Telling Secrets

I told you before that the best part of the new house was the Under the Stairs Room. I blogged about it here.

I was wrong. The best part of the new house is the post box between Sissy and Piper’s room. That’s right. There is a hole for the passage of secret messages and such. It was a cable box, but we don’t have any of that fancy stuff so ¬†Daddy took out the wiring and left the hole. He left in one screw, too, so you could cover the hole and then slide it to the side when you have an urgent errand, like passing a pen through the wall rather than walking the three feet around the door. The post box has been put to good use. Piper likes to do this through the hole:

As you can see, Sissy added blue duct tape for some decor. They’ve already had competitions to see who could stuff the biggest thing through. Barbie dolls were too easy. Shoes were challenging. Stuffed animals got stuck.

You can also throw things through the box at your Sissy, even if she doesn’t want you to. The games and fun are endless. We haven’t even unpacked the boxes of toys yet. Who needs them when you have a hole in your wall?

Moving Day

This is what the 13th move looks like:


Piper stuck in a corner with the one toy I didn’t pack, the box that toy will soon be packed in, rolls of toilet paper, and a snack. Oh, and Piper’s backpack. She’ll need that Monday morning. Even if I can’t find clean clothes by then, Piper and Sissy are going to school. Don’t worry: it’s the same school. They’ll have their backpacks. And I shoved their lunchboxes inside, too, so I don’t have to unpack every box in the kitchen looking for water bottles and plastic lids Monday morning. This is what you learn from 13 moves.

It’s true that I stuck Piper in a kitchen corner out of the way of the movers. She wouldn’t have been much help under our feet lugging antique dressers up and down four flights of stairs. She showed her true colors when I asked her to pack her toys. It took her three hours to pack one box. Two hours and 59 minutes to play with the toys. One minute to toss them all in after I yelled “Are you done packing that box yet?” from the other room.

But after the packing and the moving, there was the cleaning. Piper can help with cleaning. Sissy tackled the fridge. It was her first fridge to scrub. It almost brought a tear to my neurotic Virgo eye. Sniff. I handed Piper a broom. What harm could she do? The house was empty except for the 468 miniature plastic toy bits just waiting for me to step on them.

“And what do I do with this?” Piper asked, glaring at the broom I’d put in her hands.

“You sweep. See all those toy parts? Sweep them up,” I said.

“Mom,” she said, rolling her eyes, “I wasn’t born to sweep.”

Soup for You

Yesterday was moving day (more on that later). In a frantic rush to clean out both my fridge and pantry, I made soup. I chopped up every single vegetable (3 carrots, 1 onion, 4 parsnips, 3 stalks of celery, 1 yellow pepper, and a handful of snap peas) and threw in as many cans of kidney beans and chopped tomatoes as the pot would hold. The cookbooks were packed so I made it up as I went.

Piper wanted to help, so I let her sprinkle in cumin, chipotle, oregano, and basil. Turns out, I was making chili. I found a can of warm beer in the back of a closet so beer bread became a side dish for the chili. Piper stirred and sniffed and tasted. She added more pepper. She said it needed salt and honey. She asked if we could shred the rest of the cheddar block to top the bowls of chili. She’s brilliant like that.

And we ate chili and hunks of fresh beer bread slathered with the last pats of butter. The movers had taken our chairs and table so we sat on the empty dining room floor. It was the best soup I’ve ever tasted. Piper has the touch.

This morning we woke up in our new house in a maze of boxes. I found 3 bowls but we couldn’t find spoons. We have cereal but the milk is still at the other house. We drank our orange juice from crystal goblets. “What do you want for breakfast, Piper? I found bagels. Or you can have dried cereal without the milk. And I have one pear.”

“Soup,” Piper said. “I want chili.”

“I can’t find the spoons.”

“I’ll use chips. Or beer bread. Or both. Yummy!”

So Piper had soup for breakfast. She wants it again for lunch. It’s becoming her thing. There are worst things. If it were up to Piper, there would always be soup for you.

Hide ‘n Seek

We’re moving in three days so we’re living among boxes. The toys are packed but that hasn’t stopped the Piper from inventing new games to play. She’s even found a favorite new place to hide.


If you knock three times and sing “Feliz Navidad,” she’ll open the door and let you in. Piper calls it the “I’m hiding in the kitchen cabinet ‘cuz it’s empty game.” Catchy, isn’t?

Modern Day Nomads

We’re moving. Again. 13th time is the charm, right? It’s still exciting. Not the packing, of course, but the idea that this time we may stay somewhere more than five minutes. We’re not running from the law or anything. Each move has seemed completely rational at the time: jobs, school, opportunities. It’s just when I add them all up I realize that the nomadic lifestyle may not be what’s best for Sissy and Piper. So, this move finally feels permanent. Whew.

Last night at dinner we were discussing the logistics of the move (did I mention it’s only a few weeks away? Aah!). “Do we have to pack everything or will we have movers?” Sissy asked. She knows this drill well.

“We’re only moving two blocks, so I think we’ll move most of it ourselves,” I said. “We’ll get help with the furniture and piano.”

“Can I bring my stuffed animals?” Piper asked.

“Absolutely. We’re taking everything,” I said.

“Can I live with you when I grow up, too?”

“You can live with me, P,” Sissy offered. Whew, again.

“Thanks, Sissy. Can my boyfriend come to?”

“No. Just you. You can be weird Aunt Piper in the basement,” Sissy said. “My kids will love you.”

“Thanks, Sissy. I’ll bring my stuffed animals, too.”