So we've made the decision to try and sell the house. Again.
There is no more money in the pot, but we need more room. When we moved here, Gertie was just a few months old, not yet on the move. For two adults and a tiny baby it was positively palatial. We bounced around in our big house, and once she did start crawling, I might even lose Gertie for a few moments. These days finding five minutes alone in the bathroom is an unlikely proposition. Now there are the three little people. And they are not so little. They have this habit of just growing bigger. And bigger. By the day. Moving towards a time when they will want to spend increasingly long times alone in the one bathroom.
I can remember all the empty rooms when we first moved in and wondering how I'd ever have enough furniture to fill them. Ha. Now every corner is crammed full of stuff. Each inch of wall space is covered in pictures and photographs. There are thousands of books. Everywhere. And that count might go up to tens of thousands if you include the boxes in the loft. There are plastic toys in places where toys simply shouldn't be. Like in my shoes. And behind the washing machine. It is impossible to keep tidy. And therein lies the first paradox. Because in order to sell your house you need to be able to keep it very tidy. So that it can be viewed at a moment's notice. Well, we had our first viewing today. It took me four hours to get things straight. That's not happening every time, I can tell you. And when we came home there was a pair of toddler pants smiling up welcomingly from the utility room floor, that I must have missed in my final tidy-check. That subsequently looked like they'd just walked there themselves. Which I guess they might have done, being Eddie's.
So now I follow the children around hawk-like, beady eyes scanning for any potential mess-making hazard. They will be the first to tell you that this is not fun.
And the house we have our eye on is...'in need of modernisation'. In other words, a wreck. And a smaller wreck than our current abode at that. And it costs more money. But it is a wreck with the potential to be bigger. At some point, when the childcare costs stop sucking the lifeblood from our very veins.
We tried to do a similar thing a few years ago, but the wreck of a house we wanted then sold almost before we'd got ours on the market and it felt like a blessing in disguise.
So I've got my eye on the estate agents' window these days. Today I was drawn to an attractive property in the top right hand corner. It took me a second to register that it was the one I already own. ( I say 'own'. I think we might own approximately a square metre of the floor space, by now. But another paradox: It looks lovely in the pictures, all tidied up and de-cluttered. Like somewhere I might actually want to live.