Annabel took my parents’ move almost as hard as I did. Once she realized she wasn’t going to have their big grass yards and pool to play in, or their stairs to climb, or my old room to explore, she was really sad. To cheer her up, my parents promised her that at their new house, they’d have a room for her, and she could have sleepovers in “her” room. Cut to six months later: as my parents were finally moving their stuff into their new place, Annie said, “When do I get to sleep over?”

Every single day for the last few weeks, Annie has asked if that night was the night she was going to sleep over at Gramma and Bampa’s. She was driving me a little bit insane. Finally my parents arranged the date, and it was last week. Annie spent literally four days packing and unpacking. She wanted everything to be perfect. It was really cute how excited she was. In the end she went over to my parents’ house with a sleeping bag, a suitcase full of her “most important and special” toys, and a small reusable shopping bag with the things Annie deemed less-important – pajamas, underwear, toothbrush, stuff like that.

Annie went over to their house in the middle of the afternoon, leaving James and me alone at home. James almost didn’t know what to do. He seemed a bit thrown by the quiet. After he touched all the things Annie left behind, he settled in for some cuddles and definitely enjoyed the uninterrupted attention. It was nice to get that time with him guilt-free.

My parents were great about sending me updates on Annie. It was basically Annie’s dream day.

She got to make cookies:

making cookies

watch all the TV she wanted:

all the TV she wanted

and of course, lots of time brushing her doll’s hair:

brushing violet's hair

My mom made grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner, or as Annie calls them, “Girl Cheeses.”

Girl Cheese Sandwiches

and ice cream cookie sandwiches for dessert:

ice cream sandwiches

I wasn’t exactly worried that she’d flip out at night and want to come home, but I knew it was a possibility. I texted my mom at Annie’s bedtime and said that if it was too hard for her, I’d come get her, no problem. My mom replied, “Oh, she asked to go to sleep about twenty minutes ago.”

SHE ASKED TO GO TO SLEEP. MY CHILD. ASKED TO GO TO SLEEP. I don’t want to accuse my parents of anything, but obviously drugs were involved.

In the morning, my mom made breakfast, and then Annie and my dad looking out their front window with binoculars (HI NEW NEIGHBORS) and watched YouTube videos about orangutans (Annie’s latest obsession). She had so much fun at their house that when she came home, she was not happy to see James and me, and made it known that she would much rather be at Gramma and Bampa’s house, where everything is awesome. So that was nice. She spent some time getting reacquainted with her bedroom until she had an adjustment in outlook.

Rough homecoming aside, I am so glad Annie can have the experience of spending the night with her grandparents. That’s not something I did as a kid (although one grandma lived with us, so I was lucky in other ways). I will make sure my kids grow up realizing how lucky they are to have such close and involved grandparents in their lives. That’s a huge part of why we left our condo in LA for the ‘burbs, and it’s been so worth it.