Thanksgiving is only days away, and that means Bruce, Lil E and I will be packing it up and heading to Phoenix for the festivities. As liberating as that sounds, the realities of parent/child travel are more migraine-inducing than freedom-finding.
Here are just a few of the things we'll be schlepping along with us:
- One child who counts on this list since he has this need to either be carried or full-on run in airports, thus making him 22 pounds of schleppable a good amount of the time.
- Two large rolling suitcases
- One carry-on bag
- One diaper bag
- One car seat
- One Pack & Play
- One Starbucks bag of little crap we inevitably forget to
stuffpack in our suitcase, feel we need to have anyway and do not use touch once on the entire trip
- 47 tiny cars and construction trucks
- Bobo, Spot, a paci and back-up paci and the two blankets that all make up what we call in Parent Code "The Bare Essentials"
- One MagnaDoodle
- One portable DVD player with headphones, kiddie shows and papa-needs-an-escape kinds of movies
- One Body + Soul magazine that I bring along, daring to tempt fate enough to believe I will actually be able to relax and read
as a "shhhh, everyone pretend the toddler will sleep" bedtime storyon this flight
- One purse full of everyone's wallets and cell phones, including one for the non-sleeping toddler
This trip, I vow in the name of Getting My Shit Together, will be different.
This week, this trip, I am inspired by Cari, one of our closest friends, mother of preschooler twins and the most organized parent on the planet (she swears out of necessity, but I truly believe it is a genetic mutation of the most enviable strain).
I am going to follow Cari's method of trip prep by opening up the suitcase in the
guest room middle of the dining room, packing it as full as I normally would and then (this is the good part), walking away. Cari's method hits full effect, however, when you (actually) come back a few hours later and remove something of the clothes, cute sandals, toys or toiletries you intended to take. This paring down process can go on for days, or at least until you have a manageable load that does not deplete your spending cash on sky-cap tips alone.
My first goal is to be totally pared down, packed, zipped up and ready to go 24 hours in advance.
My second goal is to whittle my airplane carry-ons (or rather, the carry-ons because we all know that Getting My Shit Together for a mama really means Getting All the Shit Together for the entire fam) to my big ass purse/Diapees & Wipees holder, Lil E's backpack of things to keep him awake the entire 3-1/2 hour flight and the car seat.
With that, I hope we'll be much more ready for take-off!
Please, feel free to clue me in on any packing techniques, holiday hacks or plain old common sense on flying with a child that I've somehow missed these last 8 airline adventures.
Here's to your own traveling sanity and safe travels!