Keep Calm and Carry On

One minute you’re standing there helpless while you miss not just one, but both elevators you had hoped to get on because your upset child has spilled her bag of “crisps” (she actually called them that) and is now eating them off the dirty science museum floor, and you feel like you really might be losing; the next minute a nice lady is handing your child a free children’s magazine and offering to carry your stroller down the stairs for you, and at the bottom in the subway is the very same busker playing guitar and singing in French who so entertained your child at a completely different place across town last week, and hey! a familiar face! and maybe things are going to be just fine.

Such is the constant mental rollercoaster of adjusting to my new, very different life as a stay-at-home mom in a foreign city.

Not everything is working out perfectly smoothly with the move; we’ve had some complications arise. Transferring money from our American bank accounts into our new UK bank account has been a lot harder than expected. M has opened three new American bank accounts with different banks in the last week just trying to find something that works. (Thanks for nothing, Bank of America.) He’s spent I don’t even know how much time on the phone with various banks trying to find a solution so we don’t have to pay huge fees every time we want to transfer money. He thinks he may have finally figured it out, so fingers crossed money arrives on Monday!

We had hoped to move into our house tomorrow, but the person/company managing our air shipment and getting it through customs was lazy and now it won’t be delivered till Monday. So we could move in tomorrow, but we’d have no bedding or kitchen items or anything at all. And I ordered E’s mattress from a store because they assured me it could be delivered by the end of this week, but then they called this week and said, sorry, just kidding, you can’t have it till the 12th. Grrr. So I guess she’ll sleep on a blow-up airbed mattress from Amazon for a week. (Thank goodness they have Amazon over here. I currently have 36 items in my virtual shopping cart.)

So two more nights in our little slice of heaven noisy little flat with the world’s hardest mattress. In our bedroom, one wall is all windows looking at some sort of office building. The shade is broken, so we either have to leave it all the way closed or all the way open. We go with open so we can have some fresh air in here, otherwise it gets really stuffy. The office building behind us has nighttime cleaning staff working, and lights randomly go on and off on different floors late at night.


Last night, for who knows what reason, all the lights were on all night. They’re obviously not aiming to win any green business awards over there. It was so bright in here, it was like that scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where the snooty yuppie couple next door is trying to have a romantic moment in the dark and the Griswold house lights up like a zillion-watt lightbulb you can see from space and blinds them. Except without the weird 80s matching track suits and the romance. I just wanted to go to sleep.

And why is the carpet all wet, Todd? I don’t KNOW, Margo.

And so, onward. Three more nights till I can sleep on my new mattress on the floor and I can’t wait. (Though I will miss my husband bringing me a coffee each morning from the coffee shop downstairs when he comes back from walking the dog. Can we keep that up somehow, please?)

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