Thursday, March 17, 2011

A hip relocation tale

Relocating with little people is often a real struggle. Whether you are heading overseas, or merely to a new city a few hours away, getting used to a brand new life can be somewhat trying for all. A good friend of mine has just made the move from Melbourne to Canberra. Not too far away, but far enough to make a huge difference to the family life, (plus sadly I no longer have my partner in crime just round the corner). My lovely friend (and now pen pal) has written an account of what its really like relocating somewhere new, including the packing, the journey and the inevitable impact on the family. This is well worth a read if you are considering something similar....
Image: nuttakit /
The story
" It has been two months since we moved and I can hardly believe I am now sitting at my dining table with a cup of tea to my right and my laptop happily functioning with wireless.  It has been a challenging interstate move for the family.  Miss 2 and Master 4 are generally good, healthy and happy specimens but this move took it out of them.  
My husband was relocating for work.  He had been working interstate three days a week for the past 5 months and I was working full time as well.  Miss and Master were in full time day care at a great centre and they enjoyed their days.  I always collected them by 5pm and we had a happy dinner and bed routine.  Both children slept well and ate well. 
Our lives however, were too busy and spiralling out of control.  We had very little time for each other and our patience was at a threshold, so the move would allow me to stop working for the time being and for the family to be together during the week.  It was all definitely for the best but the challenge was how to make it all happen!
The move
Of course, we decided to move between Christmas and New Year (we like to make things complicated) and for the first time in our lives we actually had removalists.  David at Fairway Removals VIC was great.  He was friendly, helpful and reliable.  We also used a packing service.   I have never seen such a fabulous service.  Miss and Master went with me to the park while efficient, neat, black clad ladies wrapped, packed, labelled and sorted all my cupboards into cardboard boxes.  I have moved with Master once before and it took days.  My “helpful” son unpacking boxes as fast as I could pack them and “accidently” dropping odd items into packed boxes – a piece of cheese, a pear with one bite out of it....  you name it....  
This service was gold to me.  It did not stop in my home for the pack, but amazingly another set of almost identical ladies appeared at the other end only a few hours after the truck had unloaded at the other end.  By the kids bed time at the end of day 1 we had a fully functioning kitchen and 2 children’s bedrooms that were very similar to the ones they had before.  Magic.  The company is called Finishing Touch.  It is reasonable, flexible and fabulous.  

The Journey
It was not all plain sailing however.  My husband needed to stay behind to tidy up the house and tie up loose ends. He was to join me three days after the move.  Originally he was to have Miss 2 and I was to have Master 4 however due to circumstances beyond our control both Miss and Master came in the car with me for the 10 hour drive to the new home.  
Travelling with children in the car is difficult.  Food, toilet stops and trying to explain the concept of “if I can just keep driving we will be there faster”...  is challenging.  
For entertainment I recommend talking books on the CD player and the occasional ABC nursery rhyme CD (until you can’t stand it any more),  There are great colouring books with a magic pen that only writes on the page and is invisible on any other surface.   The pen can be secured to the book with a string.  Things like cars and other smaller toys always seem to be dropped I end up with a howling child in the back seat until I can pull the car over on the highway and retrieve the item whilst massive trucks zoom past ....  Books are also good – I have a stack in the middle of the back seat in a basket.   I use a DVD player as a last resort.  DVD’s always work but they can change my son’s behaviour.  He goes all squiggly if he watches too much TV.  When Miss was asleep, bless her, and we were over ¾ of the way there, then and only then, was able to watch Thomas.
Food is another good entertainment item in the car.  I find Rafferty’s Garden squeezy bags of food great.  They are a good way of including veges and fruit in the snacks and both kids love them.  The yoghurt squeezy packs are also great.  On a road trip, I hang out for McDonalds.  I am waiting for thunderbolt to strike me down but that play equipment is a stroke of genius!  
I have also learnt to keep a potty accessible at all times and extra plastic bags for anything unexpected.  I have heard of a special travel potty (My Carry Potty) that keeps deposits secure and spill free – that sounds great. 

Image: dan /
The Arrival

We had to stay in a hotel the first night as the truck was not arriving until the next day.  I made the mistake of trying to make the hotel venue exciting.  I called it the “party house”.  This was a big mistake because the kids arrived and wanted to party.  I was tired; you can picture the rest.....
We arrived the next day – me, sleepless; them, as fresh as daisy’s.  Went to breakfast in the hotel and luckily we had a little suitcase with toys; a selection of cars, a Woody character from Toy Story and a hedgehog.   I chose a table in the window and the kids sat under the table and created a mini world while I drank as much coffee as I could.  
We arrived at the new house.  The truck was on time, all the services were on.  It all worked really well.   I was so glad to know that the Finishing Touch ladies were coming.  I was able to unpack the bathroom and my bedroom with the children’s help knowing that that was “my job” and the load was to be shared.   Once again, magic!
My husband arrived to a clean and set up house.  I don’t think he has much of an idea of the challenges we faced.  He did a great job at the other end however so I am thankful.

The little hips
The main challenge with the move however was that with all these changes the children’s behaviour altered.  They became closer and more demanding.  It took me a while to work it out, maybe a week, but it seems that their way of coping with the change was to take control of me.  They started running rings around me and I was too tired to react appropriately.  The more I let it go the worse it got.  I found myself in a situation where my children were throwing peas at my head and laughing like pirates while I crawled around under the table picking up after them.  At that point I realised things had to change and I needed to take charge!
I set reasonable rules and consequences such as “We all stay in our seats when we eat dinner.  If we leave the table, our dinner will be taken away”.  I was strong and uncompromising.  It took a week of a few tears and tantrums for the rules to become learned behaviours but now I have two children who are back to sleeping, eating and playing well (most of the time) and after two months I am beginning to feel like myself again – I must finally be catching up on that sleep!"

Thanks very much my fabulous friend - we miss you here in Melbourne, and hope to make a car journey with our little hips very soon x

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by....We love to hear your hip comments.


Related Posts with Thumbnails