The adjusting has begun

To my surprise and delight, both children slept through their first night here in the new house without a peep or a problem. We were all awakened this morning by the contractors (which may explain why the neighbors haven’t come over to greet us, because before we moved in there probably wasn’t any pounding happening at 6:30 in the morning on this block) and Monkey came downstairs and hopped into bed with me and Otto.

“Hello!” he greeted us. “I had a good sleep!” As if he’d slept here a million times and hopped up to start the day with us the same way for the last year or seven.

“Good morning my sweet boy,” I answered. We snuggled and I kissed his head and asked him what we should do now.

“Let’s have a wild party!” he answered without hesitation. To demonstrate exactly how wild it would be, he burrowed under the covers and shook his butt in the air. That may be when Otto decided to get up and take a shower.

“Well, okay… I dunno if we’re ready for wild parties yet. There’s a lot to unpack.”

“AND!” he added, completely undeterred, “we should have LOTS OF PRESENTS!”

“Okay… a wild party with lots of presents. Got it.”

“With boxes of… Mama, tell me what. Boxes of…?”

“Hammers? I always wanted to have a wild party with boxes of hammers.”

“MAMA! No. PRESENTS! Boxes of… tree frogs, maybe.”

Chickadee joined us and asked what we were talking about. As she climbed into the bed, Monkey explained our wild partying ways with boxes of presents. Without hesitation, she insisted that we have boxes of elephants. Naturally.

The discussion continued until it disintegrated into talk of hammered tree frogs that eat elephants and, well, I’m sure it was funnier to us than is logical. But it was a lovely start to the day.

That was nice, because by bedtime Monkey was mouthing off to Otto and Chickadee was threatening to swim across the pond to head back to New England. So I think it’s safe to say that 27 hours or so is not, in fact, enough time to get firmly settled into a new house with a new routine and a new stepparent. WHO KNEW.

Monkey and Otto had to sit on the Man Couch and have A Discussion (the Man Couch is a double recliner dealie thusly dubbed by one of Otto’s friends who is trying to start a Church Of Man Couch, so seriously does he take his couch potatoism), wherein Otto reports they talked about how everyone will be adjusting to everything new and we’ll all need to work together, but Monkey reports that Otto said if he (Monkey) doesn’t mouth off to him (Otto), then Otto won’t mouth off to Monkey, either. “And then we shook on it, Mama. Right there on the Man Couch.”

Chickadee and I had to sit on her bed and talk about how a day probably isn’t enough time to decide whether she likes it here or not, and I tried to get her to give it a full month before deciding, but in the end we compromised on revisiting the issue in two weeks. I was required to pinky swear on it. In two weeks we’ll see how she’s feeling and go from there. “What if I still want to go home?” she asked. I reminded her that I really didn’t think 2 weeks was going to be long enough to feel completely settled in, and that we’d just be looking for her to feel a little MORE settled, at least, so that we’d know we had some progress.

In the meantime, Otto did some neighborhood sleuthing and found out there’s a girl Chickadee’s age and two boys Monkey’s age right across the street. He may have made it known that they should drop by at their earliest convenience. So there’s that.

I have been too busy unpacking and dealing with work and the kids to do much else, but Tammy did come over for a while and she was just as pretty and funny and lovely as I remembered from when I met her in March, so that was very nice. She didn’t even seem to mind that I could only offer her a small cleared-off space upon which to sit, water directly from the door of the fridge (fancy!), and that I screamed “WE LOVE YOU, POOL MAN!” at the poor kid who showed up to vacuum the gunk out of the pool. Tammy does not know that I have designated her My New Best Buddy and also all that stands between me and having no friends here (well, um, I guess maybe she knows now! hi Tammy!) but I may have gotten a wee bit misty tonight when explaining to Chickadee that yeah, I miss my friends, too, and we’ve all got a lot of adjusting to do before this feels like home.

We went to Waffle House for lunch today and had grits and bacon, though, and I’m pretty sure that that helped. Perhaps we need to keep doing that until we either completely clog our arteries or it feels like we belong here. I’m willing to eat as much bacon as it takes.


  1. tammy

    Hi Mir!

    Don’t worry, with that pool, you will have ALL KINDS of friends in no time at all. You will be chasing friends away with a stick and wondering why you ever wanted any stupid wet friends anyway.

    Athens takes some getting used to. I mean, jeez, you don’t even know where the good bakery is yet!

    (I know where the good bakery is.)

    (I can be bribed.)

  2. meghann

    Waffle House?! *forehead smack*

  3. MomCat

    You’re an inspiration to us all, Mir! Also, I’ve never been to such a wild party, so I’m counting on you to write it up with many descriptive words. Can’t wait! :D

  4. Barb Cooper

    Mir, I just have to tell you that the first three weeks are the worst. Think about when brought your babies home –the first three weeks SUCKED. Then first three weeks of anything –new job, new house, new marriage –whatever: it sucks.

    But it passes and you will be great. In three weeks. Seriously.

    Just use that as your mantra. Swear.


  5. Sara

    Hammered tree frogs? That’s my kinda party. I’m in.
    Also, The Church of the Man Couch is the kind of church in which my husband would be a bishop if only he could.

  6. megan

    Let us never speak of the man couch to my husband, because we have two couches already and nowhere to fit anything else (this is not because we are fancy; it is because we are lazy).

    Once you are all moved in completely and there are some people over to use the pool and then school starts it will be easier to adjust for everyone.

    Good luck!

  7. Heather

    Email me please cuz I lost your new email. Wish you were here for the parade tomorrow! We miss you too! :)

  8. Chris

    You guys will be totally settled in no time at all. Mir, you are an absolute scream and I so would be all over that pool.
    Seriously, good luck to all of you. I know wherever you are you would shine. ;)

  9. Zee

    I’m with Barb – when I moved to Boston, all by my poor little self, the first three weeks completely sucked. I got lost EVERY DAY, and sobbed regularly and missed my family/friends and the job was just ok instead of fabulous like I’d hoped and etc. etc. etc.

    Anyway, the point is, after about 3 weeks I’d gotten settled into a routine, met some interesting new people and even if there was still a lot of new stuff around, there was familiarity too. :)

    It sounds like you all are doing great in your adjustments so far!!

  10. julie

    O.M.G., Mir, you’re in ATHENS!!! (According to Tammy, any way). How wonderful! Of all the places in Georgia, Athens is top of my list. You lucky Yankee, you. An hour from Atlanta. Hour and a half from the mountains. And, four hours to the beach. Welcome home! Hugs!

  11. Angel

    With a family as funny as yours, you’ll all have lots of buddies by the end of summer :)

    “Wild Party” LOL

  12. Randi

    You’ll get it – and I wanted to say that I’m really impressed with the “man couch” talk and with Otto doing the scouting…he’s getting a good jump-start on the whole “step-parent” thing. He may be living in the same place, but he’s got a lot of adjusting to do too.

    Happy Fourth of July!

  13. Woman with Kids

    Good job Otto! Scouting out kids and man talk on the man couch. Well done!

    Hopefully they didn’t ding the copper wall, I’m still dying to see pictures!

  14. Denise

    Waffle House and a visit to the Junkman’s Daughter’s Brother – everyday til you start to feel at home. That’s my prescription.

  15. Denise

    Wait, I want to know where the good bakery is. We don’t often get to that neck of the woods but when we do, we must know the bakery… pretty please.

  16. YetAnotherKaren

    A trip to Waffle House can cure just about anything. Smothered and covered, ooh yes!

  17. Aimee

    Your commitment to maximum bacon consumption is truly admirable. Soldier on!

  18. Cele

    As if eating that much bacon would be a hardship. Pfft! It would be hog heaven (pun intended.) Maybe the 21 day long hell week is the reason I quit moving, I never did like that phase of readjustment. thank heavens kids are more bendable.

  19. Heather

    Otto does seem to be doing very well! Kudos, Sir Otto. And Mir, well, we always knew you ruled ;-)

  20. susie

    You are now living in my favorite city in the whole U.S. of A. I hope you’re all going to love it too.

    Greetings from rainy New England…

  21. Lisa

    mmmmmm bacon.

  22. Anne

    Congratulations on your move, and on your wonderful new family…the man couch sounds like a terrific idea for Monkey and Otto.
    As a veteran of many, many moves (we’re military) I would say that in three weeks you should see some good adjustment, but sometimes it takes about 6 months to really feel like you “live” somewhere. Getting the kids involved in activities helps…they start to make their own circle of friends.
    And set up your pool rules in advance…like bring your own towel, parents have to help supervise their kids, no glass by the pool, whatever….

  23. Jodi

    If you need any tips on surviving in the South, just e-mail me. I’ve been doing it with style for 40 years now. OK! OK! Forty-ONE! You happy now?

  24. ScottsdaleGirl

    Dammit, Lisa took my comment.

    ok um ewwwww grits.

    And I totally giggled my arse off at the mental image of Monkey shaking his butt in the air. HAHAHAHA!

  25. BOSSY

    Bacon is a good beginning. And some day you will progress to sausage.

  26. mcewen

    One week, two weeks…..I have no idea, and no terms of reference. There again, after a fortnight back in England in the pouring rain, mine actually ALL wanted to go home, and they called it ‘home’ rather than ‘the house,’ which must be progress of some kind.

  27. Steph

    Good luck adjusting to your new environs! The last time we moved our oldest was a year old and didn’t much notice. It must be a whole different ball game with full-fledged kids.

  28. David

    Really? A double recliner couch? And, MMMMM, bacon!

    See? I caught all the important stuff. = P

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