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Pack light — yeah, right

April 30, 2010 - Betsy Bethel

If you read my "More Momsense" blog over at the OV Parent Web site, you know I've been having memory issues lately. Well, I'm happy to report I've been less forgetful this week! Which is a good thing, because Emma and I are going away this weekend, and there are lots of things I need to remember!

Moms, don't you agree, even overnight trips with a baby or child are packing nightmares?

My list of "things to pack" takes up an entire steno pad. Not just a page, the whole pad! I would share with you some of the things on that list, but you already know what they are. You're moms!

My husband, of course, says I overpack. If we're going to be gone more than two days, we need to take two cars. That's not unreasonable, is it? I suppose investing in a rooftop cargo carrier is cheaper than spending twice the money in gas fill-ups. I like those ones that look like ginormous duffel bags. Anyone have opinions on those?

I honestly don't think I overpack. There's a fine line between overpacking and being prepared. The benefits outweigh the costs. For example, I would much rather be comfortable because I thought ahead and brought both my sandals AND my loafers — there's nothing worse than too-hot or too-cold feet, and you just never know until you reach your destination which shoes you're going to need!

And, I ask you, what husband wasn't grateful when his wife conjured up a spare pillow, bottle of ibuprofen, ice pack, can of tomato juice, shot of vodka and a celery stick when he needed it most?

Our daughter already is beginning to develop some packing prowess. Last night before bed, she began chucking stuff into her little pink Disney princess suitcase (the one I got her at the thrift store during the now-famous "Teddy Bear Debacle" — see my blog archive at right).

In went about a dozen books, half a dozen stuffed animals, some random toys that were sitting nearby, her special rock, oh! can't forget THIS book, plus a few things I suggested, such as underwear and a hat. "Oh, thanks, Mom!" Yeah, babe, I know how to pack. I thought she was done, but the grab-and-stash went on for a few more minutes. Ziiiippppp, she finally shut the case. But she wasn't finished! Every few minutes, her eyes landed on something else she had to pack — ziiiiipppp went the suitcase.

I was actually starting to get worried, and my husband seemed highly amused.

This morning, she was at it again. The pink blow-up monkey had to come, so I took the air out and she stuffed it in. When she saw I was packing HER clothes into MY suitcase, she unzipped her case and pulled out her underwear and baseball cap — I could have those. That left more room for another stuffed animal and oh! she might need this sash and this drumstick and these dress-up shoes and two flashlights and some play makeup and a yo-yo....

Ziiiiiipppppp, stuff, ziiiiiiipppppp. I thought her bag was going to break.

When hers was finally filled, she started trying to load mine! I actually drew the line when she tried to get me to pack MY fancy sparkly sandals, which I surely wouldn't need at the Bridgeport (W.Va.) Scottish Festival, no matter what the weather. "Stay outta my bag!" I wanted to yell.

And I just know my husband's thinking to himself, she's YOUR daughter!



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