Baby changes everything in house, life

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 13, 2009

We used to be such a neat couple.

As architects, my wife and I like spaces that are very structured.

Even though we might have what some people call quirky tastes, we made sure everything in our house was organized and in its place.

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Magazines were stacked neatly on one side table with newspapers on another. A rotating collection of pottery and wood bowls sat artfully on our mantles and tables.

I must admit that even though there was a place for everything, some of my things didn’t quite make it to their assigned locations. I did have a tendency to leave clothes on the floor and paper strewn across my desk.

Overall though, my wife and I tried very hard to keep our small house ordered and uncluttered.

And then Gibson came along.

Five months after his birth, our son has now left his mark in every single room of our house.

Instead of artful pottery, teething rings, burp cloths and baby toys adorn our living room furniture.

“Squishy the Turtle” and “Circle Dogs” now sit on the top of our reading collection.

A blue Bumbo chair sits under the kitchen island stacked with baby bottles and various containers of baby food.

And that doesn’t include the daily traveling show of baby accessories. The baby walker, stroller and car seat all make an appearance each day after being transported back and forth from the office.

Who knew that such a small human being could upend our neat and tidy household?

My wife and I have resisted the urge to have a lot of baby stuff. We have no baby bath tub. We have no baby swing.

If we had everything that is marketed to babies these days we would have to rent the house next door in which to live.

Those days of relaxing on the couch, listening to music by candlelight are over. Now we look at stacks of baby clothes that didn’t quite make it to the baby’s room and listen to the sounds of nursery rhymes emanating from Gibson’s toys.

Lately I have been telling our friends and neighbors about how my wife and I thought we had everything figured out before our son was born. Gibson, we thought, would just be a small addition to our family. We would go about our normal lives like usual, only with one other person tagging along for the ride.

Now I laugh at the thought each time I walk through our house and see how much things have changed in such a short time.

Before June, housekeeping meant vacuuming, mopping and dusting. Now housekeeping means pushing accumulated gear aside to rest for just a moment or two.

Thursday morning I sat back in our living room chair with Gibson and a burp cloth lying across my shoulder.

I looked across the room and saw the stacks of clothes, the stuffed animal hanging off the edge of the couch. I thought about the load of laundry that needed to be folded and the toys that needed to be picked up.

As my son slowly drifted off to sleep I noticed the wet splotches of drool on my shirt and thought that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Ben Hillyer is the Web editor of the Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3540 or by e-mail at ben.hillyer