In my last enlightening column for this space, I wrote about the devastating effects of home renovations, and mud. (They go hand-in-foot, especially in the sink hole that is East Hill.)
And now, with my home ripped apart and mud-caked shoes now cleaned for the one hundredth time, I have made a tough choice.
I’ve packed my bags and run away.
Before tongues start wagging — this is Vernon, after all, where there’s two degrees of separation from just about everyone — I have not left my husband, yet.
I have just left the rotting corpse that was once my cozy, little house, now ripped to shreds with piles of shrapnel (actually the result of ugly beige vinyl siding torn off the house) and rotting wood (our former deck) until it is shiny and new, which could be a while.
Me and the kids have decided to take a sort of vacation in the meantime. We’ve moved into another home… at my parents.
It’s been a long time since I’ve lived under the same roof as my dear Mom and Dad, having officially moved away from our family home in Toronto for parts out west more than 20 years ago.
Sure, I returned home for a week maximum to visit, but that was usually enough – on both our parts.
Seven years ago, my parents decided to move to B.C. to be closer to their grandchildren and they also decided that Vernon might as well be the place to settle. This did cause a little issue as my younger sister and her family live in Fernie – an eight hour and very twisty drive from here.
But as I told my sister, and parents, Fernie is great if you are an extreme athlete or a hippy who says things like, “let’s shred some pow, dude,” but for retirees, not so much unless you love to fly fish, ski down a range known as the “lizard,” and play golf for one month out of the year.
But I digress. The point is, my parents chose to live here, and now I am living with them.
How did I get here? Oh ya, I hate mud.
The moving-in-with-the-parents situation is temporary, of course, and it comes with its perks: home-cooked, gourmet meals courtesy of my MasterChef father, and my mommy bringing me my lunch to work, as just happened over an hour ago. Thanks, Mom!
But I now feel the need to clean up any scrap that is left behind by tornado-creating children, like right away. And there’s no way I can leave the dishes stewing in their own juices for more than a day.
It just wouldn’t be right, and I can’t have my parents thinking I’m a bad housekeeper.
And what must they think of my parenting skills? They come from the age of disciplining kids when they misbehaved. And giving treats only when they were warranted, and not as a bribery tool. Sure we sassed, but we usually feared the consequences.
They also had our full attention.
There were no iPads, iPhones, iPods, or DSs to distract us from them. And when they told us to go outside, we did, and we didn’t usually come back home until the end of the day.
Now, I feel I have to take my kids everywhere and know where they are at all times. My son is wise to the fact that there will be a pack of Pokemon cards in his hot, little hands if he is a good boy while we shop. I try to reason with my kids, talk them out of their naughtiness, while my face turns a tomato red from the frustration building inside when they avert their eyes, looking for their tablet or the TV remote.
And that’s the tricky part of moving back home, especially with your own kids in tow. Advice is not always welcome. And patience often wanes when, as an adult, you realize that your parents may know best.
My parents are not the kind of people to watch me slowly explode. They will want to intervene, offer a helping hand, make it better. They are sweet, loving, strong-minded people who raised two very strong-minded girls, with even more strong-minded offspring.
So as my home slowly transforms over the next few months, I will have to transform and become the daughter that my parents can stand to live with. And I know they will respect my choices for myself and my children.
And I hope that means I will still get my lunch delivered to me once and a while.