We are down to the wire here, people. It is the fifth of August (oh, sacrosanct bovine, when did THAT happen???) and we are now pointing in one direction and one direction only: towards the new house.
J’s new TV has been purchased; we found a modestly priced 39″ TV that will make him feel very happy in his new entertainment room, and it’s one of the first things we’re going to address when we start carrying things across the way. The carpeting is down in both floors that are supposed to have it and it feels lovely under our bare feet when we go in there to see how things are going. What remains to be done there is the same thing that remains to be done here: the little details that need to be hammered down so that all is clear and ready.
As you can imagine, people here are starting to feel more comfortable with their bare walls, empty closets and drinking water from vessels usually intended for coffee. TGG said yesterday that as long as he doesn’t have to drink water from a measuring cup or a cooking pot, he’s fine. J is walking around with a roll of duct tape in his hand, and he negotiates instances of packing with me…I have a mahogany chest full of blankets that I’m saving for a rainy day, and tomorrow it’s supposed to rain all day.
The bean bag, we are pretty sure, has reached critical mass and we no longer worry about it having a sudden growth spurt. J enjoys plopping down on it to have stories read to him, but as long as the couch is available to him, that is where he will be spending most of his time. I don’t mind, as long as the bean bag is “the” seating arrangement for the entertainment room in the other house.
Even as we countdown to moving, we are also counting down to J going back to school. Ten days and he will be back in his usual routine, getting up at five in the morning to be out there waiting for the bus t arrive by 6:15. We’ve noticed that the days are suddenly a lot cooler than they were same time last summer, and some trees (and this might be an isolated thing) have started to change their leaves. I have a feeling, and I don’t like the feeling, that we will have an early frost and that winter is going to feel very long this time around. J, too, has been cranking out the Christmas tunes, and hasn’t really given a second thought to going to the pool. This morning we went for our walk in 58 degrees of temperature, a lot cooler than it should be, but I’ve heard that we should be warming up again by the end of the week.
Our garage has turned into the place where things go to anxiously wait for the move. I try to figure out a better way to organize things every time I go in there, and every time I turn away, reminding myself not to over-think this whole thing. The downstairs pantry has been organized, and those things that are not going to be of immediate need until we move are being packed away in plastic bins that we can still easily open and draw from if the need arises. J has enjoyed this part of the prep quite a bit; he likes taking stock of the pantry, and this has revealed to him that he still has a healthy stock of popcorn and other snacks that he often ignores. The sight of the bare shelves seems to support the notion that we’re migrating soon, so J was very helpful in packing things away, even if he WAS distracted briefly by a sense of discovery over things he walks by every single day but usually barely notices.
This weekend was a little rough for everyone. I think J is feeling rather proprietary about me lately; when Dada and TGG are home the attention shifts to organizing and packing in different areas, and J doesn’t like not being in the thick of it all the time. While during the week we experience very little rebellion when it comes to following instructions, no sooner does the weekend arrive and the task of supervising J’s many different tasks and events falls to more than one person. J sees this as a “divide and conquer” opportunity…I see it as a “we all have to get on the same page” opportunity.
Dada and TGG are “fun” people. It’s not that J doesn’t have fun with me, but there is a balance we strike that doesn’t seem to be replicated very well with the other occupants of the household. While I can read a story and do silly voices, making J giggle hysterically for a while, and then say “ok, it’s time to do chores,” and it flies…well, the same thing doesn’t quite happen with Dada and TGG. It’s not that he doesn’t pose some resistance when I ask him to do things (it would be disingenuous to try to make it seem like this doesn’t happen) but he knows I mean business and can still play any number of games to make it fun….like Mary Poppins, but with Morticia Addams’ sense of humor.
Dada and TGG are the people who seem ever-so-slightly at a loss when it’s time to lay down the law, so they appear -to J’s mind- as easy to manipulate, easily intimidated by a tantrum of any degree. That is when I swoop in; the sound of that kind of commotion, slowly escalating just within earshot, makes me move closer and I wait until I am about to hear acquiescence that will prove counterproductive in the long run. Every few weeks we have to all sit down and refresh our memories as to what is supposed to be going on when J is involved.
In a few days I will pass the torch to the teacher, and I will take (gratefully) the back seat for the rest of the year. I think we are both looking forward to THAT, but we’ll keep the part where we play, read stories and have fun together with a healthy dose of “I’m the mom and you’re the kid” thrown in for good measure…
But I am looking forward to that particular shift. And to finally settling down…over there…finally…