At least it does when you are small. Coming back from taking the trash to the dumpster the other day I was struck by the comparison between our neighbor’s truck, and our ‘house’.
Our house is feeling especially small these days with summer looming and the prospect of spending more time together indoors once school is out. And it seems we will be forced to limit our outdoor activities in our patio area – a 3-foot wide concrete slab that borders the trailer. Today the park manager told me that the owner (who sadly is not fond of children) has said we either get rid of the toys on the patio or get kicked out of the park. So I took all the Hot Wheel track to the dumpster, and packed up the cars and my son’s Legos to take them to storage. We will park my youngest daughter’s bike behind the trailer and the scooter and skateboard will go underneath. The basketballs have already been banned – they are stored in a Tupperware container under the trailer and taken out only for team practice. Bouncing them here bothers the older residents.
My son who can spend hours building fanciful Lego cars and other vehicles (along with my oldest daughter who wants to be an architect and builds equally intricate Lego houses) will be sad when they come home tonight, but if you know anything about Legos you know just how many tiny pieces are required to build these creations! And there are so many specialized pieces – little figures, windshields, lights, wheels, corners, stairs, windows and doors. I freely admit the Legos were getting out of control – we have a big table next to the trailer and a couple of boxes of Legos and the kids would spread out and design and construct to their heart’s content. And they didn’t get cleaned up and put away after each session – no one wanted to just build and dismantle – so they sat out on the table top and a few would get scattered below… Well, I couldn’t throw them all away but we cannot keep them indoors either as we have NO counter space for Lego creations. So off to storage they go. Heck, we have no counter space period and the one table becomes a bed nightly! We gave up an experiment with jigsaw puzzles over Christmas vacation for this very reason – it was just too hard on everyone to take the thing apart each night and start again the next day.
What we really need is MORE space – a bigger RV with bunk beds for the kids, and a little more indoor storage, and some counter space. I haunt the listings on craigslist and cruise by the park and sell lots in town looking for travel trailers even though I’ve hardly begun to put aside any money for such a purchase. And I must find some free/inexpensive activities for the kids this summer so we aren’t couped up in this tiny space for days on end. Spring break showed me the necessity of that as during those 10 days we started out getting on each other’s nerves, and by the end were driving one another crazy. If we are forced to be together in this space for the 10 weeks of summer we will descend to the point where the majority of our interactions will be negative. Like overcrowded rats or the lost boys in The Lord of the Flies, our inner savages will awaken. And if that happens…it won’t be toys on the patio that get us kicked out of the park!
We are allowed to have the table and a couple of chairs on the patio, and ‘may decorate with potted plants’ if we wish.