We did it.
We moved across two state lines with two toddlers.
We’re all still alive.
Popcorn making at Grandma and Grandpa’s house
Watching our new, super-cool dumpster garbage truck (which comes three times a week, much to Oliver’s excitement)
Trying out the fun carts at Wegmans
But, as I alluded to in a post last week – it wasn’t all easy-peasy. As much as we tried to make it fun, the kids’ stress levels hit the roof, and we dealt with a lot of expected, but still difficult, acting-out. A lot. As in: “who-the-heck-took-my-kids-and-swapped-them-with-these-whining-bent-on-destruction-can’t-get-along ones??” (Thankfully, after a couple of nights in our OWN house, with our OWN things, this has subsided greatly).
But the whole in our own house part took way longer than we thought. With an Air Force move, they contract a moving company to load and move your things, and then give them a date that it has to arrive at your destination. For us, that date was a Monday. Sunday night they called and said they wouldn’t be there until probably Thursday.
You got the same papers we did, right?
You’re not just changing the date because you can no longer FIND our things, right?
But, it happens. And we had family to stay with, so it wasn’t a big deal (except for the whole toddler-swapping mentioned before).
Once we had our things, we spent a few slightly-frantic days trying to find what we needed. Tears over not being able to find a beloved dump truck, a run to the grocery store to find toilet paper (which I later found in a box labeled “pot” that contained towels from under the bathroom sink and a large canning pot stuffed with toilet paper rolls), you know. The usual.
And, the whole having someone else move you and label your things bit?
Yeah, it’s entertaining on the other end.
Like the box of rice that they packed (open) without sealing. . . (I’m still vacuuming random rice grains over here). Or the large box labeled “baby tent.”
I stared at that one for a while before I opened it. What on earth is a baby tent?
It was the top portion to the pack-n-play. The netted piece with poles and canvas sides that holds the mattress up higher for newborns. To be fair, I suppose it kind of looked like a tent all broken down like that if you hadn’t seen a pack-n-play before.
I found out later on that they only had to label each box with one thing that was in it. So a box labeled: “picture” could contain just a single picture along with a stack of towels, wash cloths, and a shower curtain. Or a box labeled “clothing” could be a sweater, various hair products, a blow dryer, and a bunch of high-heeled shoes.
It’s definitely made it interesting on this end trying to find things.
But the main excitement started a few nights ago, after we had been in our house for a few days and were finally feeling “settled.”
Somewhere around 1 am, I woke up to Sam muttering something about the “dumb bugs” getting in the house. At first, I thought this was in reference to the mosquitoes that had somehow gotten in the night before and bit my arms about 4 or 5 times until I went to the bathroom itching like crazy and wondering if I’d gotten into poison ivy or something. (And then promptly woke Sam up to help me chase them down and seal off the crack in between the window frame and the screen so that I wouldn’t get any more bites).
So, that’s what I thought he was groggily talking about in a sleepy stupor.
No mosquitoes this time.
When I looked up, I saw what would have been a very, VERY big bug flying in circles over our heads in our bedroom.
“Sam! That’s not a bug. . . Is it a bat? Oh my GOSH it’s a bat!
THERE’S A BAT IN OUR ROOM!”
What happened next proves that, well, that neither Sam or I are at our best at 1 am. But in the spirit of full disclosure and “hey, go ahead and laugh at our expense. . .” this is how it played out:
Sam jumped out of bed, ducking his head since he practically walks at ceiling height at 6’2. Or at least it seemed so with that crazy thing flying in circles. He tried to get the window open (in the dark) to let it out, squatting down to get out of it’s way every time it circled back around the room. But our house has old windows that get jammed, and in order to get the screen out, you have to take out both the storm window and one of the wood framed glass panels, and then remove the screen piece. Not an easy task in full daylight, and even harder when you have a flying rodent dive-bombing your head every 3.4 seconds.
In the midst of this confusion, I did what any sensible wife would do: threw the covers up over my head, tucked in every side so that nothing could come under there with me, and started shouting at him to close our door so that the bat couldn’t go get the kids in their rooms.
I don’t know why I thought it would go get them. But at 1am, I did. Frantically.
Sam crawled across the room and closed our door.
I was satisfied with this at first until I realized that it meant we were now closed in the room WITH it.
Better us than the kids though, right? The whole greater love thing?
Lay down your life for trap yourself in your room with a bat for your friends kids? That’s practically Biblical. Right?
“Awww, crap. I can’t get the window open.” I hear Sam mutter from the other side of the room.
“What are we going to do then?” (my voice muffled through the sheets).
“I don’t know, let me think.”
“Trap it! Just trap it and lets get out of here and deal with it later!”
“What the heck am I going to trap it with?”
“I don’t know. What I crawled out of bed and quickly opened the door and went to find a box or something. . ”
“Just let me think.”
There’s a long pause and then he grabs something off my nightstand.
“What?” I say – still cowering under our covers. I’m getting hot now, and the air is starting to feel a little thick. I’m pretty sure my frantic breathing is using up all the oxygen under there, but I’m not about to un-tuck the sides to get some fresh air.
“Just stay under the blankets.”
I’m SURE I’m not going to like this, but it’s not like I have any better ideas. (Nor was I going to jump out from my hiding spot to help).
“ok, hang on.”
I hear him grunt, and take a swing at the bat.
“Can I leave? I just want to leave. Please?”
“No, just stay where you are.”
“Isn’t there someone we can call?”
“I don’t know. Maintenance? Security? The front office?”
“I don’t know who you call for this.”
He swings again and misses – and then repeats this scenario a handful of times, frustration mounting.
“Hang on, I’m going to turn on the light.”
With the light on, he finally manages to remove all of the required pieces in order to open the window, but the bat seems to have no desire to go back out.
He tries waving the book at the bat, coaxing it out the window. . . waiting for it to make up it’s mind and just leave on it’s own. Nothing works. It’s still flying in circles.
So he takes another swing, and hits it – right onto the bed.
The bed that I am laying on, cowering under the covers.
And now I’ve got a bat on top of my legs.
At which point I
showed my immense bravery and curled my blanket around the bat to trap it shrieked and curled into a fetal position. “It’s on me! You hit me with it! IT’S ON OUR BED!!!”
But the darn thing was just stunned for a couple seconds and quickly flew back into the air.
I couldn’t see anything, but I could hear Sam start swinging the book again.
“Did you get it? Where is it now?”
“Just hang tight. I’ll get it. It’s not out yet.”
So, I just laid there, tucked the blankets in tighter, and cringed – waiting for the thing to hit the bed again.
When he finally made contact the second time, the binding of the book he had been swinging broke, the pages went flying out all across our room, and the stunned bat dropped to the ground. I couldn’t seen any of this because I was still under the blankets, but Sam took the first thing he could think of (his pajama pants) and covered the bat with them, got the screen open the rest of the way, and then scooped up the entire thing, pants and all, and chucked it out the window.
“Ok, it’s gone. You can come out now.”
I threw back the blanket and gulped for air as Sam popped the window glass back in.
“Are there more?”
“I don’t know.”
“How in the world did it get in? OH MY GOSH WHAT IF THERE ARE MORE IN THE KIDS ROOMS!???!!”
When we went in to check, it woke the kids up and they clung to me in bleary-eyed confusion.
“What is daddy looking for? What’s in my closet? Is it time to get up? What’s the matter?”
We couldn’t figure out how it had gotten in. We didn’t see cracks in windows or anything, we didn’t know if there was access to the attic – heck, we didn’t know if we even had an attic. So, we did what any sensible person would do at 1am after chasing a bat for the last 15 minutes. Left the questions unanswered and the book pages strewn everywhere and went to grandma and grandpa’s house. That way we could deal with the house (and any additional bats) in the daylight. Without our toddlers watching.
We hastily packed what we’d need for the kids for that night and I was headed out the door with the kids when all of a sudden I stopped.
“Sam? Why in the world are your pajamas on the sidewalk!?”
I’m telling you, if it wasn’t 1am and everyone hadn’t been sleeping. . . we would have made quite the impression on our new neighbors. Sam running around our room trying to smack the bat out of the air (with the windows wide open and lights on), pajama pants being chucked out the master bedroom window in the middle of the night. . .
Not only that, but we had gone to the library earlier that day and gotten new library cards – and let our very excited kiddos check out books. It was one of these very large, very nice picture books, which now laid on our bedroom floor, binding broken, pages ripped out and spread across our room. . .
I felt a little bit like a kid making up a ridiculous excuse for not having her homework done when I called the librarian to explain that I needed to pay for a replacement book.
“You’re never going to believe this, but. . .”
Dear Rochester neighbors,
I promise we’re not always this crazy. Really.
The people next door with the pajamas on the front sidewalk. . .