We recently moved a few states over (no more California sun for us). As the move was drawing near, I started to really worry about my daughter. A few months ago we moved a desk from one room to the other and it really bothered her. I thought, 'If moving a desk troubles her, how is she going to feel about moving everything in the entire house?' My first reaction was to do as much as I could during her naps and after she went to bed. I would frantically pack box after box while she was sleeping. Soon I realized I was never going to get everything done in that limited time. I started talking to her about what was happening. I wasn't sure how much she would understand, but I would tell her "We're putting it in the box so that we can take it to our new house. Our new house has stairs (she really likes stairs), and a pool." She liked putting things in boxes, as long as her toys weren't involved in the boxing process. When my husband pulled up at the house in the moving truck, she was pretty leery at first. I asked her if she wanted to touch the truck and she said, "No!!". I remembered I needed to talk to her about what was happening. I told her, "We're going to put everything in the truck so that we can take it to our new house. Remember, new house has stairs and a pool!" I took her to the cab of the truck. She loved playing in the drivers seat. After playing for a while and talking about the truck, she was very excited about it. I took her to the bed of the truck and showed her where all the stuff was going to go. After a few boxes got put in she got the concept. She started grabbing all of her own stuff and putting it in the truck. I think it really helped her to feel more secure seeing her belongings in the truck. The whole thing went down without any tears. I was really amazed what a difference talking can make. She understood so much of what was going on.
On the other end, she really liked unpacking boxes. Each day it was a little like Christmas, finding more fun things to play with. She is quickly making new friends. We've been looking at pictures and writing letters to old friends. We've made a good effort to find fun things in our new city. What I've discovered is that moving with two kids under two really wasn't as bad as I expected!!
As I was sitting at storytime at the library with my kids this week, trying to guess what was going to happen next in the book, I thought to myself, "I sure hope my kids have as much fun with me as I have with them." I used to think that you only get one childhood, but recently I realized that as a parent you get to do all the fun stuff all over again. I love playing with my kids. I love watching them learn about and discover the world around them. I love watching them take risks and I love being there for them when they make mistakes. I really feel like motherhood is the best job there is. I am so grateful that I get to play endless rounds of 'Duck, Duck, Goose', read the same book over and over and over (without even looking at the words any more), fingerpaint in the bathtub, play dress-up (as seen above!), and kiss my sweet children every night before bed. Here's to being a mom!
A House is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman is a favorite at our house. It talks about all sorts of different houses, like a shoe being a house for a foot, a mitten being a house for a hand, and a castle being a house for a king. My daughter has been making houses out of everything from Duplos to blankets. She recently discovered that laundry baskets make some of the best houses. In this basket from Ikea, she stored pillows, a few toys, and a pair of my flip-flops and still had plenty of room to go in and out over and over (and shut and open the 'door' over and over again).