We spent the morning on ‘US soil’ at the American Embassy in London and we can expect their first little blue passports in a matter of weeks. (Harry would have been in this patriotic photo too had he not been having one of his now regular tantrums – hello terrible twos!)
We decided back in May to make this move to the USA, but it’s never really felt real – until yesterday. I’m now starting to realise the enormity of the task ahead. The husband is San Diego bound NEXT WEEK! He’s flying ahead to get the ball rolling and set up shop. No pressure then hubs, huh?
That leaves me and the kids in London to pack up our flat and desperately try and sell everything we own. We’ve moved our stuff plenty of times over the past few years, but jeez, you just don’t realise how many things you have surplus to requirement until you emigrate huh? Time to get ruthless – sayonara sea of cuddly toys in the kids bedroom that are no longer flavour of the month… though I am sure the second I get rid of them, there will be utter uproar!
I’ll also be desperately trying to pass my driving test before the end of November, when we plan to visit Daddy on a 90 day holiday visa. I won’t have my full visa by then to stay so can’t take a test over there. A car in his family’s area is just non negotiable – these Americans don’t do public transport! I’m currently bruised from kicking myself so much for not learning to drive at 17 – who needs to drive in London I used to say, assuming I would always have a tube to squeeze on to. If only I’d done it younger, I could have been one of those smug drivers telling the youth of today that all I had to do was a paper theory test, none of this hazard perception crap. Sigh!
I’m also planning to undergo hypnotherapy next week in preparation for the 10hr flight to California with two kids. SOLO! My usual gin and or sleeping tablets won’t be an option on this flight without calm old Daddy, so I have to get these nerves in check. My mum passed my fear of flying on to me and I am determined to hide it from Maia and Harrison.
So there’s a lot going on over the coming weeks – friends and family, please don’t be offended if I seem as though I am in hiding, I’m barely treading water. On top of juggling the above, my priority is to maintain some sense of normality for the little ones. Without Daddy. Gulp.
Both kids will be staying in nursery for a while for the sake of their routine – and my sanity! Packing a flat up with two kids at home? No thanks! Harrison at 18 months is of course pretty oblivious to all the changes going on around him, but with Maia we’re trying to be fairly upfront. To a degree.
We’ve frantically been reading online about how not to traumatise an almost 4 year old with this kind of move. Turns out there is a fine line between preparing your child for change and giving them TOO much notice to build it all up in their head. A bit like moving up a class at school I guess…. at home, we didn’t start talking to Maia about moving up to the ‘big’ pre-school room in September until a few weeks before. This was just enough time for the excitement not to fade and turn in to fear. We saw other kids who were overly prepared explode with emotion on the move. Perhaps we just got lucky and there is no right formula, but we are using this experience as our template.
So we’ve only just told her Daddy is leaving first to go and find a new home for us – and more importantly a Frozen / Princes Aurora bedroom for her. We’ve only just told her we will be living at Grandma & Gramps’ house for a while. And we’ve only just told her that she will be going to a new nursery soon, so will have TWO lots of nursery friends – what a lucky little girl she is!
But we can sugar coat it with Disneyland promises all we like, this is a 3 and a half year old we are talking about! Most days she has the attention span of Dory. What does telling her that ‘we’ll see Daddy in a few months’ mean whilst he is still by her side? She has only ever been away from him for three days. That’s all this little Daddy’s girl knows.
The reality of this move is yet to hit her and I’m sick to my stomach with nerves about it. So it’s best that I have my freak out today with you guys to get it all out of the way. Thanks for listening! Deep breaths and game face on – for the sake of the kids! It’s going to be an interesting few months….