February 26, 2009

The Planned Community


My basement is one of the last few parcels of undeveloped land in Philadelphia. I had hoped to turn the plot into a community open space, but the inability of the territory's three inhabitants to keep their appendages to themselves forced me to subdivide it with masking tape.

"For the next 15 minutes," I said, "I'm going to feed the baby. Everyone is going to play in their own square. Stay out of other people's."

For the first 5 minutes, the tenants respected the property lines and played quietly by themselves. When the novelty of being confined to a 3x3 square of carpet wore off, the residents turned into bad neighbors. Cortlen's imaginary dog began to bark. Camber began to sing songs from Camp Rock in false bravado. Kellen wiped a booger on Cortlen's leg. Everyone dangled their appendages precariously over the tape fences.

My master-planned community collapsed in a heap of dust when Kellen army-crawled across his neighbors' front lawns.

"What do you think you are doing?" I barked from the sofa.

"I have to go the bathroom!" he protested. "This is the only way that I can get to it!"

My son's complaint drew attention to a small oversight in my building plans.

My subdivision didn't have streets.

28 comments

Lady Christie said...

I did that once in my girls bedroom, I taped the room right down the middle then realized one didn't have access to the bathroom and the other didn't have access to get out of the room.

The Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
April said...

Love this :-) I shared a bedroom with my three sisters when we were little and my mom divided the room with tape as well!

monica said...

That would never work with my boys. They would just HAVE to invade the next town to try to take it over.

Anonymous said...

Ewe Our Meen. Eye think ewe our two meen two you're kids.


and I think we all need to post today as anonymous so I did, just to make her feel at home.

You should tape off a part for yourself. No kids there. Just Mommy area, that would teach them.

Have a great day.

Robin said...

Hey, at least it lasted for five whole minutes! That's progress!!

Liz said...

Note to self: must buy tape for the minivan!

Ever since my 4yr old son has weighed enough to be in a booster seat (that would be about, humm... 8 days now!) He has taken full advantage of being able to 'move' in the car.
As if it wasn't enough that while in his other seat (with a 5-point harness) he could still manage to pull his sisters hair and grab things to throw.... he now finds every excuse in the book to slide from his seat to the floor (usually to pick up legos) all while trying to remain buckled!

With all that goes on in my car on a daily car ride.. I'm truly shocked I make it from point A to point B!

Liz said...

Oh... and I would be willing to donate some moving boxes! You could just let them build their own houses! :)

Tiffany said...

So funny! You crack me up!

Candice said...

I just bought blue tape. I'll try and remember the streets.

Candice said...

Surely there is some type of Home owners association rule about no booger wiping your neighbors??


Note to self- must lay out HOA rules next time.

The Mother said...

You know what they say about the best-laid plans. Or planned communities. Murphy's law is exponential when dealing with kids.

Cindy said...

I like the idea of sectioning off a section for Mommy!

Holly said...

This is fantastically funny. Thanks!

The Eadle Family said...

lol, I cringe to think I may have to do that one day. lol.

PS - I voted for you!

Mary K Brennan said...

Hysterical. I saw the same thing done on an episode of The Brady Bunch. Only one kid had access to the bathroom. (See, even in Brady World, it didn't work out). Good Luck.
P.S. Voting for your blog.

Lolli said...

That's a fabulous idea! I need to go get some tape!

Elisa said...

yeah - either you build streets or you build them a toilet in each square :-)

Twinlinebackers said...

Most planned communities have swimming pools or golf courses. Maybe the residents would be happier if you put a pool in your basement.

ecuakim said...

LOL. Reading your blog is always so much fun! Thanks.

Maree said...

Love it!! I'll remember this for the future. Even as "big kids" we sometimes need our own tape community. And I'm ALL about putting in a place for Mom. FAR away! :-)

David Grover said...

By "false bravado" do you mean "brave falsetto"?

WhisperingWriter said...

How funny!

I would try that but I think my daughter would pull the tape up and try to eat it. *Sighs*

The Girl Next Door said...

this is perfectly awesome - found you on momlissa and clearly need to spend a lot of time reading back posts. I wholeheartedly agree in tape - tape for space, duct-taping mouths (yes I did that once and he totally deserved it and later admitted it...) unfortuantely my 16 YO twins no longer abide the taping-rules. got any suggestions?!

Heidi said...

Hilarious! But yes, better planning would have been helpful. Darn, hindsight.

Amy said...

But... if you'd had streets from the beginning, they would have wandered from their "lot" a lot sooner than 5 minutes.

Lol. Love this! I need the tape to put in the middle of the bed my girls share. They just HAD to share a bed b/c they didn't want to sleep alone, but if one touches the other or gets off of "her" side, it can get loud.

Rachel said...

LMAO. I need this for my husband on our bed!

Carmen said...

I second needing to tape off space in the family bed:)