It seems that these days – particularly weekends – my time is spent preparing for the arrival of kid #3. Not in a nesting kind of way or psychological preparation. Just in the old-fashioned hard labour kind of way. So far I have constructed two loft beds and moved our five and almost seven-year old into a shared room. Before the bed construction came the room painting, then the beds and general furniture moving. Now that the soon-to-be baby’s room has been emptied, I’ve started labouring as it were to make room for baby. This weekend entailed clearing out remaining furniture and kid residue from the five-year old and the start of painting. It is always amazing what one finds under bookcases and behind dressers when cleaning a room. Given the sheer volume of stuff found in these two rooms suggests that perhaps we need to clean them more often.
So now the formerly pink baby room is primed and the first coat of paint is done. One more coat (hopefully) to get done this week before my brother arrives this weekend and sleeps in that room. I may also have to clean up the painting debris, put together the newly acquired Ikea pull out couch and generally move stuff out of the middle of the room.
This weekend we also cleaned all of the baby paraphernalia that we have received from friends and reclaimed from family members. The girls helped with that work and Laura and I had to spend some time relearning how to fold and unfold strollers, a swing, a high chair and a pack and play. Some of these are new to us and came with no instructions since they are previously loved.
Our seven-year old also helped me to repaint her old bookshelf which will become the home of many baby books. It took no small amount of will power to step away and let her do the painting. I provided some tips on painting, but generally left her to it. When she was done, she went and washed up and left me to it. I spent some time evening out the globs of paint and reflecting on teaching opportunities and how I will enjoy helping my kids how to do manual labour around the house as they mature and become less likely to lose a finger or toe in the process.
She will relish the memory of helping dad get things ready for the baby and will likely relate her contribution with pride. I will look at the bookcase and remember the learning opportunity for me and enjoy the look of a well-painted bookcase.
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