I’ve seen nesting referred to as an “uncontrollable urge” that strikes pregnant women, turning them into devilish fits of cleaning sprays and dust rags, inconsolable when faced with dirt, dizzy to wipe away meshes, crazy with thoughts of home-improvements and re-organization projects. It’s a primal instinct shared by most mammals of the female variety. When babies are on the way, birds make real nests. We humans vacuum our homes and buy dining room sets. It’s natural.
And boy, the term “uncontrollable” is right. I am so locked into the nesting stage that I have dreams of cleaning dirty houses. If you know me at all, you know that this is highly unbelievable. I am what a lot of people would call a “slob.” And yet last night, I had an intense dream where I found myself in a house with four fridges in one room. No one else had noticed them, but HA! They couldn’t get past me! I opened up those suckers and immediately started pitching spoiled items, checking expiration dates. I mentally tried to figure out how I was ever going to get rid of the three extra appliances. Could I move them myself? No? I’d need help!
In reality, I have a long list of projects that are driving the real me nuts. When I’m not working, you can bet that this is what I’m thinking about:
n My bathroom floor. Yes, I clean it. I swiffer. I mop. And yet… it’s not as clean as I want it to be. It’s the grout. The grout is stained. Every time I go in there lately, I come away wanting desperately to drop to my hands and knees, whip out the Softscrub and began scrubbing like a maniac. I’ve actually entertained thoughts of getting all new tiling in there, just to get rid of the problem for good. The floor is as old as this house – almost 60 years old. Out with the old, in with the new, right? I tried to appease myself by buying a new shower curtain. It’s brightened the place up. Then I organized all the shelves and cupboards. They look a thousand percent better. Everything finally has a home. But still… the floors. They call to me.
n The basement. I want a whole new one. If that can’t happen, than I will accept the one I have as long as it’s a) deep cleaned, b) organized, c) emptied of all non-essentials and d) carpeted and painted and turned into a livable space. Since we have only a three-bedroom house, we’re losing one office/spare bedroom to make the baby’s nursery. My husband’s desk is getting heave-ho into the basement. I can’t imagine he wants to spend much time down there doing all his important internet work -–checking his fantasy baseball stats, for instance –- while sitting among boxes of disorganized junk in a dingy environment. I wouldn’t. Last week, it hit me. We must make the basement a place we actually want to go. I envisioned a drop-ceiling and track lighting and a new paint job and cable TV and an office. After consulting with our friends who redid their entire house themselves, I’ve decided the ceiling won’t work because our heat ducts are really low. But that’s OK -– we can still do so much. And we’re going to. A friend of mine said if I have the basement done by September he’d be shocked. I’m telling you right now, this will be done before the baby’s here. All we need to do is work our fannies off. Starting with a yard sale, which I’ve already started getting piles of stuff together for. Then a deep cleaning. Organizing. Painting. And then carpet. We might put in some electrical boxes so we can watch our tiny TV down there. We need to run cable internet cords down there, too. But it’s doable! Right? Or am I totally insane?
n The baby’s room. We’ve painted the walls. I’ve painted the dresser, although it’s not quite done yet. Now I’m onto the next project -– finding carpet. Then once I have my showers, I’ll have lots of stuff to build and organize and clean and arrange and …. Just the thought of it makes me giddy.
n The dining room. Since we’ve lived together, we’ve eaten on the old dining room table from my parent’s house. It dates back to the 70s. Back then, it was expensive and nice. It lasted for years. But it needs to get out of my life. I can’t stand to see it anymore. I’ve lived with it for my entire life -– childhood to college, when we used it the two years my friends and I lived together, to post-college apartment days to now. It’s rickety. The top is warped because my mother tried to refinish it on her own. No matter how many times I wipe it down, it still seems dirty. We have only three chairs left, and they offend me. Why? I don’t know. Because I’m crazy? They’re just too tall. And they’re no longer sturdy. When you sit in them and lean back, the entire back leans back with you. I’ve looked everywhere I can think of for an affordable, casual but not too casual dining room set. Something modern and clean. I don’t want to spend more than say $1,500. My husband shuns IKEA because he thinks we need to make sure this is going to last us. I’ve tried Macy’s and Art Van. I’ve tried some cute furniture shops around town, but they’re all generally too expensive. I don’t know where to go next, but if you’ve got suggestions, I will take them.
n My office. It’s green. The problem with that? Well, besides not really caring for this exact color of green, the baby’s room right across the hall is also now green. Can’t have two green rooms! That would be madness! I’ve decided to paint the room purple and taupe. One accent wall will be a deep purple. The others will all be more neutral. And I’ve already purchased an area rug that makes it all come together. In this case, I decided IKEA would work just fine. Now all that’s needed is to get some of the stuff out of here, paint the walls and rearrange. Maybe find a cheap futon to keep our options open, making it a spare-bedroom-office-space. I don’t know. All I know is, I can’t wait until my mom and Aunt –- the paint team -– arrive on my doorstep welding paint brushes.
I realize all of this stuff is really kind of shallow and unimportant. It’s not that my kid must have a designer house. It’s not that at all. I just want these projects to be finished so they’re out of my head, so I don’t feel this nag every time I’m sitting around my house, so I don’t see work everywhere I look. I want my nest to be built and sturdy and comfortable and functional. That’s really it. Clean and nice enough. Finished.
Gotta run. I think we might go look at a dining set now! Wheeeee!