Friday, 22 February 2013

Our moving adventure

So it’s fair to say that I've moved houses a few times, but it’s also fair to say that I've always done the moving thing whilst Ellie has been elsewhere – at nursery, with her dad and so on. This move was going to be different though.
This move was a big event…a big family event. The plan was to do this move together, with all of us involved. This was a declaration that this was a new stage in our lives, this was our new family home and for our still relatively newly joined family this was an important moment. This was an exciting thing to be doing.
Unfortunately and possibly predictably, Ellie didn't seem to get the gravitas or excitement of the whole thing at all to start with. One night as I repeated my now well-rehearsed line of ‘so remember what’s happening on Saturday Ellie?’ I received a reply of ‘yes mummy you told me a hundred times, we’re moving house’. Conversation closed. There was no excited tone and no opening for further discussion. Well that firmly burst my bubble but…I wasn't giving up.
My next push was the night before moving day. As I tucked Ellie into bed I told her that we would really need her help tomorrow and her first job would be to pack her own room up into some boxes which I’d give her. Quite suddenly without any warning Ellie’s face lit up and there it was, for the first time, a real show of excitement. Oh yes – that’s my girl…not excited about the new house with the space we need, not excited about her new room, but excited about packing her own things into boxes. I do wonder why I didn't think to say that sooner, after all Ellie is a regular tidy up, sort things, take control kind of a girl.
Anyway, after the initial warm fuzzy feeling of that moment, the next morning didn't start at all well and I found myself tweeting in frustration that Ellie had quite frankly woken up a grump. I quickly received a reassuring reply from @entertainizzy (huge thanks!) that this was: 'Always the way. It’s like they know when something important is happening!' Clearly normal but annoying. I took a deep breath and vowed to carry on regardless – handing Ellie the promised boxes for her room. When just a very short while later Ellie seemed to get into the swing of things and started doing the packing with considerable enthusiasm, I breathed a sigh of relief.
In fact what I found was that Ellie was happy when she had jobs to do so I duly found her jobs to do throughout the day. (I should particularly note that Ellie very much enjoyed sorting her room in the new house when we arrived too. By sorting I mean spreading her toys and belongings around her room, but it helped her to feel at home and entertained her for quite some time, so who was I to argue?)
At the end of the day both children had been generally helpful, patient and incredibly well behaved. They had packed, carried and sorted boxes and my earlier sigh of relief was repeated tenfold. With a great deal of help from our wider family we had done it – we had moved into our new family home and we had by and large smiled whilst doing it.
Now it wouldn't be a fair picture to paint to suggest that it was all easy and carefree because it wasn't – both children did get bored from time to time, we all got hungry at points and the next day when us adults were exhausted, so inevitably were the children. Despite the obvious logic to that final statement I hadn't seen it coming...the day was much less an adventure into wonderland and much more a hard slog of a trek through the jungle. Nonetheless we got through it – as a family.
We've now been in the house just under a week; we have the essentials sorted and only a few boxes left to unpack. It’s been a VERY busy half term week and not perhaps the fun yet relaxing week we might want for half term, but here we are…in our new family home and quite frankly it feels fantastic. I will however leave it to the kids to have the last word (just this once) and share with you their thoughts on the new house:
Ellie: ‘It’s the best house, not just in Great Britain Mummy, everywhere’
Ellie’s step brother’s (forthwith known as N8): ‘it’s cool’.


  1. Good to know that Ellie and her brother loves your new place. I just wish the same could be said with my kids. We are planning to move this Saturday, and my sons are really not into it. They are somehow afraid of how they would interact with a new environment. Hopefully, I could talk their fears down the drain. Thanks for sharing your experience! :)

    Kristopher Washington

  2. Hi Kristopher - Good luck with your move (today I think?). Kids are incredibly quick to adapt - we went for a little moving in present in each of their new rooms and as Ellie is a bit of a control freak (like me!) I let her choose where things went and sort her own stuff out. She spent several days moving stuff around and then declared it done.
    I'm sure your family will settle in really quickly. :-)