We’re moving out of our house in about two weeks. So of course we’re all busy preparing.
I’m making sure everything is packed. Okay, FINE. I’m finding ways to get rid of stuff so I don’t have to pack it. (I know, I know: BRILLIANT.) An aside– did you know that you can put almost anything on the street corner with a post-it note that says “Help yourself” and it will be gone in under an hour? Seriously. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THE THING IS. This is the land of “If it’s free, it’s for me.” Tomorrow I’m going to try putting some empty paper bags out there just for kicks. All I can say is THANK YOU, AMERICA, for helping me “pack”.
Anyway, my husband Dan is preparing for the move by . . . . oh, right, feeling satisfied that about 80% of the “packing” is done. Oh, to be Dan.
Jacob (our almost-five-year-old) has more pressing concerns. His birthday party is just days away. JUST. DAYS. PEOPLE. And he has come to the conclusion that I cannot be trusted to pull this event off on my own. So he is obsessed with planning. Every. Detail.
Jacob: Mommy, at my birthday, I want to have a balloon for each kid.
Jacob: And a crown at each kid’s seat.
Jacob: And a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. And farm animals. But not the farm. Just the animals.
Me: Got it.
Jacob: And a rainbow.
I put less effort into planning my wedding.
And then, of course, there are the requests for presents.
Jacob: Mommy, could you give me what we got Chloe for her birthday?
Just one question: WTF DID WE GET CHLOE??
I have bought exactly 1,054 birthday presents for four-year-olds-turning-five this year. At some point I started buying anything that wasn’t labeled “BPA-infused-jagged-edged-profanity-laced-nudity-covered-explosives”. Chloe’s birthday party was late winter. It’s possible that I gave her an oven mitt. Or rocks. I have no idea. Is there any chance that I gave her something FUN and PRACTICAL like large heavy duty boxes from U-Haul and bubble wrap? Because, not for nothing, that is a gift that keeps on giving. Maybe Jacob would like THAT.
And Emma? I supposed that she is preparing in her own way. By demonstrating her flexibility. Which she will need. Because she will soon be living in a new place. And going to a new day care. But that’s okay. Because a gal who is about to turn two is nothing if not flexible. For example, a few days ago, we had this conversation.
Me: Emma, what would you like for your snack?
I grabbed some applesauce and a green bowl.
Emma: PURPLE BOWL.
Me: Emma, the purple bowl is dirty.
Emma (screeching): PURPLE. BOWL.
Me: I’m sorry, honey, it’s dirty. Let’s use the green one.
Emma threw herself on the ground, wailing. And burrowed her face in her hands.
Emma (through sniffles): PUR. PLE. BOWL.
Flexible. Nothin’ but flexible.
But back to our move. We’re not just moving, we are downsizing. Seriously downsizing. We haven’t bought a new house yet so we are moving into an apartment. A two-bedroom apartment. This means that one of two things will happen. Either we will realize that we don’t need as much space as we are used to. And buy a smaller house in our new city. Or we will be so desperate to escape living with two small children in a two-bedroom apartment that we will buy ANY house we can get our hands on. ANY. HOUSE. Like that one that we saw with the bathtub that filled up the entire bathroom. You could only get in the tub by hopping in from one of the THREE doorways. No doors, mind you. Just doorways. Yeah. (People, do yourselves a favor and make sure your architects are clean and sober.)
We may be the people living in THAT house.
But the truth is, before we buy ANY house, Dan and I first have to agree on it. This seems to be the sticking point. Dan seems determined to weigh in on this purchase. And, frankly, some of his opinions don’t make any sense.
For example, Dan wants a big yard. He will not even consider a house on a small plot. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to have a big yard. I grew up in the country. I ran around barefoot in the summertime with the neighborhood kids and climbed trees and caught fireflies and all of that. I love grass and trees and nature. But we are moving to a city. A CITY. Most houses are sitting on postage stamp. And a big yard– if you can find it– will cost you. But the real question is: why does Dan even want a big yard? He HATES outside. That’s right. Fresh air is his natural enemy. Apparently this has something to do with his lifelong allergic reaction to ANY LIVING THING THAT LACKS THE CAPACITY TO PROGRAM A COMPUTER (e.g., flowers, plants, trees, cats). I think reptiles are an exception. (They may have some undiscovered programming skills.)
Dan: It’s poison out there.
Me: Some people enjoy flowers and trees and–
There is no changing his mind about it. So why does he want so much of it surrounding our next home? Totally. Irrational. We may be in that apartment a long time.
Okay, better wrap this up. I need to go smuggle a few more things out of our house that I’ve never liked . . . I mean help Dan “pack”. (You’re welcome, America.)