Saturday, January 22, 2005

Packing, Poison, and Pirates, Arrrghhh...

I know, it's not midnight yet, or even 11 p.m., but it's Saturday, my kids are in bed, and my house is still mostly clean from our frantic "white tornado-ing" yesterday for our house showing. Did I mention our house is up for sale? It is. I'm sure the big white sign in our yard is a major source of annoyance for that freakish woman who keeps calling in the middle of the night to scream, "YOU'RE NOT MOVING!" (OK, she's only done it once or twice, to my knowledge. Nowadays, we simply log onto the Internet as soon as the boys are in bed; it's much more restful this way.)

Anyway, yes, we are moving, just as soon as we can find someone to buy our house. I thought at first it would be completely impossible without our moving out and hiring an excavation team to find the walls and floors and then a subcontractor to replace them all. But a lot of wonderful people, including my parents and sister & brother-in-law, jumped in and saved us from that trauma. They drove in from out of state (multiple states) to help us pack and clean and repair this place until it didn't seem too bad to live in.

The other thing that helped was renting a storage unit for most of our stuff; we figured we'd have to go without for maybe three, four months. That was back in July. We didn't even put up the "For Sale" sign until September. And it's been interesting to try to make all the holidays happen without our stuff. I bought a ton of doilies and construction paper last Valentine's Day (which the kids had a blast with), and I still have half a ton left over, but do I know where they are now? Uh uh. In storage. So everything's been very minimalist at our house lately. This is truly unnerving for a rococo gal like me.

Among the things that's packed away in oblivion is another of the innumerable books for writers. I can't even remember the title, but it's a mystery-writer's reference on the subject of poisons. Neat, but not applicable at the time we packed it. But now I need it for the story I'm trying to write, and I can't get to it. OK, fine. There's the Internet; I know how to do research... Except that I can't do it while my kids are awake, which I apparently forgot today. I even offered to let my darling 4-year-old "help" me with the laptop.

What a mistake. As soon as I popped it open, both the little guys swarmed over me like pirates boarding a helpless galleon. This is more apt a description than you may believe. At least one of them was actually wearing a pirate hat, and I'm sure I heard the baby say "Arrrrgh..." Or maybe that was me. My children are extremely interested in pirates lately-- lately meaning since Halloween, when #1 Son dressed in pirate garb and ran around brandishing his cutlass at unsuspecting candy-givers, growling "Arrrgh, gimme candy!" (It's a lot cuter when the 4-year-old does it. Unfair how you lose cuteness points over the years.)

By early November, the costume was nearly destroyed from overuse, and besides, one costume doesn't divide into three boys very evenly. Whoever gets just the hook feels gypped. So when I went on a business trip to Vegas, I picked up a couple of pint-sized pirate hats at the Mandalay Bay, and the kids have been wearing them ever since. Especially our 4-year-old buccaneer, who wouldn't take the thing off even for Christmas pictures, so there he is in the center of the photo, brothers on either side grinning in their Santa caps, brandishing the cutlass, and shouting "YO ho ho! MERRY Christmas! Argggh." My husband had to scrape me up off the floor, I was laughing so hard.

And then I had to go and buy my sweetie the Pirates! game. It's a big time-suck for all of us, especially Buccaneer Boy. (I won't tell you how much time I've spent romancing governors' daughters and digging up Blackbeard's treasure. It's too embarrassing.) Pirates are such a family hobby that, when my husband suggested today that we pull out planks and "board" our new house when we finally get to it, we all shouted "Arrrrgh!" Well, it's one way to introduce yourself to the neighbors.

1 comment:

Jerydien said...


Oh, sweetie - I can definately relate! My daughter's two favorite things are dragons and pirates. Since we have a wood stove in our house, we usually cut up and burn our Christmas tree after we take down the decorations. As I was clipping the branches off the trunk (which was still in it's stand) I found a small bird's nest perched on a branch. I left the branch alone so I could show my husband and daughter.

Well, one day I'm sitting here at the computer and the rugrat is playing behind me in the livingroom. I hear her say "Uh-oh - bird nest fall down!" I turn and sure enough, the nest is no more - instead I have little twigs and dried pine needles scattered about the floor. I ask Rhi how it happened and she looked around some before turning to me with a big smile. "Pirates!"