Making a home

Hurricane earned his nickname simply because we always know where he’s been. He’s not sneaky. He doesn’t cover his tracks. Pretty standard male behaviour.

Back in NZ he liked to make ‘nests’. Essentially, it involved gathering all the cushions he could find into a pile and then climbing inside. It could preoccupy him for ages. It was great.

Since arriving in NY, into an apartment that is half the size of our family pad, the nest has escalated into what he calls ‘making a home’. Unfortunately for me, his home doesn’t have any real structure to it.

Somehow Hurricane has got the idea in his head that a home is where everything is thrown on the floor. I have no idea how he got that impression. None. There is no way it is a behavior he observed in his parents’ bedroom.

The problem I face is the speed with which he operates. I will be getting Chaos dressed and then walk out into the living area and find that everything in his reach is now on the floor. Shoes, toiletries, food, toys, the dirty washing, the clean washing. He does not discriminate.

I can be changing a nappy, hear a crash, and find Hurricane on a chair emptying his duplo onto the wooden floors. By the time I’ve retrieved a naked Chaos from her favourite spot on the windowsill, her brother has already collected her nappy. Where is it? I ask. In my home, he says. Yes, but where? In my home, he responds, clearly annoyed at being asked the same question twice when he’s given a perfectly adequate answer already. He’s right, of course. It is resting serenely on my pillow, which is now his mother’s pillow.

There is a new rule in place today, he can only make a home in his room and he has to help me tidy it up afterward. All this means in practice is that he takes everything from the lounge into his room and then sleeps under the pile he’s put on his bed.

I’m not sure who is winning this one. It doesn’t feel like it’s me.


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