So people who know me (particularly one tall guy who actually lives with me) might not believe this, but I have a hard time with being assertive and demanding. Unless cookies are involved. Then, hells to the yes with the “Gimme Cookies!!!!” However, when it comes to making sure I get what I want, especially from a person who appears to have vastly more knowledge about whatever item it is that I want? Well. Let me just reference today’s haircut.
And of course, I smiled politely and said “Oooh yes, that’s lovely, thank you so much”, while internally wondering whether I could remedy it myself with a pair of nail scissors and some expensive hair potion that I would go and buy in an effort to make myself feel better about the not so hot haircut I just got. (I also demanded cookies from the nearest cookie vendor. Just to prove I could actually assert myself if the situation required).
It turns out that when you are building a house, or having one build for you, you are required to assert yourself on a frequent basis. Often to people who know vastly more about what it is that you are wanting than you do. And when you’re deemed to be the “Partner With The Most Spare Time” (because with the whole working/toddler rearing/housewife role, my days are pretty much just lounging around the house and drinking wine with other ladies of leisure!) you’re expected to be the one to make a lot of the phone calls and having meetings where you demand things of tradies. I’m slowly learning to develop a backbone – this is really the kind of thing we want done right the first time by the professionals, no room for a home fixit job with nail scissors here. Plus, we’ve gotten to the stage of the budget where we just can’t afford even the slightest botchup. So Cookie Monster is getting to run the show for a change, while my naturally passive introvert self cringes in abject horror. I won’t lie. Its kinda fun!
Luckily none of that is really called for when we’re dealing with the main team on site, who are all genuinely nice guys, as well as being true professionals. Having said that, I’m hoping the plumber doesn’t see the panic in my eyes whenever he starts talking to me. I’ve managed to cobble together some basic plumber-ese, so I can sound vaguely knowledgeable when we discuss whatever I think is on the agenda for that day, but that just seems to encourage him that I know what he’s on about. Next thing I know, he’s acting like I’m a native Plumberese speaker, talking about valves and falls and how the 60mm pipe was running into the 100mm pipe, and mate, they were going to have to dig up an elbow or a stopcock or something.
So I’m glad that he and the other assorted manly men on site didn’t witness me plummeting into the hole they had dug to locate the spinch or the reducer or whatever they were after. The only path to access the house was crisscrossed with orange cones and warning signs – but I figured, how hard could it really be for a balance-challenged heavily pregnant woman carrying a 15kg toddler and wearing sling-back shoes to navigate a 1 foot wide sandy path next to a metre deep hole?
Sign should have just read “Idiots Keep Out”. What most intelligent people would have realised is that a sandy hole has a tendency to cave in when someone steps close to its edge. The toddler was unimpressed with our sudden descent, and even less impressed with Mama’s frantic efforts to get out of the hole before any of the manly men could see her and try to organise a winch to haul her out.
On another, slightly less embarrassing note – I think we’ve figured out how we are going to keep this place clean!