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.