Recently it came to my attention that I’m an ineffective landlord. Just last week I found a tiny ant in my underwear while I was wearing them. He (or she!) was just hanging out like (s)he owned the place. What?! It begs the question of how many ants live in my undergarments without my consent. And my underwear aren’t even rent controlled!
The ant squatter got me to thinking about how I’m also an ineffective landlord when it comes to my baby. As we approach the one year anniversary of Nolan’s residency in our house (also known as his 1st birthday), I’m taking a closer look at his standing as a tenant. The one year mark is, after all, the crossroads at which a lease is renewed (or not). Nolan has already been evicted once, from the studio apartment of my womb, and I’m not afraid to do it again.
For the sake of efficiency I’ll be focusing on the most flagrant violations of the terms of lease that I’ve documented this year. I encourage you to take a look at your own child to determine whether he or she is an acceptable tenant. If you’ve noticed violations in your home but have failed to properly document them, I suggest you contact an attorney. Many if not all babies are aware that possession is nine tenths of the law.
Outline of Lease Violations
1. Failure to pay rent
When’s the last time your kid got his rent in on time? Oh, wait, never? Yes that’s right, never. Nolan seems to think that the privilege of watching him meet his milestones is payment enough. He is wrong. He’s also been late with every physical milestone, which makes him late with his “rent” as far as we’re concerned.
2. Repeated noise violations
Hotels enforce a period of quiet from 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM, and with good reason. Ask yourself this – is your child following this silence norm and being a decent human being? Or is your child making a ruckus at any old hour of the night, at his or her whim? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Strike two.
3. Overuse of utilities
Huge issue. Our washer and dryer have been running without stop, straight through since last October. Even though I don’t want to point fingers, this is entirely Nolan’s fault. My non-typing finger is actually pointing directly at him. I’m not the one with feces regularly shooting up my back, all I’m sayin’.
4. Failure to clean up after oneself
5. Disregard for common spaces
Is no place sacred anymore? Is your entire home a playroom? Do you have to step over rattles and books and balls and bunnies and assorted rubber ducks in your living room? In your bedroom? In your bathroom? Notice that none of those rooms are called “the nursery,” which is where your tenant-baby should be residing.
Does this look like a nursery to you?
6. Improper disposal of hazardous waste
Does defecating in one’s own bed sound like proper disposal of hazardous waste? How about vomiting on the floor and then continuing to play around the puddle? No? Eating unidentified bits of refuse off of the floor? What about sticking your hands into your soiled diaper and then directly into your own mouth? No again? I rest my case.
7. Willful destruction of property
Does your tenant-baby appear to have been bred partly from a bloodline of beavers? Do you find assorted books with the corners gnawed off? Worse, do you find the side of the wooden crib gnawed off? This is no innocent mistake. Your baby is willfully destroying private property, and you are a fool to think otherwise. Your baby is counting on you thinking like a fool, because new parents are known for buffoonery. Don’t fall into this trap. And remember, beavers are known liars, and so are babies.
Gnawing away on his toys.
Now that I’ve reviewed the facts, it’s hard to argue persuasively that Nolan should have his lease renewed. Problem is, I don’t totally feel comfortable with dropping him off in a basket on the doorsteps of a church either.
I’ll have to sleep on this one.
Who else is renewing their baby’s lease? If enough of you are strict landlords perhaps the ousted babies can get together and form a commune, where everyone eats Puffs and nobody ever watches Calliou because communes don’t usually have cable. Just something to think about.
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This probably isn’t grounds for eviction but Eliza frequently points out what a poor house keeper I am: from her dirty dirty feet after racing around the kitchen in her walker, to all the dog hair she picks up on her pants as she scoots backwards across the hard wood floors, to the raisin she picked up off the floor and tried to eat.
Hmm that is a tough decision. Insubordination and lack of appreciation for your housekeeping efforts may or may not be grounds for eviction, you’ll have to do some soul searching on that one 🙂
This is why I have a month-to-month agreement in place with Max. He recently almost lost his lease when he went on a nipple-biting binge.
In other news, please read and enjoy this tumblr: http://itsliketheyknowus.tumblr.com/
I personally identified with many of the sentiments, especially the emotion towards the breast pump. “Hello old friend!”
That link is AMAZING! I am going to need to share this. Thanks Casey F
Oh my God Casey I love that!! Ha!
So glad you ladies loved it. Someone from my Baby Steps Boston group on FB shared it with me… and I just about died. Oh stock photographers, you so silly.
Haha – great post! K’s bday has come and gone and the whole “lease renewal” situation totally flew under the radar… what a sneaky kid! I’m pretty sure my husband is keeping a running mental list of all the money she owes, starting with her portion of the hospital bills (they did, after all, have her name on them)! Best of luck to Nolan though… you are much better at list-keeping (and photographic documentation to go with it) than we are!
Well, we can relate…this past weekend Matt had a red ant stuck in his shorts that left a ring of itchy red bites on his leg, and Maris has been leaving a trail of toys and random found objects that literally spans the length of the entire house. She’s been obsessed with the fondue cookbook in the kitchen bookcase. ??? Trying to tell me something? Making fondue on top of all my landlord responsibilities likely won’t be happening until she turns 20!
C gets room AND board, and has been particularly vocal during meals as of late. If the food doesn’t feel good on his swollen gums, he screams in my face until his own face turns red. I do NOT feel appreciated and may have to make special note in his new lease that this behavior will not be tolerated. He’s only getting the new lease because he’s pretty cute and manipulative when he’s in a good mood (and I’m clearly a sucker).
Yeah Erin, I would definitely make an amendment to your current lease to contain a clause about screaming in your face. You need to have that in black and white in case things turn really ugly.
Oh yes, I forgot about the ant situation! Once I was sitting on a toilet peeing in Nicaragua when a swarm of fire ants started biting my feet. I was trying to stomp them, stop peeing, finish peeing, not get pee on myself all at the same time. It was funny… afterwards.
@Casey – don’t even get me started on bathrooms in foreign countries… perhaps if I had been more serious about mastering Turkish toilets when I was in Bulgaria, childbirth would have been a little easier…
In reference to leases I wonder at what point are adult children required to form contracts with their parents. Does this carry on ad infinitum or is there a tenant at will clause?
As we all know revolving doors should be in all new homes and thankfully, we as parents, love to have you you return….leave….and always come home again.
One Funny Motha
“If you’ve noticed violations in your home but have failed to properly document them, I suggest you contact an attorney.” HA! I’m contacting an attorney right now! My tenants regularly wreck the joint & I can’t wait to legally evict them!