Packing. Packing is the worst. Packing takes one week of laundry, cleaning, planning, list-making, shopping, sweating. Packing means that my children will not be paid any attention (“You’re hungry? Eh, here’s a loaf of bread, kid. Have at it.”), nor will they venture out of the four brick walls of our house because dammitmommy’s busy.
We went on vacation last week. Do I sound relaxed?
David gathered his clothes in 10 minutes flat, then spent another mere 20 packing up the car, alternating between cursing and asking me if really, do the kids really need to take this many toys? We were going to the beach for a week–we would be outside, swimming and playing in the sand and running and flying kites. But what if it rained, I said? What if we’re stuck inside? They have to have toys (and books and DVDS and coloring books and crayons…right? Right?). We battled. I won. (And then it rained the first night there. Nah-nee-nah-nee-boo-boo…)
So, off we went. It took five hours to get to the beach (four for driving, one for three potty breaks–“Mom, I have one more pee coming!”), in an SUV packed so full I could only see out the back window through a tiny gap between the bucket of sand toys and and a bag of groceries. It involved several snacks, large coffees, kids’ music CDS, some minor squabbling over child discipline, tailgating, toll payments, and sippy cups, a random, rather large copy of Atlas Shrugged and an misplaced iPad. And we finally got there, the beach, and Saoirse asked “What’s that smell?” because she’s not used to salt air, and we smoothed our wrinkled clothes and fell into a local shop for pizza and Dogfish Head, and finally faced the task of unpacking all of those bags up three flights of sand-covered stairs.
Ah, yes. Vacation. This was just the beginning.