I’m not going to mince words on this one. I officially hate moving and everything associated with moving.
While I was in California, my husband put our house on the market. I came home to a stressed-out husband and a house with a crooked “for sale” sign in front. My husband and in-laws had moved toys and books to storage, touched up walls, moved the computer from the dining room to the back bedroom, and generally cleaned things up. I hate it, of course. What can I say? Nobody likes change.
I hate it because I can’t find anything. Literally. I can’t even find the book I was reading before I left, but mostly I’m nervous. The area we are looking at is further from school. So, I’m dreading the evil triad of full-time nursing school, moving, AND New York traffic.
Since our house currently looks like a showcase (and better than it’s ever looked), it’s mostly a matter of keeping things tidy and not messing it up. However, that’s no easy feat with three young kids dragging their fingers all over the walls and leaving their toys wherever they fall. Of course, this is our own fault because we’ve never made a big deal over those kinds of things.
We’ve always spent most of our time worrying about bigger things… like whether or not our couch is soaked in pee.
Today*, I am going around the house preparing because (once again) folks will be here. Yes, this breaks the #1 rule of parenting. As long as it’s not a health hazard, it doesn’t matter if the house gets a little messy. If it comes down to your sanity or a clean house, you should always choose your sanity.
Okay, back to my story. Since I spent a big chunk of the morning procrastinating, I’m now in a big hurry. I have about 90 minutes to clean up the kitchen and straighten the whole house. In the meantime, my oldest son is lying on the couch watching television. However, once he sees me go into the kitchen, he follows me in there. He tells me he has a great idea for a snack. I tell him he needs to get dressed first, and as he’s walking away, I realize he smells a little like urine. This is unusual. “Did you have an accident?” I ask him.
He tells me he didn’t, but he definitely smells. And he immediately starts jumping up and down, which is one of his anxiety “tells”. We don’t really have time for a tantrum, so I drop the subject and tell him to go to the bathroom. I attempt to give him the world’s quickest shower.
(Said tantrum would have gone approximately like this. Are you mad at me? Are you mad at me? Am I a bad boy? Are you mad at me? Are you mad at me? Escalate. Repeat. Then he either suddenly calms down or suddenly amps up, depending on mood and star alignment. Thankfully, he hits far less on Prozac, but some anxiety and confusion are still there. Because whether he’s on medication or not, he’s still autistic, and he still has trouble reading people, particularly the difference between annoyed and angry.)
As I’m talking to him, I figure out what happened. His pee was taking too long. So he decided to be done, and pulled up his pants. However, the pee kept coming because he wasn’t really done. Then, rather than tell me he had an accident, he sat back down on the couch and continued to watch television. So, now we have people coming to see the house, a dirty kitchen, and a couch that smells like pee. Ugh.
In a flash, I remember one of my old housemates who used to spray her hair with Febreze after a night at the bar. Sure enough, I find an ancient bottle of Febreze on the top shelf of the linen closet. Bonus points, actually, because our bottle is anti-bacterial.
Two birds, one bottle of Febreze… but I still hate everything about moving.
Do you remember your last move? As far as necessary evils go, it’s way up there on my list…
*Full Disclosure: I didn’t write this today, but I didn’t have time to edit it last week.