I may be stating the obvious here, but in my house, as a general rule, we sleep in the bedroom, wash up in the bathroom. Cook food in the kitchen and so on. As with most rules there are exceptions, of course. On special occasions we get to have cookies and juice in bed; on very special occasions, I get to take a nap on the living room couch.
When it comes to my daughter house, however, any such deference to the rules of domestic order fly right out of the window.
Her house, a two-story blonde wood structure with a peaked roof, is conventional enough, from the outside anyway. The floor plan is flexible, practically open plan, with partial wall that suggest a division of space into separated rooms. Logic would decree that the larger space be dedicated to a bedroom and a living room respectively and the two smaller rooms be used for the kitchen and bath. But this is rarely the case. I will go so far to say that as a general rule, My daughter's house is a total free for a all.
Consider its inhabitants: The house Come stocked with a classic nuclear family - Father, mother, son, daughter and baby of indeterminate sex. If you ask me, just the right amount of people considering the size of the house and the number of rooms (four). But when an extended medieval posse show up at Christmas my daughter immediately made room for them too. Then, one by one, an assortment of felt lad clothespin character moved in, including a 'happy man' and a 'scary man' whose name no doubt comes from a creepy expression on his hand drawn face but whose continued presence on the domestic scene is more difficult to comprehend. and lest we forget the pets, that particular menagerie includes a dog, a cat, a rabbit and an elephant - although as elephants go, it's relatively small one....
The furniture moves around according to the whim of my daughter chubby two year-old hands, and the house itinerant population...
Lately, everyone -and everything- seems to be congregating in the bathroom, where in addition to the expected bathroom fixtures you will also find a bunk bed, a crib, a highchair, a doghouse, a pair of matching pink ottomans, a refrigerator and a flat screen television. Most of the time, the sock monkey has the bedroom pretty much to himself.
When the bed is not in the kitchen anyway.
One could easily argue this state of affairs is not so much a radical experiment in domesticity, but merely a nod to convenience. When my daughter pulls a chair up to the house and stands on it, as she often does, she is eye level with the bathroom and it is the room to which she has the most immediate access. Hence, it's where all the action goes down - just like any party. But I'd like to think that there is more going on here than meets the eye. My daughter, with her freshly minted mind is still blissfully ignorant of all the conventions that divide the grown up world into polite rooms. For the moment, her world doesn't have any walls. Why should her house?