I know we aren't quite finished with the tour of the house, but the big kids are still working on cleaning the loft so I can take pictures. They struggle. Maybe this week.
In the meantime, I asked Matt if he would be my guest blogger this week and write how he feels about our transition. I had to remind him a couple of times, but he got it done! So here, you go... Matt's point of view. And yes, he even penned the title.
We have no dishwasher. Did you know that? I am the dishwasher with the occasional help of the kids and when Chamie is feeling especially gracious. So I wash dishes all of the time. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I wash, dry, and put away.
School is in full swing and much to everyone's surprise we have had plenty of time in the morning. Chamie has even been cooking breakfast. Biscuits and gravy. Bacon and eggs. Even breakfast burritos. It was the breakfast burritos that made me snap. I was staring at the pile of dishes when I said, "If you wouldn't cook a seven course meal for breakfast, I wouldn't have to spend so much time washing dishes. The kids didn't even eat what you cooked. They ate cereal."
I immediately knew that I had stepped in it. There was no back pedaling out of this one. Chamie didn't say a word. But she was pissed. She was already headed past me toward our room when I said something brilliant like, "Are you mad at me?" She did not respond.
All I could do was start washing the dishes. I thought- Matt you selfish idiot. Callan, my 14 year old, walked over to the sink to give me a bit of advice. "You know dad it doesn't help that she's about to start her period." I mustered all the self-control I had and simply said, "I have been married to her for a long time. I know what I need to do." So I walked three steps and told the closed bedroom door, "I am sorry," and hoped Chamie heard it on the other side.
News flash. Chamie and I fight. Being in the tiny house has not changed that fact. But there is something different about having a fight in a tiny house. The kids are going to hear it from start to finish. So while I was standing there listening to Callan give me advice, I realized she needed to see and hear how we resolved the issue. I moved faster than ever from thinking about myself and all those @#$% dishes, to thinking about how I needed to apologize. I was thinking about how what I said and did next would impact not only Chamie and I but Callan as well. The more I thought about it the more I realized that this had always been the case, but it was never so obvious.
By the next morning, Chamie and I were able to talk through the incident. She was able to explain that cooking breakfast for the kids made her feel like she was doing something right as a mother. That put a different perspective on doing the dishes. Even though it still sucked, I could see that it was about more than just me.
As much as I like to think that our family is pretty special, we are like any other. Chamie and I fight. Our kids argue and pester each other. Some of us squeeze toothpaste from the middle of the tube. We are a regular sort of family with our own set of issues. Being in a tiny house has just forced us to see things a little differently.
I love watching how it is changing us. Being so close physically means we have to be more considerate. Not that we want to all the time, but we have to if we are going to make this work. You have to ask, "Does anyone need to use the bathroom?" before you jump in the shower. You have to make spot on the couch for everyone as it is the only comfortable place to sit.
Everyone is in the same room all of the time so we talk more. The kids tell us about what is happening at school while they do their homework. My 14 year talks to me about her boyfriend while I cook dinner and grit my teeth. The kids play together. We work together as a family to set the table for dinner. It is more work living tiny, but we enjoy each other now more than ever.
Everyone says, "I could never live in a tiny house. I just couldn't do it."
I don't think you know what you are missing.
I am Chamie, wife to Matt; mom to Callan (14), Cooper (11), and