Last weekend, Ben and I — and our two-year-old and four-month-old — moved in with my in-laws after accepting an offer on our not-on-the-market house April 2.
Gee, transitions are fun with kids! (If we were talking face-to-face, you’d catch the heavy hint of sarcasm there.)
Here’s how my Saturday went:
Elias woke up from his nap (after a hard day of playing with a good friend and her kids) to a house that was mostly empty of furniture. He refused to remove his coat, hat or shoes and proceeded to have the worst and longest tantrum I’ve ever experienced. After lots of crying and screaming and clinging and throwing himself on the floor, he decided he wanted some cereal. Thankfully, I hadn’t packed up the kitchen yet. I gave him cereal. He turned around to take his bowl into the family room and realized that his favorite chair was gone.
“Where my dog chair go?” was asked in that voice indicating there is a meltdown close behind. Think fast, Mom, think fast. In my most cheerful-there-is-no-problem-here voice: “Dad must have already moved it. You can sit on the floor and eat! Doesn’t that sound fun?” Apparently, that was sufficient. Crisis averted. Until he sits down. “Mom, can I watch Curious George?” Yeah, about that. We already unhooked the Roku. “The TV isn’t working right now, sweetheart. We’ll watch it later!” He determined this must mean the the batteries were dead. Whatever keeps you from crying, kid.
After Elias was done eating his cereal (and still wearing his coat, hat and shoes), I packed him and the baby into the car, and we headed to the in-laws for the rest of the evening. Ben continued packing and loading our stuff into the storage unit.
Several hours later, Eva needed a bath. Somehow, I ended up being the only person in the house, and this is where the Saturday Night Meltdown began.
I’m not even sure how it happened, but Elias ended up in the tub meant for Eva — still wearing all of his clothes. There I was, holding the baby and watching my son play in the baby tub, soaking wet. I had reached my limit. So I stood there and cried. Ben came in and told me that standing around and crying wasn’t going to help the situation. So I cried some more.
Fast forward an hour.
I ditched the whole baby in the bath idea. I stopped crying. Ben helped me get the kids ready for bed.
And then Elias starts crying and telling me “I want to go home!” over and over, you know, like a spear straight to my heart. And so I started crying again. And then Eva was crying. And nobody could sleep, including the in-laws, because of all the crying. Until about 12:30 a.m., except for Eva, who Ben stayed up with until 3:30 a.m.
We didn’t make it to church Sunday morning.
And then, because I guess she didn’t want to be left out, the dog ate something gross outside and puked it up on the in-law’s carpeting Sunday afternoon. Did I mention that Ben’s dad doesn’t even like pets in the house?
So, that’s our fun (again, the sarcasm) moving transition story. I am very happy to report, however, that each night has been better than the night before. The kids are mostly sleeping again, and we’ve had much less crying. And Elias is still asking occasionally to “go home,” but all in all, things are starting to smooth out.