Sunday, March 16, 2008


Yup. I'm feeling much better! I'm sleeping very well at night, thank you: the terrors of planning a move are much more my kind of thing than are the high-stakes and uncertainty of buying and selling homes. Organizing tradespeople, ordering boxes online, booking the residential energy efficiency expert, ordering retrofit rebate guides and IKEA catalogues and putting out feelers for who's-a-good-furnace-guy and who-does-your-lawn and do-you-know-a-tree-guy? This I can do.


Ulp. Is this you? Guilty as charged. Yesterday Munchkin and I did our nice-weather pilgrimage to the public library, where we mingled with the reading-is-important demographic, and when we were done there? Off to Starbucks! Where we encountered an informal mommy group, whose daughters were just a little younger than Munchkin. Much chit-chat amongst everyone, and jokes (mostly by me: I'm a real laugh riot in these sorts of encounters, a function of my nervousness ...) about how Starbucks is our local playgroup--better caffeinated than the government-sponsored drop-in centre, and, bonus! accessible by stroller into the generous bins of which we deposit our finds of cheap organic strawberries from the market.

Our local haunt, that is, is populated by dorks like me, fancy laptops, good lookin' babies, disposable income for daily lattes, expensive highlights and edgy footwear. Yes, this is who I am, or part of who I am, for this part of my life, at least.


We are getting excited to move. Munchkin is picking up on it. After Pynchon broke the news to her very briefly and informally the other day ("Remember the 'new house' we all went to look the other day? With the rocking chair? That's going to be our new house in the spring when there is no more snow.") she mentions it in passing, a propos of nothing, several times a day: "New house!" she says. And, recently, "New room a-Munchkin. Kitty coming."

Here's my strategy: when she brings it up, I mention casually a little something that will be the same. The cat is coming with us! Daddy is coming with us! What about elephant? I ask her: "YEAH! Come-a with us!" I'm trying to keep her positively excited about it, while stealthily reassuring in advance of any concern that while it is a big change, everything important is going to stay the same.

Do you have any advice about helping a toddler understand and adjust to a big move? (Bear in mind that we're moving 500 feet away, so it's still the same neighbourhood ...)


Wheeling and dealing: whenever Munchkin picks up a cordless phone or a remote control, she enthusiastically shouts, "Hi Gramma-grampa! I'm fine! Thank you!" We thought it was endearing and funny. Yesterday, she picked up my cell phone, lifeline to our real estate agent, a device that has resided, always charged and always on since we this whole business started, in the pocket of my cardigan, my pants, my jacket.

She picked it up, flipped it open, held it to her ear: "Hi Tony!"

Guess what my agent's name is?


Omaha Mama said...

We moved the week our Brenna turned two. I was worried. Read articles about how to make a smooth transition. Tried to preteach about moving. Blah, blah, blah.

She barely noticed. It was all the same people and stuff. She didn't blink an eye.

I hope it goes that well for you!

Bea said...

Ooh, good strategy. I've tried to prepare the ground with Pie (no point even trying with Bub - he won't let me talk about what's happening tomorrow much less six months from now), but it's hard when there's no actual house to see. I showed her some photos, though, and said, "Would you like to live there?" and she just looked at me and said, "But, but - this is our home!" Sigh.

Cloud said...

I absolutely love the phone story! Pumpkin likes phones and remote controls, too, but mostly just to eat.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you are so much more relaxed now!

I moved around a lot when I was smaller and to be honest I was never that traumatised by it. The thing to emphasise is having the same bed... That was important to me!

nomotherearth said...

I always thought playgroups should be in Starbucks. Can I join? I guess I'm a Bobo, although a poorer version of one...

Beck said...

When we moved when The Girl was almost two, we talked a LOT about her new bedroom and what colour she wanted to paint it. I don't remember if it helped or not - she didn't seem to particularily care, really. That might just be her, mind.

We're not affluent enough to be a BoBo, although if we WERE we would be. As it is, we're working class... well, I hesitate to say "bohemian" because so much of our lives really isn't, but we're artsy. Artsyish.

Mad said...

My guess is that she won't even care, she'll be so excited about the adventure of it all.

Denguy said...

My daughter had a terrible time with our move--she was 2-1/2. Our big mistake was keeping it a secret.
Walk you child to your house-to-be and explain it all to her. Do this as often as you can.

kittenpie said...

I think you are about on track with the move - I usually find some front-loading helps them prepare, and knowing that most things won't change helps. Getting her excited about her new room might help, too, maybe letting her help pick a paint colour or some special touch like a nightlight or curtains.

And I think I live in a neighbourhood of Bobos, though I'm not sure I count among them, being a little more on the traditional end of many things. My 'company" for example, is decidedly not cool to many!

Amy U. said...

Head to the library and find some storybooks about moving? The Berenstein Bears have one.


Claire said...

We've never moved, but as I recall, a two year old is most concerned that mommy and daddy are close by. I really think that if you are calm, she will be fine.

Just try to move when she's 13. Now, that's a bit more complicated.