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Step Right Up

It appears that we're moving in three weeks, because apparently in some fit of insanity we bought a new house, stuck a sign in our yard, and agreed to sell this place all within the span of the past month. I keep thinking it's entirely possible that I'm lying in a coma in a hospital bed somewhere and all of this is just a series of misfiring synapses, because too many things are suspiciously, happily falling into place every time I turn around. The only way things could improve at this point is if I were to come home from work in two and a half weeks to find all of our belongings already packed and organized for the movers. In this fantasy, the kids would have "off" buttons and would be stored surfboard-like on the bike rack of the car.

In all seriousness, I'm not sure what we're going to do with the kids during the move. They're not "sit over there and wait" types of people. Earlier this week we took them into a furniture store for 30 minutes while we signed away what was left of our life after the new mortgage, and when we left the store, as the kids were screaming something akin to "Geronimo!" and flailing from one concrete decorative retaining wall structure to the next, John said, with no sarcasm whatsoever, "that went well." "Yeah," I said, "except for when Quinn used the scissors on the display desk to cut the display notepad to shreds. And except for when Bryce almost knocked over everything in the lamp showroom because he was pretending the recliner was a rocket ship. Mmm-hmm, it went really well."

Our standards have lowered to such a degree that mild humiliation during a public outing seems perfectly acceptable. Anything that doesn't end in our family being banned from the location feels like a huge accomplishment. Really, anything that ends with us having accomplished even half of what we set out to accomplish falls under the category of success. While I've been trying to type this, I've had Bryce in a chair next to me repeatedly singing at the top of his lungs the latest songs he's learned at school, and Quinn has been - literally -hanging from my neck demanding peanut butter on a spoon. They don't want to play with toys or watch TV or go outside like everybody led me to believe kids would do. They stay in whatever room I happen to be in, waiting for me to provide some form of entertainment like I'm David Blaine or Bozo. Washing dishes or checking e-mail doesn't count as entertainment, in case you were wondering.

Lately I've been thinking I never have time to write because I'm swamped at work, and we're so busy preparing for a big move and tending to the finances and logistics of buying a house. This morning I've finally realized it has less to do with all that and more to do with the fact that my kids have turned me into their personal circus.