Where Is Our Stuff?

We are settling in to our new city.  And new apartment.  Overall, things are going well.

But, I never know where the knives are.  Dan keeps moving them.  We’ve only lived in this apartment for two weeks and he has already moved the block of wood that holds the knives THREE TIMES.  Every time I wash a knife, I have no idea where to put it.  I end up wandering around our teensy kitchen muttering to myself. While holding a knife.  In short: I END UP LOOKING LIKE THE CRAZY ONE.

Our apartment is not huge.  But it is big enough and has a lot of closet space.  And shelving.  Of course, I can’t reach most of it.  So, Dan ends up storing things on the high shelves that he decides I won’t use.  Don’t need.  Or at least don’t need to know about.  We call this “Mommy proofing”.  It’s a workable system.  Except that Dan apparently doesn’t think I need to use bowls.  Or the strainer.  Or paper towels.  We should probably discuss this at some point.  But I’m too busy trying to find the step stool so I can figure out what else he has stashed up there.  (I’m hoping for candy.  More likely: jars and jars of jalapeno peppers.  GAH.)

Of course the tough thing about having more than half your belongings in storage is that you are completely unprepared when one of those unanticipated events pops up.  For example: dress-up-like-your-favorite-movie-or-TV-character day at Jacob’s camp. Fortunately, we were given a whole FORTY-EIGHT HOURS notice about that one.  From very cheerful counselors.  Who reassured us that his costume could be simple.  OR elaborate.  AWESOME.

Jacob had visions of dressing up like Curious George.

Me: It is going to be 90 degrees on dress-up day.

Jacob looked at me blankly.  (“And your point, Mommy, is . . .?”)

Me: . . . And you don’t have any brown clothing.  And your monkey costume from Halloween is buried in one of the 112 boxes we put into storage.

There was no way I was going to play “guess-what’s-inside-box-number-57” in hopes of getting it back.  FORGET. IT.

Me: What about dressing up as Prince Wednesday from Daniel Tiger?  We have a gold crown leftover from your birthday and you already have blue glasses.  We could buy some yellow material and make a cape.

Miraculously, Jacob agreed to this.  So, all I had to do was drive a half-hour through rush hour traffic after camp one day with a cranky toddler (Emma) and a five-year-old who is not keen on highway driving (Jacob) in the backseat.  And VOILA: we had arrived at the closest fabric store.  Once inside, we waited for twenty minutes while the PAINFULLY SLOW customers in front of us obsessed over fabric choices.  Meanwhile, Emma had somehow worked her way out of her grumpy mood and was gleefully running between the bolts of fabric.  Adorable.  Until she found the shelves with eight bazillion spools of thread.  That she decided belonged on the floor.  FINALLY, we got our yellow material and went home.  And I made a cape.  Let me be very clear about what I mean by this. I cut out a big triangle shape with a strip at the top to tie around Jacob’s neck.  I DID NOT PIN, SEW, BASTE, HEM OR MEASURE A DAMN THING.  Jacob was perfectly thrilled with it.  He Prince Wednesday-ed all over the living room for half-an-hour.  All was well.

Until the next morning.  When Jacob got out of bed and burst into tears.

Jacob: I. Hate. My. Costume.


It’s not like we had a lot of back-ups lying around.

But, we did have a long-sleeved, turquoise shirt that I was willing to sacrifice.

Me: Do you want to be a minion?

Jacob: YES!

Go ahead and say it: brilliant.  Turned out, Jacob was one of three minions at camp that day.  (I said brilliant.  Not original.)  But he was happy.  Done and done.


Jacob in his costume . . . okay, maybe not

And then there was the teddy bear parade.  Our new town hosts a morning of events for kids on July 4th.  Including a teddy bear parade.  Jacob and Emma were all for it.  But how to dress up their bears?  Enter Dan.  As it happens, Dan has an unusually extensive bear wardrobe stashed in his closet.  (Long story.   And don’t even get me started on WHY HE NEVER PACKED THIS UP AND PUT IT IN STORAGE.  GAH.)  Let’s just say that in the years before we had children, he liked to prank me by dressing up the two teddy bears in our home.  Sometimes in tuxes.  Sometimes like kung fu masters. (Build-a-Bear saw far too much of our discretionary cash.)  So, the morning of the parade, out came the bear clothes.  The kids were thrilled.  And immediately started yanking little bathrobes onto their bears . . .

Dan:  Hey!  Take it easy with those.  Be. Careful.

REALLY?!?  This is the same man who regularly serves our children beets and avocado slices when they are dressed in their best outfits.  The same man whose answer to doing laundry is I’ll-just-buy-ten-of-them-at-B.J.s-and-wash-them-once-a-month”.

Me: You’re concerned about this clothing?!?  For THE BEARS??

Dan (almost whispering): It’s the only part of the marriage that’s just mine.


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