It’s happened. The glowing red SOLD sign in the front yard inspires sighs of relief, twinges of anticipation, and shudders of dread at the daunting task that looms ahead: moving out of our family home. This is not the first time I’ve moved; in fact, I’ve moved in and out of dorms, townhomes, apartments, and houses. I’ve packed, unpacked, and repacked, often while enjoying a six pack.
The move out of our current family home will be my 15th and most challenging move to date. You see, move 15 is different than moves 1-14 because this time there is a toddler in the mix and nothing….nothing can prepare a person for moving with a toddler in tow. In fact, it is a task that should be avoided at all costs (unless you are a masochist) and here’s why:
Packing is futile: It is my belief that attempting to pack when a toddler is within a two mile radius is a waste of time. Inevitably, you will end up chasing said toddler around the house while the toddler clutches the items you just painstakingly packed, and your things will undoubtedly wind up crumpled, broken, and strewn across the living room floor.
The old becomes new again: What’s that? A stuffy that your toddler hasn’t given five craps about for the last six months? Well it’s now their most prized possession. So is an old teether. And a random infant sock. I double dare you to try prying these treasures out of that tiny death grip.
Only one person can pack at a time. If you’re lucky: It is essential for the adults in the house to take turns packing so that your toddler has attention and supervision at all times (but mostly to avoid boxes being unpacked). This actually works, but only for about ten minute increments. Inevitably, your toddler will remember that there is another adult in the house whose undivided attention is not on them, and your toddler will scream for whichever caregiver is attempting productivity. This will continue until all packing ceases and appropriate attention is given to your tiny human for an undisclosed amount of time. Likely until bedtime. Good luck with that.
All moving accessories are the greatest toys of all time: Packing tape, labels, boxes, lids. Nothing is off limits and everything is the most exciting new toy your toddler has ever seen. Packing tape is unravelled, labels are ripped off, and boxes and lids are ridden on, ridden in, and pushed around the house. The removal or attempted redirection away from these items will result in a stage 5 meltdown. Proceed with caution.
Changes in routine=all hell breaking loose: We all know that toddlers crave routine and seem to function best when routine is operating on high. The act of moving is the opposite of routine; the house is turned inside out and backwards while attempts at packing years of useless crap are carried out. Predictability does not exist. Organization does not exist. What does exist is a little person whose world has been turned upside down, thus creating a tiny ticking time bomb. Brace yourself: they could explode at any given time.
So if you are contemplating moving to a new home with a toddler in tow, I strongly suggest you reconsider. For the sake of your sanity and all of your as-yet-unbroken possessions.
As for us....moves 16 and 17 are right around the corner. Wish us luck...