My dream house has just gone on the market. It is two doors down from our house, considerably smaller than our house and has a small backyard with a tall wooden fence.

Every room needs updating, but it is in excellent shape structurally. It is a well-built house, the sort that could withstand gale-force winds, torrential rains and 11 grandkids.

My heart knows that a house is to live in, to be comfortable in and to enjoy, but it seems my mouth often runs defense on behalf of the house.

‘Get those crayons away from the baby! Who left all this mud in the front hall? Move the piano back where it was – NOW! Where did all the cushions to the couch go? Who left the water running? Get off the kitchen countertops! No, you can’t have a beach party in the bathtub! Bat the baseballs away from the house, not towards the house! The bubble blower stays outside! Quit flipping the hammock upside down with your brother in it!’

I sound like an old harp and I wouldn’t be a harp if I had my dream house at the end of the block where they could do anything they wanted there.

Before I let them loose in my dream house, though, I’d paint all the walls white. That way we could see we were getting our money’s worth out of our investment. White walls would show footprints scaling up the walls, across the ceilings and back down the walls.

The kids could have all the tape they wanted at the dream house. I wouldn’t hide it like I do at our house. They could each have their own dispenser with unlimited refill rolls. They could tape the walls, the floors, the chairs and the doorknobs. They could tape each other, and I wouldn’t care. It would be a win-win.

Naturally, there would be a nurse, para-medic and orthopaedic surgeon on duty at the dream house 24/7. You know, just in case.

Outdoor faucets could run constantly at the dream house. They could shoot water through open windows and no adult would yell at them or charge out the back door and seize them by the back of the neck.

If standing water in the yard drew worms, so much the better. They love worms.

They could paint with watercolour, tempera, finger paint, whatever, wherever, whenever they wanted. They could rinse their brushes in standing water swimming with worms in the backyard.

It wouldn’t even matter if they broke all the windows out of the dream house playing baseball. No windows would be like camping. They love camping!

They could cover the floors with Lego pieces, because no adults would be walking barefoot screaming out in pain when the bottoms of their feet were pierced with sharp corners of tiny plastic blocks. 

We don’t have a dog, but we’d get them a dog. We’d even implement a Catch and Keep policy. If you can catch an animal, you can keep the animal.

I don’t want to be a harp. I want to be Fun Grandma. At someone else’s house.

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