Pack quickly. I have a knack for packing so slowly, that it becomes a 3 day extravaganza. Set a timer for 30 minutes and GO. No breaks until the timer goes off. That means no checking Facebook, no Tweeting, no sips of Prosecco, no scribbling down your thoughts on meteorites in the universe.
Do not tell your children, “Pull out some clothes to bring!” because they will pull out leg warmers, a ski parka from 3 years ago, rain boots, a faux rabbit fur scarf, a hula skirt, a Santa hat, a white glove, Mardi Gras beads and pink neon hair spray.
Instead, direct them to pull out 5 shirts, 4 pairs of shorts, one sweater, 4 sets of pajamas, 5 pairs of underwear and a bathing suit. They will forget many of this because they will spend most of their time searching for their favorite Superman pajamas that they haven’t worn in 5 months but now CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
Edit their piles of clothes, removing the sombrero and the Barbie dream house. Throw it all into a suitcase and zip it up before they can shove other stuff in. They will try to convince you that each kid needs their own suitcase. Do not bother explaining that you aren’t showing up at the airport with 5 separate suitcases. Just say, “Great idea. Maybe next trip! High five! I have something to show you downstairs!”
Now you have to pack for yourself which is difficult because you forgot to do your own laundry. That sort of leaves you with your second tier clothes. Remove a couple items that are your favorites from the laundry basket – you can clean these while on vacation (you won’t).
Pull out the other clothes from the closet. You will forget something major. Like a bra. Or contacts. Or a bathing suit. The sooner you accept this, the better things will go. But try to remember shoes.
Oh wait, your kids’ shoes! Run around collecting some of them (if they match all the better!) and shove them in the childrens’ suitcase.
Pack toiletries for everyone. This will include a nearly empty bottle of shampoo, 47 hairbands and sunscreen.
Time to pack up a bag for the plane. You need food. You need lollipops, you need books (real ones with pages that turn instead of swipe), DVD players, headphones, crayons and paper.
What you don’t need: whatever book you are reading because if you have any kid under 2, you won’t be reading. You will be pacing up and down the aisles, waiting for the child to poop so you can cram yourself into an airplane bathroom and change him/her. If you’re lucky maybe your child will poop twice! Hey, at least it’s an activity.
Congratulations! You have finished packing. Now all you have to do is travel.
mama bird notes:
Join me again for ABC’s “Bet on Your Baby” where parents try to win college money by guessing their toddler’s next move. And these kids are ridiculously cute and funny. Follow me as I live-tweet ABC’s @betonyourbaby tomorrow (Saturday) @ 8pm EST while also supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Also this week, I’ve been at Lifetime Moms writing about a woman who dared breastfeed at her college graduation. The nerve! And also, a Wake Me Up When I’m Skinny shirt for pregnant women. Is it funny or offensive?
P.S. I don’t know why my blog looks weird (if it still does). I’m working on fixing it. And by “working on it”, I mean madly emailing my tech person who is probably already on vacation.