This is a picture of my mama and her giant baby doll in her living room as a little girl, the living room of my maternal grandparents’ house, and MY current living room. That little brown rocking chair by the front door is the same one that’s in my parents’ living room right now; the one that Katie scoots up to the coffee table when she wants to sit and play or eat a snack in the middle of the action. If you look to the left, there’s a little round suitcase – it’s blue in real life – with the hinges facing the camera. It’s round. I’ve never seen anything like it before, and Lesley and I stored our baby doll clothes in that little suitcase. I can picture it now…all crammed in there and begging for oxygen.
Is that not the biggest baby doll ever? Steak and potatoes all the way for that one.
And here it is today. Well, this is what it looks like today, but those people are from about two years ago. It was tricky to find an accurate picture from just the right angle. That’s a very tired cowboy fireman on that couch. He started out trying very hard to watch Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse with his best baby girl that morning, but the sleep took no prisoners.
I dug back in the archives and found this little gem from 2010. The walls were stripped, the old door was out, and construction was in full force. Except for breaks to eat Lays potato chips, because HEY. We’re only hungry humans. No furniture here, no comfort, and no homey feeling.
I apologize for this picture. This was taken with an old cell phone, and it’s about the size of the top of a needle. If you lean forward and put your squinty eyes on, you can see that the new, red door is in with all the trimmings, the curtains are hung, the furniture was just thrown in haphazardly, and the flea circus T.V. is plugged in next to the DVD player. In the middle of the coffee table.
For starters, this has to be one of the hardest living rooms to arrange around. It’s small, a long rectangle, and it has FOUR doors leading into it. Yes. Four. One for each family member. The front door, the door to Katie’s bedroom, a doorway into the dining room, and another doorway into the kitchen. There used to be a doorway into the master bedroom in the only door-less wall, but we closed it up, because if we didn’t, it would be the first room with more ways in and out than actual walls to hang a picture on. It was just all these little necessary slivers of wall, just wide enough for a light switch.
It took us months to figure out a furniture placement, but in the meantime, I had a newborn baby and really needed to be able to watch I Love Lucy DVDs while watching her not sleep in the middle of the night and while watching her sleep in the middle of the day.
It was like Christmas Day for all of us when the cable T.V. got hooked up and functional.
Here’s Katie Jane, a few years younger than my mama in the first picture, lying in the couch by the front door. She tucked herself in with her Belle Barbie. When she was little, I’d get so excited that she would lie down and nap or fall asleep in these circumstances, but I figured out really quickly that this would ALWAYS only last 60 seconds, after which time she would leap up and say, “Oh! I waked up! Good morning!”
And just because there weren’t enough pictures yet full of red doors, red curtains, and almost red leather (let’s work on that), here’s one Brady and I tried to take of ourselves with the camera timer set in December of 2010, after Katie was in bed for the night. It sorta worked. I’m loopy from the baby keeping me up, and he’s loopy from the fire academy keeping him up.
Why does everyone want us awake?
It’s a wonder we kept any of us alive.
So here’s the side-by-side. I guess if I went all out, I could have Katie dress up, sit up, and hold my mama’s giant baby doll, because you know she still has it, but quite frankly, I just don’t have the energy. I’m gonna call this good enough.
Here’s to history repeating itself.