Like every other mother out there, my kiddo amazes me constantly. It’s not even that she’s doing anything special (she’s just a toddler after all), but she looks at the world in this magical way with eyes that are new and fresh and inquisitive of everything around her.
However, because she looks at the world this way, I was terrified to move into our new home last month. For her, new things are incredible, but can also sometimes make her nervous. We had lived in a townhouse for years and years before she was born. We loved it! Small space, easy to maintain, and the rent was pretty much free.
But then, in the middle of June, I found the house of my dreams while looking on Zillow late one night. I stumbled upon this 1954 midcentury modern piece of art. Glass windows across the whole wall in the living and dining area overlooking a beautiful garden and a pond bursting with lily pads. A modernized but still retro kitchen with a light up display shelf for all of my colorful dishes and a teal stone adorned hood so Kevin can make bone broth all day every day. A greenhouse, a loft, and a grand entryway with a bunch of 70s pop art. I fell head-over-heels in love.
We went to see it that weekend with my friend Tara (hi, Ferris Team!) and we put an offer in on Monday after talking to our buddy Kane (shout out to Kane Mortgage!). The seller accepted our offer that evening.
I love Coraline a lot. Like a whole lot. She is absolutely, hands-down, the most important thing in my life. But I have to tell you, this house is a very, very close runner-up.
You’re probably thinking, Bitsy, how does this home purchase translate to parenthood?
Well, have you ever moved with a toddler? I never had, but I had heard a million horror stories about it. I’ve heard of kids weeping for their old house night after night following the move. I’ve heard of kids being frustrated and acting out more because they don’t understand what’s going on. I’ve heard of kids that just end up getting a little bit depressed, if toddlers can even experience depression, because nothing is the same anymore.
Little ones love routine. They love having a schedule that is consistent from day to day or week to week. Our poor kid had nothing that was normal the past month and a half. Every night after work, I’m painting kitchen cabinets or patching up holes in the townhouse. Every weekend, I’m boxing up more things and trying to figure out what is and what isn’t going to the new house.
I was most nervous for the actual move. Kevin and I believe that our kid is a pretty good kid because we over-explain everything to her. So as we’re packing up every single box, we’re explaining to her about the new home and the big move. While we’re patching up holes and painting them over for the new owner of our townhouse, we’re discussing with her why we’re doing these things.
Kevin and I spend so much time telling her the same things over and over and over again, that I think when she finally reaches the “why?” stage, we are going to have prepared ourselves so well for it that it’s never going to bother us. (I’ll check back in with you on that later though to see if my crystal ball is right.)
When the time for the move actually came, Coraline was surprisingly okay. During the six days of transition from the old house to the new house, she often would ask to “go back home” that evening to the townhouse. But the night that we were actually in the new home for the first time? She was happy to stay. Fell asleep in record time.
Now, as mentioned above, I attribute it to the fact that Kevin and I over-explain everything to her. But it could also just be because all of her toys were finally over here, too.
We haven’t had a single night of tears since we’ve been here. Though, she does remind us frequently that she misses our old neighbors. But that’s an easy fix! We will just invite them over for a whisky in our new Mad Men style home.