Last week was the first phase of our never-ending/is-it-ever-going-to-happen move from NYC back to our house in the UK. It’s extremely bittersweet, and perhaps we’ll all have to change our monikers when we are technically no longer NyLons. Of course we don’t really want to leave New York behind us, but that isn’t really why the move has been dragging on forever and a day.
Anyway, last week we had the movers come and take our things from our NYC apartment, leaving only the bare-bones Ikea furniture plus babyNyLon’s crib and one or two other things that won’t be coming with us. We’ve been living with a lot of clutter since, well, since we got here having moved from a 3/4-bedroom house to a 604 sq ft apartment. Then we added baby things when babyNyLon came along. So she has only ever known a very full house with a lot of things everywhere. We were worried that she’d be upset when she came home to find all of our things gone so we tried to prepare her. We told her that we’re sending our things to London, where Daddy lives because we’re all going to live together there and so we asked her to pick a couple of toys and books to stay behind. We left her crib in the same position so that she wouldn’t wake up scared and told her in advance that our bed would be gone so the room would just be hers and that we’d stay in the living room. When it came to picking her up from the daycare and walking back towards our apartment we asked her if she’s ready to see her new room and tried to act excited about it. We opened the door to the apartment and she walked in to the barren living room and said “Oh! You guys tidied up!” She’s hilarious, and clearly more resilient than we give her credit for. She really likes her “new room” and only got a bit upset on the second night when she wanted to sleep with us in the living room and would’ve settled for Daddy’s suggestion that we all sleep in the crib together which sadly couldn’t happen either. But overall she handled it amazingly well and I think it may even be good preparation for her having her own room for real in the UK.
Unfortunately (for me and daddyNyLon) she wasn’t quite as clear on what was going to happen when we went to the airport on Sunday. While she napped we got daddyNyLon packed up and then woke her at the last minute and got her to go potty before leaving. She walked out of the bathroom to see him with his suitcases and she said “Oh wait! I’ll get mine!”. It didn’t quite register to me what she was talking about and we let her trot off to her room and she came out with her little red suitcase, asking us to help her open it to put the reserved toys inside. It slowly dawned on me that she thought we were all leaving to live together right now and that we hadn’t done a good enough job preparing her for another goodbye. I told her gently that we were just going with Daddy to the airport like usual and that we’d be going with him next time. She had a heartbreaking look on her face that was a combination of sad, disappointed, and confused, eventually made worse by the fact that neither of us could hold back a tear at that point. It took a couple of tries through a soppy hug to explain that Daddy would be back in a few weeks to come get us. After explaining it she said “We go on the airplane tomorrow?”; she is getting a broad scope of time so I made a comparison to the “two weeks” we had to wait for our last visit (after we’d bought the ticket). She was probably ok with it all much faster than we were. After we waved goodbye at the airport and were leaving in an elevator she asked again “Daddy will come back and share the airplane with us in two weeks?!” I had to smile. She got it.
So what now? I’ll be working for another few weeks and then hopefully all of the experiments will be wrapped up and I can work on my paper from the UK. We still don’t have a final DATE, but are really working in weeks now instead of months and will keep you all posted as we figure it out…