I recently wrote an article encouraging people to find their inner Chicken Crimpy. The piece was about taking a chill pill and not over-committing to a million things at once. So, I did… for six days. Then, we started our renovations.
When we were heavily pregnant, we lived in renovation land. Our house had been gutted, meaning there were no walls at the back of the house. No bathroom: just a portaloo and portashower in the front yard. Our kitchen was a camping stove and a barbecue for three months and we drank water from the front garden tap. Our neighbours all knew that I peed at 4am every morning, because they would see our front light go on as I tip-toed to our portaloo ,where I would try to wee in a plastic bowl as quietly as possible in the dead of the night. I couldn’t even shut the portaloo door because my stomach was so achingly big.
Our builders during this time were so patient, especially when I started maternity leave and was hanging around the house growing bigger by the minute. We formed a special bond – one that saw the builders put spare towels in the back of their utes, ‘just in case of an emergency trip to the hospital’.
This bond also meant that our three or so builders, who were strangers to us before our renovations began, got to know us so very quickly as they lived through our pregnancy. I can’t even tell you how many times our main builder would walk past our bedroom and see me lying on my side in undies and a tank snoozing with my mouth open, dribble pouring into the top end of my pregnancy pillow while the rest of the long sack was wedged between my legs.
I didn’t care after a few weeks. It was hot – 40 degrees hot – and I was so hungry and pregnant. I would eye off their eskies, excited for smoko just to see what treats they had brought in. Once they saw me eat a WHOLE watermelon in one sitting with a soup spoon.
So, here we are again, in renovation land finishing the last bits of our whole house renovation. Finally – almost 20 months after our builder received a call from my husband asking if they could quickly put the toilet in as we had just had Alfie.
Here we are, living in renovation land, camping in the rear of our house like a Little House on the Prairie, except this time instead of being severely knocked up, we have a toddler running around knocking everything over.
What’s harder, renovating while pregnant or renovating with a toddler?
My husband and I are no less feral. Instead of passing out at 11am in my undies, drooling, I’m running around like a headless chook in the morning wearing just a bra and dacks, trying to sort out lunches and breakfast, attempting not to fist fight my husband and always looking for a goddamn shoe. Trying to squeeze a shower in and attempt to be a loving, happy family before our builder arrives is a joke. We just let him see how real it is. He’s newly married; perhaps the Webb family visual is a perfect form of contraception for him.
On Friday, it is my ‘day off’ from work. Normally when my kid is snoozing, I take my pants off and have a nap on the couch.
I’m wondering if this is pushing the boundary a bit too far. I mean, what’s my excuse? I have plenty. Instead, I might smash a box of Chicken Crimpy’s. At this moment, it’s the best way to find one within.
Follow my renovation story and glory at www.houseofwebb.blogspot.com