Monday, September 19, 2005

Moving day

The mathematics of our house don't quite add up: three bedrooms, three kids. Add a couple of parents in there and something's gotta eventually give. Yesterday, it did.

Our two youngest have been sharing a bedroom since Little Man first joined the world just over five years ago. When Dahlia was three, the logistics were fairly simple. Now that she's in the third grade and has a social life whose complexity matches the schematic of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, the appeal of cohabitating with a younger brother wears off pretty quickly.

So we gave eldest son, Zach, what he's always wanted: his own room in the palatial basement suite. Noah moved into Zach's now-old room, and Dahlia got to call her room her own.

Of course, rooms don't move themselves. Mom and Dad do. Which is where the trouble begins. See, we're not all that handy. A teacher and a journalist can certainly educate and inspire. But hauling furniture down two flights of stairs really isn't our forte.

Which explains why we eventually found ourselves hot, sweaty (come on, stop it!) and cursing at the bottom of the basement stairs, standing on opposite sides of a bed platform that had become solidly wedged in the stairwell and simply refused to make the final turn into the room.

It is true we've hated the bed since we bought it oh so many years ago. We swore then as we swear now that we'd never again buy furniture from a mass market furniture store where the commissioned salespeople in really bad sportcoats practically beat each other up as they assault you upon your entry to the establishment.

Which made the final decision an easy one: we had to take the darn thing apart. With a hammer. And not a whole lot of - okay, NO - expertise.

It worked. More or less. We freed the bed. Sort of put the pieces back together in Zach's new room (don't worry, I saved the suddenly-leftover strips of "wood".) Moved Noah into his new room - his bed, purchased just last year, is made of actual wood, and comes apart rather easily, with actual lag bolts and not staples. Moved Dahlia's furniture around her room because we didn't want her to feel left out.

We spent extra time at bedtime with each munchkin, helping them all settle into their suddenly-new-to-them surroundings. Little Man seemed so much smaller as he climbed up the step stool into his bed. My wife and I took turns lying with him while he babbled on and on about how much he couldn't wait to play on his new floor. He finally fell asleep with his arm draped around my shoulder, his little face parked next to the mural of a road that Debbie had painted so many years before when we first moved into a new house in a strange city.

Zach at first wasn't sure about the strangeness of being in the basement, but he relaxed when he realized his room was bigger than those of his siblings. Dahlia simply enjoyed the relative silence and the gift of being able to listen to whatever bedtime music she wished. When morning comes, she informed us, she plans on doing some gymnastics on her suddenly-larger floor.

As for the parents who made it all happen, we feel as if we've gone a few rounds. My wife sleeps soundly beside me while I magically avoid sleep with my laptop. My toe, swollen and bleeding after I dropped the bed on it, reminds me why I drive a pen for a living. And a quiet and dark house - complete with a few more scrapes in its walls - marks another milestone in the lives of the constantly changing people who live here.

22 comments:

Nancy said...

LOL! We move rooms in my house all the time. I should have been a furniture mover.

Hope that toe is feeling better!

Laura GF said...

I loved this post and the eloquent way that you describe how the way a family lives in a house changes over time. You are such a great writer!

Indigo said...

This is reminding me of my rearranging the bedroom post I did a few weeks ago, and I think you commented on it too.

I hope your toe is feeling better.

Guppyman said...

I love hearing about non-handy people trying to get things done... You are comical!

Hope the toe feels better!

used*to*be*me* said...

Great story. Sometimes I forget how the home changes and grows along with the people in it. 8 and 5 got seperate rooms when we moved in January. What a happy day that was. Right up until bedtime. Then it was about the lonliness and hollering to each other. Smart little whips they are though, they came up with the perfect solution: sleep overs in each other's rooms on the weekends. 8 months into it, everyone is happy.

PS - thanks for stopping by my site.

Morah Mommy said...

I laughed so hard at your take on our experience. Great minds think alike because I wrote a similar (although not as eloquent as yours)post on my site. It was certainly an experience that I soon won't forget, nor would want to repeat!

I'm happy that all our munchkins will be safely tucked into their beds in their own special place.

Angela said...

Oh, there was much giggling during this one! Brings back horrible memories of moving out on my own the first time though and this little person trying to move very large pieces of furniture weighing nearly as much if not more than her. Ugh, I was crying at the time, but kind of funny in retrospect. Also--LOVE the name Dahlia, really beautiful.

CanEragon said...

A rite of passage has passed for your family. I remember that rite. The sharing of a bedroom became, "now each of you have a room to yourself."

I think it is a defining moment when each young person begins to chart their lives in their own rooms. They grow up so quickly, so take lots of pictures.

jeremy

Kevin said...

It almost would have been easier to just buy a new house. Almost.

Mary said...

Hi, Carmi. I love it when I get to a blog I haven't read before and come across one line that seems to give so much information about the blogger. Today it was: "Moved Dahlia's furniture around her room because we didn't want her to feel left out."
LOL, as a Mom I can very much appreciate that. Glad your moving day was a success in the eyes of the little ones, and I hope you and your wife recover nicely. :)

Thumper said...

These are the things for which a 22 year old son comes in handy...he and his friends will move anything for pizza and beer. In fact, when we move ed of next month, that's how we'll manage. no more heavy grunting and sweting for the old folks--we have an adult son!

kenju said...

Ahhhh, yes, musical bedrooms. All of us who have more than one kid play that at some time in our lives. Better now than later, when our joints can't keep up!

Heather said...

We had to move furniture yesterday, too. We aren't great at it either. My elbow is still sore from running it into the dresser!

A Woman Changed said...

It's funny, so many of my friends and colleagues insist on their kids having their own rooms, right from the start. Because I was so much younger than my two sisters, I always had my own room, and frankly, I think they had more fun than I did by sharing a room their entire lives. I've always said that when we adopt two kidlets, I'd like them to share a room...at least for awhile. I think it's really, really good for them. And how exciting to transition from sharing to their Very Own Room. Great entry, Carmi.

Anonymous said...

Carmi,

You put a smile on my face today with your story about the household shift - just what I needed.

Gracias Amigo!!

charlene

Stationery Queen said...

I love milestone moments. :-)

Tabor said...

I can just that little sweetie falling asleep at long last in his very own room!

Diva said...

Another charming portrait of everyday life that you have brought to us through your words, Carmi. You have a wonderful way of capturing the details that most people don't take the time to appreciate. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Plain Jane said...

Lovely imagery. *smile*

So many comment on your entries, I wonder... do you have time to read them all?

Tammy said...

Excellent post, as always. How's that toe?

Carmi said...

Plain Jane: I sure do! I cherish every single one. I'm blessed that folks I've never even met from all sorts of places would take the time to read my writing.

Thanks, everyone, for your kind-hearted sentiment and good wishes. You've once again given me the motivation to write even more.

My toe looks icky, and it hurts. But I dropped my bike on my elbow and other foot yesterday. So the pain's been nicely equalized across my other limbs.

Trillian said...

Thanks for sharing this, Carmi. I am about as adept at moving furniture as you and the wife appear to be! I've dropped so many pieces of furniture on Arthur's toes that he refuses to move things with me, which works fine for me.

Every time I want to move something, his reply is "For the sake of the marriage, no." He calls over his father to help now.