Laths, London and Losing My Mind

I have just Googled the word “lathe” for this post and come up with a machine part. What I actually mean apparently is “lath,” pronounced as it looks and not, apparently, the way that my husband and I have been saying it all week: lay-the. I blame him. He told me all about the lay-thes and I have been relishing the way the word rolls off my tongue only to find that actually, it rhymes with bath. The reason I have been saying lath/lay-the all week is that my long-suffering husband has taken the week “off” work, only to work on doing up L’s bedroom. We didn’t get around to it before he was born because we knew that it would probably involve plastering. The wallpaper was a bit mouldy and damp and when you pushed on it you could just hear the walls crumbling. I wasn’t going to have my baby in a mouldy room and my husband knows me well enough not to argue, so he has set about making it up to standard.

Currently, all of the plaster is off two of the walls (with the lay-thes completely exposed). He has also ripped off the window surround and will be ripping out the skirting and taking the radiator off. Luckily it is a small room. My husband philosophically sees it as practice for when we buy a house of our own (we are currently living in my mum’s rental house – funnily enough the house I lived in as a child) and pointed out that even if he buggers it up it can’t really be any worse than it was.

We also found out today that we have a hole in the roof, which is apparently where the water that occasionally drips down the upstairs toilet wall is coming from (and which needs to be fixed before “we” renovate/plaster the toilet). And we have to go to London on Friday, in rush hour, with a baby, a buggy, and all of our important documents. We are “presenting” L at the U.S. Embassy to register him as a U.S. citizen and get his passport. (My husband suggested holding him up Lion King style but from experience I have learned that U.S. officials have no sense of humour). I am applying for a British passport for him as well, but it is the law that you enter and leave the U.S. on a U.S. passport if you are a citizen and it would look a bit funny for three U.S. citizens (M and I are already dual) to be bringing a British baby on holiday with them.

So we are off on a trek on Friday. Commuter train, official forms and questioning, and possibly a quick museum trip afterwards. No one had better complain if I breastfeed L in the Embassy waiting room, or if I tuck into the rucksack of snacks I will be taking with me. Meanwhile, I am trying very hard to appreciate all the work that my husband is doing on the house and not to just hyperventilate at the amIMG_20150318_203103162ount of dust and the see-through walls. I have learned that it’s not a good idea to see how old English houses are constructed. I am amazed that this one is still standing.

N.B. The “Losing My Mind” of the title is what I am trying very hard not to do in the face of this being next to my bedroom. Doesn’t it just scream “massive spider entry-point highway”? That and the commuter train/potential lack of snacks in London.


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Burnt Supper

British/American, postgraduate, wife, mother, dog-owner

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