Let me just start by saying this was not my first rodeo. Since my husband and I married in 2012, we have moved seven times (no, we are not military). Moving back to Birmingham this month was our third move with our 20-month-old daughter, Brinley. My family always jokes that I should be a pro by now, and I would have to agree. I can go into any U-Haul store and pick out enough boxes and moving supplies to pack our house right down to the T. I thought this move would be just as easy and as smooth as ever, but boy was I wrong.
My husband started work in Birmingham about two weeks prior to our move date and I stayed in Nashville with our daughter, dog, and two cats (shout out to all the single moms who do that day in and day out!). I knew what it entailed and I knew between Mother’s Day Out, her naps, and Brett coming home to help on the weekends, the packing itself would not be a problem. What worried me was the day of the move, trying to entertain our wild, spirited toddler while all of her toys were packed up in boxes, and timing the drive around her nap time so that I wouldn’t have to stop and worry about leaving the animals in the car alone.
The day before the movers arrived, I took down the crib. “Have a slumber party your last night in the house,” they said. “It will be fun,” they said. Brinley has never slept in our bed other than when we have been in a hotel or out of town, and she wouldn’t sleep through the night in her Pack ‘n Play. We lay down at 7:15 p.m. in hopes of falling asleep by 8:00. HA! She was jumping on me, crawling on me, laughing excessively (you get the idea), until 10:30 p.m.. Not to mention, she slept like a tornado all through the night, so I slept maybe four hours, total.
The movers arrived the next morning and she was pretty intrigued by everything going on, luckily. I tried to clean things up behind them as they were loading the truck. I used what cleaning supplies were left to sweep the kitchen and clean the counters as best as possible, and then we went outside to check on the dog. Brinley had the entire back yard that she had played in without a problem the whole time we had lived in that house. She decided on that day to run over to a large mud puddle and sit down inside of it, which resulted in alligator tears. I had to literally pick the child up and rush her into the house. I sat her in the (clean) kitchen sink and washed her off the best that I could with what I had left. The kitchen got filthy and she was soaking wet. Do you think I had any more cleaning supplies or extra pants/socks/shoes for her? Of course not.
At this point, they were about through loading the truck. I handed her my wallet to play with while I signed the paperwork and the movers headed out (this part is important). I loaded the cats in their carriers, the dog in the back seat, and put Brinley in her car seat. I did a last-minute sweep and put my house keys in the kitchen drawer, as requested by landlord. I shut the door and started the car. I was going to run through a drive-thru and grab lunch to eat on the way. I looked for my wallet, which was nowhere to be found. I remembered that Brinley was playing with it. I took a deep breath and tried not to panic. I went to look inside the window and there, in my completely empty, packed up house, was my wallet laying on the kitchen floor.
I started to cry. I called my husband, who could do nothing for me from 180 miles away. I called my mom, whom I immediately asked to spare me any lectures. The landlord lived out of state, so I then called at least 15 locksmiths. Each time I told the story, I began crying a little more. They all told me it would be at least an hour before help would arrive. At that point, I had no choice but to wait. I sat in the car with two meowing cats, the dog, and my daughter. Brinley, by the way, used the entire hour of wait time to take her nap, versus the actual drive. Oh, and the moving company also beat me to the new address by an hour. What a day!
Fast forward two weeks, and we are getting settled in our new house. It has been an adjustment for Brinley with a new Mother’s Day Out program, new teachers, and new friends to get used to. We have started going to story time at the Hoover Public Library and even tried out a few of the local parks. We are really excited to venture out in Birmingham. We love it here so much that we will not be moving again . . . EVER! 😉