Monday, September 3, 2007

Home improvement, and other weekend employment

I spent a lot of the weekend planning changes in the way our flat is organized. It is reasonably large, at least for the standards of the country I live in, but it's totally messy. Some of the cupboards don't open and close properly, and a few drawers are really in bad repair.
I don't have the time to go looking in different shops, plus WS and I like Ikea furniture anyway. So I spent several hours over the weekend searching the Ikea catalog and checking online whether the stuff was actually in the store. As usual, the store nearest to where I live has only about a third of the stuff listed on the catalog, so I will have to face a really long drive.
WS does most of the mounting, but he hates choosing. So I just took all the measures, made plans, ad showed him a list with the final result. He then suggested a few changes, but basically approved: we have known each other for almost two decades and can estimate pretty well what each other likes.
The main aim I have is that the children learn to keep their own stuff in order: to do that, they have to know where things should be put, and everything has to be easily accessible. Some signs of slow improvement are already visible: they did put away some toys, after being asked and being told which box they should use. I also did some tidying up so that now all the Duplos are together (I should buy Legos soon, I know - but I first need a good box!).
And I can't very well complain that they don't keep the books in order when there's entirely too little shelf space for their books to fit in. I wonder how other parents face this problem; C#1 laments that she doesn't have enough books, that she has read them all and is totally bored.
I spent a couple of hours supporting WS's mood, too. This involved listening at length to the precise symptoms of his latest ailment (he hurt his own shoulder doing sports) and hearing all the details of his latest research project, which is very far from the overlap of our scientific interest and required really a lot of focussing on my part.
I also spent two hours helping a visiting colleague who is going to be here for a month: I picked him up at the station and showed him around, politely explaining that yes, some people here might speak english, but he shouldn't count on it. Maybe I shouldn't have done that, since he's not visiting me at all, but I felt kind of sorry for him; the person who invited him will not be back for a few more days.
Finally, I am proud to say that with ten days still to go, the list of stuff to buy for the new school year of C#1 (which has been stuck on the fridge since June) has now been completely ticked off. Everything is ready. Fall may come now.
Still, I hope I will manage to go the seaside next weekend.

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