I Hate to Move It Move It

We moved. We finally moved.

Those of you who’ve been here before know that part of this past summer’s odyssey included both selling our old place and buying a new place. Well, this past weekend, we moved into our new place! Finally! Yay. That’s the short version, absent any of the dull, painful, excruciating details involved in any move. Everyone hates moving, hates it with a passion, as do I, and the only thing as bad as moving is reading about someone’s move.

Which is why I decided to blog about it. I’m sorry, but I’m really feeling the need to spread my pain around, OK. I’m taking you all down with me. Feel free to stop reading right now, but it would really be great for me if you didn’t. And it’s all about me. Me, me me. Don’t worry, I’m not starting from the VERY beginning.

Okay, so I want to preface this by saying I kinda have a lot going on. Not complaining, but I’ve already got plenty of stuff to do before adding a little thing like MOVING house and home to the list. So – this is my excuse for probably the worst weekend from hell ever being largely my own fault.

So OK, I was really busy. I knew I was moving for sure when we sold our condo about 6 weeks ago so I had plenty of time to plan and pack and everything. I made the calls for switching all my services and felt pretty ahead of the game. Got the painter booked, who although we took possession on a Friday and moved in the next day, said he’d work through the night and be all ready by the time we moved in on Saturday. Serious, time-sensitive work commitments precluded taking any extra time off to pack and stuff, save for the Thursday and the Friday before moving on the Saturday. Thinking the way I always do, I can do anything because I just always do, I figured that could be enough. I mean, it’s just a little 2-bedroom apartment I have to pack, right? 2 days oughta do it. 2 days, the kids at school, I’ll have all day to work, work, work and get ‘er done. Easy. Peasy. And seriously, I couldn’t do something silly like packing too early. We need all our stuff.

2 quick and easy days. Ha ha ha ha ha. OH MY GOD.

Thursday came and went. I basically packed our bookshelves and DVDs. Did a lot of laundry. Oh yeah, and did I tell you we got a new puppy?  A new yellow lab, cute and sweet as can be. Her name is Lucky, although it was Yoyo for about 9 hours. We got her a week before we moved. Because I am freaking brilliant. Also on Thursday: taking Lucky out every 30 minutes, in between laundry and packing books and DVDs, and driving around taking the kids back and forth to school and making supper and doing homework and everything.

Then it was Friday. Friday began with taking Lucky out to try to get her to do her business, and she is such a lady, she refuses to do it while anyone is watching. She prefers to hide behind some piece of furniture at home. You know, for privacy. The result is about 45 minutes, all before I even take my shower, taking her outside and going, “Please, Lucky, please! I am NOT going inside to clean your mess! Just please poop! Goddammit Lucky! Poop!” Then I took my daughter to school and my son to the orthopaedic specialist. Because my boy broke his arm last week.

He broke his arm on the 22nd, first day of Fall (get it) – at school during Nutrition Break (it’s not called Recess anymore, did you know? I was like, Nutrition Break? Does this mean I have to send something nutritious?). The school called, I was at work, went flying out to get him, and he was all Mr. Tough Guy, doubting he even really had to go to the hospital. Well, he definitely had a broken arm, and the worst news was they had to reset it before they could put the cast on. They give you this stuff, where you’re sleeping but still conscious. Jesus H. One nurse, I think she was twelve, came to try to put an IV in his arm for the semi-knockout stuff. Yeah, she was terrific. Jabbed him once, failed. Then jabbed him again, and went, “Whoops, popped a vein.” You have to understand that my boy is really no good with pain or blood or anything. He was distressed and in pain. She said she had to jab a 3rd time, and I said, “Excuse me, were those just practice? Can we get someone who will do this in ONE GO?” She said something, took off, and then the real nurse came in. She was terrific. Explained to my son what she was about to do, then did it, thank god. Then the doc came in – asked if I wanted to leave (I did not) because this could be tough (I didn’t care) and asked me to sit down (I did not) – along with 2 ambulance-attendants-in-training, who wanted to watch, and they gave him the semi-knockout stuff, then proceeded to get to work.

It took the doctor, the 2 ambulance people, the nurse, the anaesthetist and me to hold my boy down. As soon as he was “out” and they started fiddling with his arm, he was wincing, squirming, moaning, and literally trying to get away. It was horrible. I was pinning his legs down, the doc asked if I was ok, and I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t in very bad pain, the doctor said, “He is – but he won’t remember it.”

He wasn’t kidding. Max woke up and went, “Wheeee! You’re done! Where’s the old guy with the white hair? And where did the army people go? Mom, can I have a sister? I do? What’s her name?” I started to worry and I asked him what my name was. “YOUR name is MOM.” Then he said, “That was so EASY. I feel AMAZING. And WONDERFUL.” The nurse said, “Now you know why Michael Jackson liked it.”

Anyway, the following Friday morning was spent at the hospital waiting for my boy’s next x-ray and new fiberglass cast. So no packing that morning. It was getting close to panic time but still, I didn’t panic. Because I am sooo mellow. After getting lunch with my son, a little more organizing, then picking up my daughter from school, my mom came over. “AVE MARIA!! You’re moving tomorrow, you have to PACK!” So then we really got cracking, in earnest. No stopping for any reason, except to order pizza for the kids who need 3 squares a day, and taking Lucky out to PLEASE do her business.

And still, it looked like not a dent was made. This packing up of stuff was getting ridiculous. My poor, tired old mother left at about 9pm, and I kept going until 2am. Got up at 5am. Got back to it. My daughter pitched in, intent on getting all involved in the girl work, building boxes and labeling them, with room names in both printing and cursive, along with rainbows, hearts and peace signs. When that was not enough, she’d do a math problem on the box. Getting the outside of the boxes just right was a very big deal.

The movers came at 9am. I had about 40 boxes there, but still was not even close. I told them, these 2 sweet hipsters, that I was more organized than I looked, and the one guy said, “You’re REALLY not ready. We’re used to things being more ready to go than this.” I said, “This is all I could do – I’ll keep packing while you guys load the truck – I have a full time job! I am a single mom!” The other hipster guy said, “Darlin’, you have all my respect. Be proud of the job you’re doing. I was raised by a single mom. You don’t worry about a thing. We’ll get this done for you.” I could have cried.

All told, the move took about 4 hours longer than expected. I know, I counted. These guys were getting paid by the hour. Somehow, it all got moved. In the end, we were throwing stuff in boxes willy-nilly, no boxes labeled, we just wanted to get the hell out of the old place. When we arrived at the new place, I busily tried to get stuff organized into the rooms they had to go in, unpacking where I could, concentrating on the kids’ rooms and the basement, which was going to be the the hanging-out space. Got the TV and couch and cable set up. It got to be about 9pm and I thought: Stop. You haven’t hung out with your own kids for about 3 days. So I found a wine glass, poured myself a glass of wine, sat down with the kids, and we watched some TV. The puppy curled up at our feet.

We all fell asleep that way, me with one kid on either shoulder, puppy on the floor, me with one arm extended behind me holding my wine. I woke up when I dropped the glass and it shattered all over the floor. I just thought – aaaargh!!! I’ll clean it up in the morning. So I got the puppy, put her in her bed, got my kids, put them in their beds, and then went up to my room. This was the only room that was a complete disaster still, dresser drawers all over the bed, boxes stacked all over every square inch of the floor.

I grabbed my dresser drawers to try to make some sleeping space, and couldn’t see what I was doing, because I couldn’t find my bedside lamps, and tried to shove my drawers back into the dresser. They wouldn’t go in, no matter how hard I shoved, then wouldn’t come out, because they were jammed, and I shoved and pulled and nothing was working and I swore at them and kept trying to no avail, and then I burst. Into. Tears. The crybaby, sobbing, woe-is-me kind of waterworks where your whole face is soaked from the tears. Where the more you cry, the more you want to.

Well, my son heard it all. I thought the kids were asleep!! He came up to me and consoled me and said we had just had a really tough day and everything was going to be fine, and to not be worried because I was just so overwhelmed with all the stuff I’m always doing. He’s 10. I was really glad there was at least one grownup in the house.

Sunday morning came, and we still had to go back to the old place to try to clean it up. Ever notice how much dust accumulates on baseboards under couches and beds and stuff? Now I know why they’re called dustbunnies. Their sheer mass could make up ACTUAL BUNNIES. And did you also ever notice how carpet is a whole different colour under your bed and your couch than not? Totally crazy. Wanted to go try to get it decent-looking, as well as unloading the fridge – which hadn’t gotten done the day before.

That was ridic. Me, the kids, and the puppy all in one space trying to get it pristine by the time the new owners came at noon. I was frantically going from room to room with my wipes and the vacuum cleaner, exclaiming to the kids, “the puppy! Look at the puppy! She needs to go out!” while wiping down counters, walls and doors and throwing fridge and freezer contents into boxes. I got so frantic with “the puppy! The puppy!” exclamations that my son came up to me and grabbed me by the shoulders and said, “we’ll do everything we need to today. Whatever you need me to do, just ask. I’m very afraid that what happened last night will happen again.” My daughter said, “What? What happened last night?!” And my son just said, “That’s a private matter. Mom – don’t worry.” HE’S TEN.

We finally made it back to the new place, joined by my mom, and were about to sit down to our 6th unhealthy meal of the weekend (McDonald’s), when I noticed the place was fairly FREEZING. The kind of cold where you tense up and give yourself a seizure. Of course I didn’t know where our sweaters were. I went to the heat controls and pushed UP until I had 30 freaking degrees selected, and NADA. Our old place had a fireplace for just this sort of circumstance, and this place did not.

I envisioned us turning into popsicles, having my children taken away from me because all I was feeding them was crap and I didn’t even have sweaters to put on them so they could warm up in this igloo we were living in, because how can you find anything when a lot of the willy-nilly boxes weren’t even labeled, the puppy needed out out out, and the heat would NOT TURN ON, I felt another monumental cry coming, but I was mortified because I didn’t want to freak my kids out and then definitely having them taken away from me on account of their basket case for a mother, and I finally said it to my mom, bottom lip all a-tremble: “I think I may have made a horrible mistake!!!!”

She said: “Call the painter.”

Now, my mom is for sure crazy (chip –> block) but this actually made sense. See, the painter called me Saturday morning to let me know that the paint job was finished, he’d left the place at 4am and the heat cranked so it could dry fast. The heat cranked. So I called him.

“Hey, how’s it going? Did you tell me you left the heat on on Friday night?”

“Oh yeah, I cranked it right up.”

“And did it get hot in here?”

“Yeah, it was boiling.”

“PLEASE HELP ME. I CAN’T GET IT TO WORK NOW. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong or how to work this stupid fancy electronic thing but I’ve got it up to 30 and it’s still freezing cold in here and I can’t even find our warm clothes and the hot water isn’t working either, is that all part of the same deal, because I haven’t had a shower in 24 hours, is there something I’m doing wrong here, because it would seem that any intelligent person should be able to work this…”

“I’m coming over.”

Now, I just met the guy on Friday. He’s probably busy, it’s his weekend, he’s got personal stuff to do, and he must be exhausted from working all night Friday, and I could never impose on his personal time to come solve my problems.

“OK!! See you in a bit!”

So, Colin the painter sent directly from heaven came over. All Mr. Mellow in contrast to my harried, panicked, freezing and on the verge of tears self. Hey, did you know there was an on/off switch right outside the furnace room? Well, it’s off. Watch this. Now it’s on.

And the lord said, let there be heat. WHOOSH. This time, I wanted to cry from happiness.

And hey, did you notice that on the hot water heater there’s a “vacation” setting? Well, that’s what it was on. Now it’s set to “on”.

And the lord said, let there be hot water for showers so Veronica can stop stinking up the joint.

He even stuck around. Wanted to help however he could. I want to adopt him. But deep down I still have a conscience and actually insisted he leave.

After that, things didn’t seem so bad. Sure, I still had 8 zillion boxes left to unpack and things were a disaster in general, but we were in. We were home. And we could get clean. And the puppy never pooped inside!

Until this morning.

That’ll be a whole other blog post. Does 2700 words count as a blog post? I mean chapter.

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Comments

  1. Can’t pinpoint why, but your writing is so easy to read. It’s harried and concise simultaneously. Which makes it fun. Good stuff.

  2. Aww… I love reading your blogs, especially the mom stuff. Thanks for sharing that. I laughed! I cried! I hung onto every sentence! Heck, I was reading this since yesterday, took a few bathroom breaks, read some more, stopped to get something to eat and finally finished chapter 31 tonight. 😉 Glad to see it had a happy ending.

  3. Glad you got it all worked out – yes kids will always surprise you. Max sounds like an amazing young man. Congrats on the move.

  4. So glad to hear you finally got into your new home and I’m sure everything will work out just perfectly. And what an amazing son you have.:)

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