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An underground solution to not having the guys underfoot

Submitted by on Monday, 2 March 2009 No Comment

basementI’m not about to complain about near-constant rain in the past week, with more forecast for the next few days. Not with California in a drought and just a banana peel away from water rationing.

I won’t even gripe about mud-covered guys tracking up the kitchen floor on the rare occasions when it quits raining long enough for them to go out. Dirt’s good for kids now, right?

But I will moan as I try to walk through the minefield that is the living room on any given day. Sometimes it’s physical pain – Hot Wheels and Legos hurt – and sometimes it’s mental anguish. Can’t I just tug my ear and make the clutter disappear?

I need a basement. A good, old-fashioned East Coast basement, just like we had when we were kids. The kind the folks always planned to convert to extra living space but never got around to finishingt. The kind with room to spread out toys and romp,  run or roar on a wet day.

Not the  sump-pump dependent variety that was in the last house I owned back east. It was always either flooded or smelly and moldy from the remnants of a flood.

I want a dry, air-tight, squeaky clean area to stash the guys and their stuff, so the Big People can live in relative pain-free comfort in alleged “living areas” of the house.

That was the secret to my mom’s housekeeping success — well, that and the fact that she’s a clean-a-holic who still vacuums twice a day whether she needs to or not. That gene skipped me. I can ignore dust bunnies until they … well, you know what bunnies do.

Upstairs was the adult world, sullied only by a retired rocking chair in my bedroom that caught my clothes after school. It wasn’t my fault I couldn’t reach the high closet bar. Or maybe it was and I’m just a born slob.

Downstairs, the kids ruled. And the thing is, having our own world in which to be unruly actually made for much less clutter even there, probably because we didn’t have to mess with dismantling our little villages only to have to reassemble them the next day like my guys do. Talk about playtime inefficiency. Talk about parental headaches induced from enduring the same clean-up time harangue every night.

In the magic yesteryear land of basements, we could set up our villages and leave them that way forever or until one of us rampaged through the other’s territory and destroyed tiny communities, which ever came first.

Most of the time, we respected boundaries. One side was boy stuff – trains, cranes and automobiles. The other, girl stuff: Suzy Homemaker, dolls and cradles. Once in a while, we met in the middle over Little People.

Contrast that to my house, where Thomas and Batman battle for space. The Little People garage still bridges the gap, just as it did a generation ago.

Yes, a basement is the answer. Or, barring that, a padded room for me.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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