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From Texas-sized 2 Tiny House For Three

Time To Take A Page From “The Little Engine That Could”

Our son is O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D. with trains, planes, and automobiles (really, anything with tires, wheels, or other means of propulsion in general), and while we were pretty strict about the “no screen time before age 2” recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics, we would be liars if we said we haven’t now found a very, VERY select number of videos a massively ginormous help in entertaining (and educating, since most are in Spanish or French) RAD and providing a much-needed distractor for the big folks to do some housework without little hands and feet getting in the way. We don’t have cable, satellite, or any other “live” programming in our house both because we vehemently despise commercials and also because for our entire relationship save the last 4 months (and going forward) I have worked nights and we simply weren’t both awake to watch anything together any way. As such, all our entertainment, kid-friendly or otherwise, is gleaned from the various internet-streaming services, DVD kiosks, or our own massive (as in 500+ discs) movie and TV-season collections. We are avid movie watchers, and since much of the research regarding the negative effects of TV on children has pointed to the ultra-fast paced and highly advertising infused fare of the various “kids TV stations” as being the problem children (Ha!) we figure that one long, continuous and age-appropriate movie from time to time couldn’t hurt too much any way. We’re also all learning a fair amount of Spanish from his Little Pim collection of videos (I try not to name check actual products, but we all genuinely love this collection and do recommend them since we see rapid progress in all three of us), and his very favorite movie that he asks for by name (sort of) happens to be based on the beloved children’s classic, The Little Engine That Could.

The reason I tell that story (if you can call it a story) is to tell this one.

I hate packing. I don’t mean I really don’t like it and it’s a pain in the butt and it drains my valuable time and it gets on my nerves. Yes, I mean it does all of those things and more, but I mean I hate packing with the deepest, darkest, most violently reactive loathing one could possibly imagine. In fact, if you wanted to picture the way the simple thought of packing makes my body, mind, and spirit react just imagine taking one of those pills that alcoholics sometimes use to help them stop drinking. You know, the ones that make you projectile vomit the second (or thereabouts) alcohol crosses your lips? Yeah, now picture yourself projectile vomiting with such force all the blood vessels in your eyes burst, leaving you looking like a victim of a zombie plague. Now add to that the mental image of your toenails literally flying out of your mouth as your entire body flips itself inside out until you see a puddle of flesh and bone collect on the ground in the space your feet occupied only moments before as you proceed to black out and die since, I imagine, one cannot survive nor see what would happen should you literally puke your toenails up from the inside out, effectively collapsing in on oneself as though a black hole formed in that specific point in space and you just happened to get caught in the middle. Eew. But yeah, that about sums it up.

I think my seething hatred for packing likely comes from the fact that I’v probably moved close to the same number of years that I am alive to one degree or another. Oh, and that would be 33 times for those keeping track, though I think it’s realistically closer to the mid-20s really. I honestly lost track. I can say, though, that since Brandy and I have been together (this October marks 10 years!) we have moved 5 times. Moving in with my father will make #6 in that same 10 years, and if we finish our tiny house by the end of this year we’ll be at seven moves in just slightly over a decade. That averages out to a move roughly every year-and-a-half (17.142etc months/move), and that’s just since we’ve known each other. Prior to that I can definitely count 14 moves, but since I worked managing apartment complexes until I became a paramedic I moved about every 3-6mo any way since I changed properties and management companies like most people change air filters (hazard of the business, once which I definitely don’t miss). Now a couple of those were in and out of dorms for college, but the vast majority were apartment-to-apartment, house-to-house, city-to-city, or state-to-state type moves that required more moving truck rentals than I care to remember. Needless to say, moving and I have a hate-hate relationship. I hate it and I hate it. At one point moving was the #3 item on a list of stressful life events  after death of an immediate family member and divorce (at least that’s how I remember it from paramedic school in 2002 any way, which could certainly have been a revised version of the various official lists), and I can certainly say it has been oh-so-much-more than stressful for me many times over.

So anyway, hopefully you now have a better understanding of just how much I really, Really, REALLY hate packing, moving, and all the hells that come with it. The reason I bring all this up is because I’m about to finally have three days off in a row and plan to dedicate them to cleaning out the garage more and making piles for donating, keeping, and tossing so we can then make more room out there for yet more crap to be sorted. RAD is at a pretty self-entertaining age at the moment, so as long as he’s in our line of sight he’ll be quite content to watch his “tain” movie while he eats his “waffuhs” and “pankeys,” which is toddler speak for train movie, waffles, and pancakes. I’m certain we’re setting him up for a lifetime of being a couch potato by doing this (one of my biggest fears, actually), but since I’m going to borrow a lesson from it for myself I figure it couldn’t hurt too much. Yes, even I learned something from The Little Engine That Could:

“If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t. Either way you’re right.”

So, with that lesson in mind I’m going to do my best to tackle the very part of moving I hate the absolute most.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…..

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