Today is moving day, otherwise known as the most stressful day of the year. The Boy has managed to hurt his knee over the weekend and is somewhat less useful than I’d hoped.
I take out a mug from the cabinet. It is plain black, with chips and scratches decorating the edges. Upon the addition of hot water, it transforms into an England flag. It makes me wince. We’re getting rid of this mug, I tell The Boy. But I like this mug! He protests.
Well I don’t.
Are we getting rid of some of your mugs? The Boy demands to know.
Well, no…but I pick nice mugs.
Hmph. The Boy is unhappy with the justified act of injustice.
Reluctantly I add the mug, un-bubble wrapped and exposed, to the top of a box. The mug is the white dog statue of Friends, and it would not be the worst thing if it were to fall off the pile and smash into a gazillion pieces.
The Boy limps after me as we load up the van. Upon arrival, the concierge glances at his crutch and takes pity on him, handing him a trolley to help with the already painful process. As we start to unpack our things, The Boy is aghast at how much rubbish I appear to have accumulated over the years and continue to refuse to throw away. What’s this? The Boy points to a festive-looking bag by his feet. It’s my Christmas bag, I say brightly. The Boy stares at me, awaiting elaboration. You know, gift bags, boxes, ribbons and stuff. For Christmas presents. The Boy continues to stare, unconvinced, before shaking his head and muttering something under his breath.
The new place is only partly furnished, although I went out to get some bits and pieces for it yesterday. We enter the flat and The Boy stares at the pieces of wall art that stand out, big and bright, upon entry. It’s a bit…girly for The Boy. I show him the superhero watercolour canvas that I’ve ordered to reassure him that this isn’t a girl’s flat. Heaven forbid.
The Boy disputes the botanical bedspread that I’ve ordered, so I show him the light grey duvet set that I’ve also chosen and introduce it to him as his manly bedspread. The Boy stares, bewildered, at the white pom pom trimming that adorns the edges of the cover.
The Boy correctly points out that we have no furniture, yet seem to have a lot of house plants, prints and various ‘homely’ objects. I am aware, but IKEA can only deliver 3 weeks from now, and my priorities are usually a little off. He is concerned about the new wine glasses that I’ve purchased, given that my track record is not fantastic, and I have managed to smash a grand total of 4/8 (a worrying 50%) of our glasses in the previous flat, including one wine glass on the actual day of our move.
The next day The Boy comes home to find me in the centre of our living room, clad in dungarees and brandishing a paint brush dripping with white paint. Protecting the floor is a duvet cover of The Boy’s that I’ve decided we no longer need. What are you doing to my shoe rack? I think it’s fairly obvious what I’m doing, but I offer the inevitable answer up regardless. I’m painting it, I explain. The furniture in the new flat is all white, and the shoe rack is black. The Boy lacks faith that I will be able to do an acceptable job, but I reassure him that I did Design & Technology, for a few months, back in school, when I was about 13, and that I therefore know exactly what I’m doing. I wave the sandpaper at him as evidence that I have, in fact, thoroughly researched the topic.
The laptop next to me showing a YouTube tutorial and the written list of step-by-step instructions open on my iPhone somewhat undermine my argument, and the set-up is scarily familiar to the time I let my mother cut my hair in our garden armed with WikiHow, YouTube and a pair of nail scissors.
The Boy reluctantly accepts the fate of his shoe rack and decides to leave me to it. I continue to decorate the shoe rack to the soundtrack of Frozen.