area. There was also the upkeep, as in there was none. The condo complex had been built in the seventies and by the looks of it, had never been remodeled. By the time we moved out, the place was in need of some tender love and care.
I’m not saying we were the cause of it, but I had lived there with three other guys for four years prior to Bex moving in. Three boys living together are definitely not the cleanest but we certainly had some fun parties, if you know what I mean. Anyway, it was the memories I had made during that bachelor pad existence that made Bex uncomfortable living there. Who could blame her? We were about to get married after all.
She tolerated it for as long as she could because it was near our work. With roommates, the rent was almost affordable. Have you seen Southern California Rental prices? Ridiculous. Well the roommates announced they were moving out around the same time the landlord raised our rent through the roof. Rather than stay where we were and ask new roommates to be understanding of a newborn, we decided it was time to downsize.
Now, when Bex and I decide to do things, we maybe don’t always have the best timing. For example, we decided to move in together, get married, have a kid, and now we were throwing moving on top of that. Some people spend years together before they even decide to do one of those things. Not us. We somehow accomplished all of this in the space of a year and lived to tell the tale. It’s true because you’re reading this long after the fact.
Eventually, we found a small one bedroom apartment with a walk in closet. I thought the closet was pretty spacious, big enough for a nursery. That is, at least until the kid gets old enough to know better.
Becca was skeptical at first. I don’t think she liked the idea of shoving the crib in between her mountainous shoe collection and her hanging closet organizers that were overflowing with clothes(hers and mine). We had been watching a lot of HGTV at the time and it came in handy here.
“It’s a conversion space.” I told her. “We’ll convert the closet into a nursery. It’ll be a fun DIY project for us.”
Well, she looked down at her very pregnant belly (around eight months at that point) and then back at me with a kind smile that seemed to say it all. It would be a fun project, for me.
So we did what, I wonder if, all new parents must do. We bought every baby product under the sun, piled all the baby shower gifts on top of that, then bought new furniture and somehow managed to squeeze it all into this little closet, ahem, I meant nursery.
Did I mention that where were no outlets in this “conversion space”? The only source of power came from a light fixture, conveniently placed at the top of the door frame. I solved that problem with some creative thinking and a trip to the hardware store.
At the store, I asked the clerk for an “outlet you can screw into a light bulb socket”. The old man looked at me like I was his drunken hallucination. For all I know, I was. I find with crusty old guys like him, you have to use the exact name of the part you want or they’ll play dumb like a fox with you all day. For the inquiring minds out there, it’s proper name is a two outlet socket adapter. They come in beige or cream. I screwed that baby in, ran an extension cord, attached a surge strip to the extension cord, and we were in business. Now we had power for all the little gadgets our baby would need. Heaven forbid he can’t charge his cellphone right next to the crib at night.
In the end, we didn’t do a bad job. For as much crap as we got him. For as much stuff as he needs. His room is probably the most organized room in the apartment. Now if only I could get Bex to clean up the rest of this dump. I’ll have to add that to her list of chores.
Now that we can stand back and look at our job well done, Bex and I like to joke that we will need to move before the baby is old enough to realize he’s sleeping in a closet. Of course he never will. To him, that will always be his bedroom. Ignore the shelves and rods that line all the walls. Please forget about my suits hanging in the corner next to the onesies. And ignore Bex’s . . . On second thought, how about I just tell him that he’s actually a wizard and an owl will deliverhis letter in eleven years. Sorry it’s not a cupboard under the stairs son but your mother and I neglected you as best we could.
If all else fails, I will tell him to blame me when he talks to his shrink. Actually, I’ll tell him to blame his mother too. I’m not going down alone for this.
“Yeah Doc, my muddah and faddah did a number on me. They made me sleep in a closet when I was a baby. Then my old man lied and said I was a wizard.”
“Really? That must have been terrible.”
“Eh, it coulda been worse. That closet was pretty spacious”