Hello! I’m here, on the other side. London is back there and here I am in sunny Hertfordshire. We are in our new home and I’m working my way through unpacking. I say working my way through because I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a crazy idea to try and move house with two small children and no help. So really the title to this post should be a question rather than a statement as I don’t have any magical tips to give you. I can tell you what I did learn though and definitely what to avoid.
Do not agree to visit family, who are a three hour drive away, the day after you move into a new home. You will not feel like doing a six hour round trip, especially if your children decide that they won’t be lulled to sleep by the motion of the car.
Do ask a passing stranger on the street to watch your children while you sign off the end of tenancy clean on your soon-to-be-old home. If you take them inside with you the smallest crawling child will crawl straight onto freshly washed carpet and leave little baby tracks across the room while the preschooler will decide now is the perfect time to have their first wee-related accident in four months and will stand and piss on the floor. It is not ideal to use paper from the recycling bin to clean this mess up but if you should find yourself with nothing else to hand then this will suffice.
Do not agree to take your children on an Easter egg hunt the morning of the home move. Injecting copious amounts of sugar and caffeine into small children who you then expect to sit quietly and fall asleep while you drive round the neighbourhood killing time waiting for removal men to finish is not a good idea.
Do not leave taking your water meter reading until the last minute. Check beforehand that you can remove the cap on the street without the need for a small crane. Asking random strangers to help you attempt to lever off said cap with a butter knife will be met with laughter. Attach leads to your children while you sweat trying to get the cap off. It is far better than sitting on the crawling child and asking the preschooler to hold your coat while you wrestle with the cap on the pavement of a busy road.
Do not leave small children unattended with permanent markers present at any time, new house or old.
And on that note, I must say farewell. The children are waking and waiting to cause mayhem while I attempt to make the house safe enough for me to resume normal service. That is, flit about on the internet whilst keeping only half an eye on them as they perfect their independent play skills.