Phases of Moving

See More Slice of Life Writing over at Two Writing Teachers

See More Slice of Life Writing over at Two Writing Teachers

I guess  the concept of moving to a new house is hard to understand when you’re only four years old.

The first phase was the Can-We-Buy-a-House-Full-of-Toys phase.  Maddie kept asking if we could buy a house with a “yot” of stairs, just like my sister’s old third floor walk-up condo.  After many conversations with Maddie, I finally realized she wanted us to buy that condo because she thought that meant we got to keep all of my niece’s toys.   So, I explained that when we move, we bring all of our belongings with us, including our toys.  This seemed to bring her comfort, but led us to Phase Two…

The Even-the-Heavy-Stuff Phase.  This phase lasted only a day or two as Maddie took mental inventory of all the large things in our house.  “Mom, even the couch?”  and “Mommy, will we even bring your bed?”  This led to a long conversation about who could possibly lift that stuff which led to a long conversation about muscles which led to a long conversation about vitamins and vegetables which led to a long conversation about how Maddie doesn’t “yike” green beans.  “All of that stuff – even the heavy stuff – will go into the moving truck,” I told Maddie.  This led us directly to Phase Three, which was the Moving-Truck-Phase.

The Moving-Truck Phase was a difficult one.  It started with a simple question as we drove past a truck one day on our way home from daycare.  “Mommy, is that a moving truck?”  This led quickly into:

What color will our moving truck be?
Is that moving truck?
Can I stand in the moving truck?
Who will drive the moving truck?
Can I drive the moving truck?
Is that a moving truck?
Will our couch fit in the moving truck?
Will my bed fit in the moving truck?
Is Clifford going to ride in the moving truck?
Is that a moving truck?
Will Daddy drive the moving truck?

You get the point.

We are currently in the Is-This-Attached Phase.  When Maddie said something about moving the kitchen cabinets, my husband explained that we wouldn’t be bringing the cabinets, that the new house already had cabinets.  This was a direct contradiction to the information we had previously given her in the Can-We-Buy-A-House-Full-Of-Toys-Phase, when we had  explained that we would be bringing all of our belongings with us.  Maddie was rightfully confused.  My husband told her that we only bring things that aren’t attached to the house.  So, in the current phase, Maddie names what we will bring and what we leave.  Pointing to the bathroom sink, she’ll say, “This is battached, so it stays.”  (Yes, she says battached.)  Then, to a loaf of bread, “This isn’t battached, so we’ll bring this.”  Then, to the stove, “I think this is battached.  We should leave this.”

She’s figuring it all out.  It’s complicated, when you’re 4.

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14 thoughts on “Phases of Moving

  1. She is rightfully confused! The world has never been moved before and sitting in her shoes it is worthy of so many questions. I love how you only move things that aren’t attached. Her state of wonder is actually a lovely place to be. Perhaps we don’t move our worlds often enough.

  2. I love the questioning mind of hers, I am reminded of the patience required to try to keep up with all those questions. Good Luck w the move & the keeping up the answers!

  3. This is a big adventure for the Murphy family! You tell Maddie to continue asking every single question she has and not to stop until she has all the answers she needs! Curiosity – the best trait for a young girl to have – the BEST!!!!

  4. This is fun-ny! I love the explanations! Oh when kids try and make since of things! Maddie is hoping that when she walks through the door there will be lots of toys that are battached. Why did we grow up? Being a kid was much more fun 🙂

  5. This was the topic of my Saturday morning without a kid conversation with Brian. Somehow we managed to still talk about a Maddie. 🙂 This is just precious.

  6. I loved how you structured this slice. Maddie is the main character and I feel like I know her so well after reading it. Loved the craft of the hyphen too. It really captures the breathlessness of the experience. I can only imagine how exciting this all must be.

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