“No, honey, I won’t over pack.” Husbands: you don’t really believe that do you? It’s inevitable. It falls on the “we can’t stick to what we say list” underneath when your wife says she will only go to Target for shampoo…only to walk out with hangers, new kitchen hand towels, patio furniture, kids boots on sale that you will use for next winter even though you have no idea what size they will be, and a super Ninja Turtle jammie set (because it was 2% off). It’s just simply not going to happen.
I think that we all try, though. I think we begin with the mentality that our children will only need one pair of pants all week on standby in case it gets cold. Next thing you know, you have the extra pair of pants, and two more, one to arrive in and one to come home in…but you live in denial and keep the “standby” pants in there anyway. (whats an extra pair of pants…or 3…time to rationalize…well they might have an accident?)
So, luckily us wives will have packed two different outfit options for our kids each day, but have forgotten extra underwear as a requirement….and now our kids have peed in both outfits and have no underwear with the only option of free balling or transforming a paper towel into undergarments with gum as adhesives. …..So…
Now that we have conquered free will and “travel crafting”, we move onto shoe packing, thinking they will only need a pair of dress shoes, flip flops and tennis shoes. Easy….until you look in their closet and the only new dresses (because you can’t wear old ones for picture taking purposes) go with three different color of shoes, and you find yourself back at Target adding two more pairs of shoes to your shopping list.
….where you realize when you are there that you need four different kinds of sunscreens: SPF30, 100 million SPF proof for children that will do nothing more than what 50SPF does, oil -free face sunscreen for adults and the face stick for the kids, (because they will burn under their eyes no matter what). You will need 2 of each because your children could turn into Snooki or a stem tomato and, believe me, you will be judged on either. And unfortunately the days of you trying to look like Snooki… or…. a stem tomato turned caramel apple…. can no longer exist into your 30s, because you realize that there is a thing called skin cancer, making SPF4 no longer a primary choice. Here’s to tears shedding from responsibility….
…and all the lessons that I have learned over the years. So as I pack for Disney World this week, I understand that I must be realistic. I don’t need to pack my entire medicine cabinet. There is no need to be over-the-top….about thinking someone is going to get sick, because they just will. (this item falls under the “anything to ruin your good time” category). I’ve learned that I still need to pack the Tylenol and Advil (because for a fever over 103, you need to alternate). I’ve remembered that a thermometer is needed to monitor that, so that needs to come. Also, the allergy syrup and a breathing machine because croup likes to make an appearance usually driving a 16 hour trip to Georgia. Band-aids of all sizes are needed because a huge band aid will look weird on a pinkie finger (here’s me packing my whole medicine cabinet) and a small one doesn’t cover half of a potential gash (kind of like my bathing suit bottom)…because in the end, they will need stitches or a radiologist anyway. Just ask my son who broke his arm the last night on our Disney Cruise two years ago, and his awesome parents didn’t realize until 2 days later. A band-aid at that point was as useful as the paper towel underpants….
How to avoid this? Well, don’t forget to pack vitamins for all ages so you can avoid getting sick…. and EMERGEN-C when you do start getting sick anyway, regardless of the 4 weeks prior that you started taking the vitamins. And when you have packed all of these, no one gets sick…it is only when you have packed one cough drop that they will get pneumonia.
…but at least we will look cute while sick because I will have packed 10 different headbands, 5 pairs earrings each, anti-aging cream from stress lines, and eye circle cream because of staying up with these sick kids, a teeth whitening kit and nail polish (always forgetting the nail polish remover when they start chipping…now not looking so cute).
Here’s what I want to pack as well, but can’t ,do to space limits, financial obligations, or to avoid simply looking crazy at all costs. These items are listed as follows:
- A NANNY—to avoid being mean mommy after 9 straight days of quality time with my children who two days in, asks when we are going home.
- A YOGA INSTRUCTOR—to help with stress to avoid being mean mommy after 9 straight days of quality time with my children who two days in, asks when we are going home.
- SOUND PROOF GLASS–on the airplane to avoid being mean mommy and mean co-seat partner to the person who would accept sitting next to anyone except the mean mommy with 3 kids beside them.
- MY OWN PRINCESS DRESS—because secretly I want to dress up like a princess too.
- A LOUNGE CHAIR—because waiting in those princess lines for two hours straight, sometimes three, is too much on my itty bitty little knee caps.
- A DOUBLE STROLLER—with like an battery operated device, it explains how to insert correctly…one of those instructions diagramming mommy and the other, child.
- A PEDIATRICIAN—not to be confused with nurse…i need someone to write out prescriptions because the 800 medicine options I packed cannot treat swimmers ear which of course happened for the first time on a vacation as well.
- AN ACCOUNTANT—to tell me that because we are living on a golf course with 8 different pools, eating out every night, doesn’t mean that we have become someone else; nor spend like someone else…
A MOMENT OF CLARITY…
Oh I don’t know…perhaps the list could go on in countless ways. You will never have enough, will have too much, or will be labeled as practical but an extremely dirty traveler…leaving that there is never a correct way to pack. We will always need and plan endless scenarios as traveling wives with or without children…but the truth of the matter is…all we need is each other….and how can you really plan anything…because at any given moment, anything could happen…and you just can’t pack for that…even if you tried to…so just enjoy yourself in the moment, and stop worrying about what you can’t control.