Skip to main content

Dad Discovers... Moving House

Living in a Box

When we moved out of our little London flat into our first house, it seemed huge. It had an upstairs! It had a whole other bedroom! It had a little dining room! And although we quickly filled it up with stuff, it was comfortable.

When we had The Boy we had to get some extra stuff which took up a bit of space, but it wasn't actually too bad. But the older he got, the more stuff we seemed to need, and the more space everything took up. This also went for The Boy himself, who went from needing a space to lie in to a bigger space to crawl in, to an even bigger space to run around like a lunatic. After a couple of years of very careful space management involving storing everything into tiny spaces like a giant game of Tetris, the realisation dawned on us that we'd need a bigger place.

House Hunting

Our previous criteria had gone something like - Does it have at least two bedrooms? Can we afford it? Can we easily get to and from work? Is it in a nice area and does it have nearby shops and a supermarket? It didn't take long to find somewhere and our requirements were pretty short. I hired a van for the day of the move, roped in a friend to help us move our stuff and before we new it we were in our new gaff enjoying the delights of a garden and a flight of stairs.

This time however, things were a bit more complicated, and knowing that there was a decent kebab shop around the corner was no longer enough. We still had the usual issues of what we could afford and how big it needed to be, but now we had to think about things like whether the local schools were any good, whether there were nice green spaces in the area and whether the neighbourhood was safe.

Viewing houses with a toddler was a unique experience that I feel everyone should try at some point. In every case The Boy (who has usually been carried in) demanded on being put down and then proceeded to race around the house investigating things and opening cupboards. In some ways this was stressful as one of us would always need to chase around after him. On the other hand it was a good way to see if he liked the place, and also an excellent way to snoop around the house without the estate agent hovering over us.

The Move

Once we'd found somewhere and had our offer accepted I started to prep him that we'd soon be moving into a new house and he'd have a new bedroom. And then, predictably, parental guilt. It's hard enough leaving your first proper place and all the memories you had there as an adult, let alone a two-year old who has never known anything else. Will he understand that he'll never be going back to the old house? Will he pine for his old bedroom and living room? Will the whole experience damage him somehow? There was no way of knowing. We'd sensibly made sure he was in nursery for the day of the move, since his 'help' usually involved climbing into boxes or taking things out of boxes and hiding them in other rooms.

On the afternoon of the move day one the removal men had gone, I picked him up from nursery and drove him to his new home. He ran through the front door, did a quick lap of the place and settled down in the corner with his toy cars which we'd made sure we'd unpacked early on. If there's one thing that's true for him it's that home is where the cars are. He has a lot more space to spread his toys out, a nice new bedroom and a place where we could all eat together as a family. And it has made things a lot simpler for us (including having space for a tumble dryer which just might have changed our lives).

It'll still take a bit of time for us all to settle in, and it's taken a few weeks to get him sleeping through the night again but we did it, and I'm looking forward to all the new memories we'll make here over the years to come.


Popular posts from this blog

Dad Discovers... The First Few Hours

A Baby "Congratulations!" said the midwife, placing a tiny lump of wrinkly grey flesh on my wife's chest. I was a dad. After nine-and-a-bit months of pregnancy and many hours of labour here was a small person that we had made. A whole life that we'd just created from thin air. I looked at him as he slowly turned from grey to pink, and he looked at me with his dark eyes, sizing me up with an expression that said "So you're going to be my dad then huh? Interesting." I looked at his tiny hands and wrinkled fingers and he gripped my own finger with his hand. I was a dad. We stayed in the hospital for a while longer, I did my first nappy change and despite having prepared for his arrival for a very long time, we just looked at him in slight disbelief that he was there at all.
Leaving Eventually, the medical staff told us we were being discharged and could all go home. By this time he'd been dressed in his first little babygrow and looked much more like …

Dad Discovers... CBeebies

CBeebies is great. Until you have kids you'll probably never have any cause to watch it, but once you do you'll be thankful for the BBC for creating it. It's brilliant. There are, of course, loads of other kids channels out there from CITV to Nickelodeon, Disney Channel to Baby TV, but most depend on a paid subscription of some kind, are predominantly American in content, and are bursting with adverts. CBeebies on the other hand is free (sort of), has no adverts and can generally be relied upon to serve up several hours of good quality content for your sprog.

Needless to say there's a lot of different programmes out there, but these are my current personal Top 10 CBeebies shows.

10) Justin's House The almost reincarnation of Emu's Pink Windmill Show, hosted by the undisputed king of toddler TV, Justin Fletcher. He pops up all over the place on CBeebies but this one is the most fun.

9) Baby Jake Oh look, this family live in a windmill! Ah, here's each membe…

Dad Discovers... Soft Play

“A dungeon horrible, on all sides round… No light; but rather darkness visible served only to discover sights of woe” 
- Description of Hell in ‘Paradise Lost’ by John Milton.
A Great Idea Soft play establishments were one of those things that I was vaguely aware of before having kids, without actually having any interest in. It’s a bit like the way that I’m aware of cricket, ITV Be and Luxembourg and have nothing against them but have no plans on giving them any of my attention.
Flash forward to the present and I’m sitting at home with a small energetic child, it’s raining outside and we desperately need to get him out of the house for a bit. Then we remember that there are mythical play lands specially designed for small children. They have a cafĂ© too, so what’s not to like? We decide to give it a try. Remote for a Reason What sets the tone for these places very early on is their location. Something conveniently located in town? Nope. Something in a leafy suburb overlooking a park? …