top five tips for moving with my kids like i am doing right now

Are you looking for a quick, efficient, practical guide to packing and moving yourself and/or your family?

Sorry.

This is a quick, efficient, practical guide to packing and moving ME and MY family.

Just in case any of you ever have my exact two children at this exact moment in time and you have to move to a new house, here are my top five tips for making it work:

1. Come up with a cool nickname for your old house and another cool nickname for your new house, Swiss Family Robinson-style. 

I like to think that the landscape of Chicken's brain is the half-breed bastard child of Dr. Seuss and Salvador Dali, all wonky clocks and upside-down bathtubs. As such, I try to speak his language and come up with colorful, interesting titles and names whenever possible. Those aren't his "brown shoes."  Those are his "muddy boots." That isn't a tissue. It's a "soggy nose diaper." He actually came up with that one on his own.

This is more than just a fun exercise; I think that by giving the old house and a new house a name, we're turning houses into friends. He knows how to say hi and good-bye to friends.

I have decided to dub the old house "Crap Shack," and the new house, "Shiny New Tree House."

2. Gifts, y'all. GIFTS.



Yesterday Chicken and I went to a toy store where we picked a couple of Shiny New Tree House toys. We wrapped them and decorated them, and put them in the trunk of the car. This way, he has even more to look forward to at the Shiny New Tree House.

3. Be honest.

Me: Chicken, we're moving to our Shiny New Tree House this week!

Chicken: Why?

Me: Because we found a huge growth of mold behind a built-in shelf in our closet.
(sigh)

But if I'm really being honest with myself there are bigger problems with Crap Shack. The kitchen floor is always freezing, and the closets are tiny. The front and back yards are wildly overgrown and we don't have the right to clean it up according to our lease, and the whole place is just old and crooked and falling apart.

At first that was part of its charm - we lived in New Orleans and Brooklyn before you were born, Chicken, and I always said that this house reminded me of a romantic old rowhouse, peeling paint and all. And we've been very happy here - I mean, this is the home where you learned how to walk, where you ate your first foods and where we conceived, grew, and brought your kid brother home from the hospital. And now he's learning to walk and eat his first foods here. And the way the sunlight pours through those single-pane watery windows really does make me so happy. But it's time for our family to move on.

Chicken: Why?

Me: Want to watch a Dora?

4.  You are not the exception. Your kids are going to stop sleeping for awhile during the transition. You're not special. Just know that.

The other day I took Chicken's paintings off his wall and he said, "Mommy, I don't want you to do that." I told him I had to. He said "that's ok," but apparently what he meant was, "that's ok because I will make you pay for this abomination, ye foul wench." He woke up the next morning at 5 am claiming there were "shadows" in his room. FALSE. There were no shadows because the sun wasn't fucking up yet. Still, there we all sat at the toddler table in the yellow lamplight, looking out the dark windows, waiting for the toaster to pop.

It was super fun to have a 17-hour day on a 5-hour night. I definitely got a lot done and felt really energized and clear-headed. Also, we should all be in no way alarmed that I had a driver's license that day. Yep, 17 hours of nothing but sound judgment. Pay no attention to the empty plastic cake slice clamshell in the trash. Eyes front, mister.

5. Don't try to cook, ok?

Our last 4 dinners have been:

box of macaroni and cheese + bag'o'salad
soup + grilled cheese
spaghetti + bag'o'salad
soup + grilled cheese
pizza delivery + bag'o'salad

In my defense, the bags'o'salad were pretty nice ones - I got the ones with cabbage and almonds and cranberries and shit. And one of them was actually a clamshell'o'salad from the fancy organic store, so that one was really good.

It's okay. Nutrition is everywhere. Especially on takeout menus.

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