Well, most of what I needed to do is out of the way and I have saved just enough packing and preparing to be sure I have a frantic, stressful morning putting on the final touches for our departure. I’ve done well. I’d say even with a few unscheduled tantrums from J Bean and a couple of epic blowouts from Link tomorrow, we should make our flight, but I’ll never underestimate these little
children. Since I have all this perceived time (which will soon evaporate
leaving me winded, wild eyed and on the verge of a panic attack), I thought I
would put together a list of extended vacation needs, dos and don’ts to help
myself next time and maybe even help some future insane intrepid traveler.
The rest of you can laugh at my expense.
Things I won't need on vacation but will bring anyway:
- 7 pairs of clean underwear. I’ll be gone 3 weeks, but given my usual rate of changing in to clean underwear and a shower, this is delusional thinking 3 pairs would be more than enough. Oh well, at least I won’t have to do laundry until I get home (sarcasm… my kids will keep me in the laundry business every other day even if I wear the same outfit for a month).
- Half a dozen condoms (we’re both fixed, but we’re not taking any chances! There can be no more… No Mas!) If I have to explain to you why these prophylactics will remain in factory condition, then you either have no children or have not yet traveled with them.
- Shorts and a bathing suit. Sure the weather report for our destination has been sunny and clear in the seventies and eighties for months and the forecast shows more of the same, but trust me when I get there it will suddenly become the coldest winter on record or it will rain nonstop. I’m not being negative, I’m an optimist. In fact, I’m positive there will not be a post season hurricane or a volcanic eruption during the trip. See the glass is always half full.
- Arts and crafts for the plane trip, because that would be an educational and wholesome way to pass the time on the plane ride for J Bean. I'll give up on that by the time we hit cruising altitude and pull out the portable DVD player. “Here listen to this while I wrestle with your screaming, squirming brother. Keep your eyes on the screen, I don’t want you to see Daddy giving the bird to people that are giving me the stink eye from a few seats over."
- The novel I've been reading for the past
18 months. I
should get another 10 pages out of the way during restroom breaks, which begs
the question… why am I lugging around an 8 pound hardback? I
havehad a Kindle before VV requisitioned it for commutes and international jet setting.
Things I'll bring that I wish I didn't have to:
- Baby monitors… just leave me alone, can’t you sleep?!
- Baby food. Link, why can't you just drink formula until you're old enough to catch and prepare your own food? I hate that stuff and how you pepper me with it by sneezing after every other bite.
- Stain stick and extra clothes for myself in the diaper bag (not the checked baggage). You don't want shit on you in the airplane without backup clothes. Trust me, I’ve been there. Parents always carry plenty of clothes for the little ones, but if there is a blowout and you get it on you there is no way you are going to fit into one of those onesies.
Things I wish I could bring but just won't fit in the suitcase:
- Diaper Genie. Without it, I have to deal with these toxic crap catchers by hand and individually. Tip: An air sick bag works fine in a pinch and if you put it in the seat pocket and “accidentally forget it", then the flight attendant who made you turn off Dora during the backpack song for landing and scolded you for dropping snacks all over the floor can deal with it.
- J bean’s bed. She is sure to revolt against wherever she has to sleep and will probably end up in my bed which puts a finer point on how unnecessary the Trojans will be.
- My own bed, when you need your sleep the most you'll be sleeping on some lumpy hotel bed.
- A gallon of vodka. Self explanatory.
- Fences and barriers. At home the whole place is "child proof", one the road, I'll be like a hockey goalie trying to keep Link out of everything wherever we stay. "Oh, yes, thanks for the hospitality it was great to stay with you and my son really enjoyed your knife collection. I'm sure he'll be alright after a brief E.R. visit. Thanks again!"
- Wipe warmer. Yes and don’t judge me, because every time I touch my son's butt with a cold wipe he is probably going to pee on my face. Yes, I’ll forget to cover his tiny super soaker, because the warm wipes really do cut back on this phenomenon and I don’t have to worry about it as much at home. Note to self: be sure not to forget those extra parent clothes for the diaper bag.
Things I hope I won't forget:
- The kids.
- Parts to sippy cups and bottles. Nothing like having everything you need but a ring or a straw, or having the wrong size.
- My daughter's favorite bedtime lovey, “sheep”. I don't want to explain through her sobs every night that sheep is okay and how he went on vacation to see her family, or stayed behind to keep the other toys company. In fact, I’m sneaking in to her room right now and packing that little S.O.B.
Things my wife wishes I would forget:
- Every V-neck Tee I own. Yeah right, Babe. I’m on vacation, I’m going to be just as comfortable and out of fashion as I normally am at home. I’ll explain why as soon as I am covered with a few kid fluids.
- My cell phone. Along with my access to Facebook, Blogger and Chess.
- My penchant for griping.
- My camera and the need to document every waking moment.
Things I'll bring and hope I don't need:
- Snot sucker.
- Butt paste.
- Baby Orajel.
- Cyanide capsule.
- Barney video.
- First aid kit.
Fingers crossed, wish me luck. It’s T minus 15 hours until we are out the door!