“Oh, this house has a broom rack!” she screeched with excitement.
“Please, like you need more brooms-” joked her husband before being interrupted by her seething voice.
“Beelzebub! Stop smooshing your sister’s horns into their couch.”
With a deep sigh, she turned to her husband.
“Lucifer, dear, can you light a fire under Satanay and Beelzie to behave. I need to look over the house to see if it has a large enough kitchen for my brewing cauldron. I just can’t get anything done with these two little demons running amok! ”
Grabbing his pitchfork, he nodded his head and rounded up the devils.
“I want to be moved into our new hell hole before the possession festival,” she resumed. “What was I thinking bringing them along. I knew we should have left them with uncle Leviathan.”
Parents, witches, fallen angels…you know how this goes…
Trying to go grocery shopping with the kids as they beg for some plastic salamander, huckleberry wart ice cream, or the latest Jonas-Brothers-please-love-me spell candy can be daunting enough as it is. Imagine trying to hunt for your next house, demons kids in tow, and trying to pay attention to see if the house has the perfect yard, enough storage space in the closets and kitchen, and a dark and dank basement for storing your canned newts.
While most real estate agents will encourage you to get a babysitter, myself included, there are those of you that want your child’s input in the house purchase and those of you that just don’t have anyone to watch your little devils kids. For those of you that elect to bring your children with you on your house hunt here are my top things that you can do to minimize the amount of demonesque behavior that ensues.
- Don’t set kids up to fail. If you have a naturally hyper-active kid don’t plan to see 8 houses in a row. Seriously people, adults can barely handle that. Too many transitions means grumpy kids. Schedule to see an appropriate amount of homes based on your child’s personality and schedules, not yours.
- Work around nap times. No parent can pay attention when they are struggling with a cranky kid. Don’t push getting into one more house to push your child’s nap schedule. You’ll just have to trust me when I tell you, you won’t be able to look at the house anyway. Ear piercing shrieks=not able to pay attention.
- Set a schedule for the kids and have a reward. Tell your kids that you will see three houses, show them the MLS photos, then go out for yogurt or something afterward if they follow directions. Kids get excited by all the new environments, so help them to avoid the ambiguity of when it will end by being clear with a schedule. You can have them be in charge of a “check off list” as you go to each house so they know that things are winding down.
- For older kids that are just learning to write, have them be the “secretary.” They can take notes about the houses as you go along. You can also have them record their notes on one of the smart phone apps. Kids love listening to their own voices so ask them to take notes as you go along. Busy hands can’t touch other people’s things,
- Remind them not to touch things. This, honestly, has been the biggest issue with kids. They are being totally normal kids and touching other people’s things. It isn’t okay for them to do this, just so you can look around. Before walking into an occupied house, a gentle reminder is typically enough for most kids.
- Have toilet paper. Not all homes are occupied which means no toilet paper. If you know you are looking at some vacant homes, have some toilet paper with you. Let’s face it…kids don’t have great bladder control and when they gotta go…they gotta go.
- Have snacks. Those little tummies cause a lot of whining as kids get hungry. A quick snack while driving to the next house can keep the kids happy.
- Have things for them to do. Most kids can make it through three houses. After than boredom sets in, big time. Bring coloring books, books, apps on your phones, ipads, movies, etc to keep them happy.
- Schedule breaks. Tell your real estate agent what your child can tolerate. A stop at a local park, the Gilbert House, or a planned break for nursing moms can make things go a lot smoother during the search process.
- Tell your agent what you need. Many parents often think that they can “power” through it with their kids. Honestly, this is not a good plan and a guarantee to trigger the devilish nature of your child. Typically, the house hunting process has to be cut short if that is the strategy a parent decides to take. Kids can’t power through a whole lot so it is better to be upfront about any limitations you have with your Salem real estate agent.
House hunting can be a stressful experience and it should never be your goal to trigger the devil inside of your child to come out to play while in someones home. So remember, skip the Jonas Brothers, bring lots of snacks, and turn your house hunting into a devil of a good time.