Oh, the joys of travel. We somehow keep doing it, even though it feels like it gets harder every time. I’m not talking fun vacation travel – if you want to read about that, check out my friend Sarah’s blog. She and her husband are raising an adorable little jetsetter!
No, I’m talking about the weekend visits to our hometown, where most of our family is (fun, in a different way than vacation). It never seemed like a big deal to pack up and drive an hour and a half (technically, but traffic always turns it into 2 hours or more) to spend the weekend with family. We knew it would change with a baby, but we didn’t understand how.
We’re supposed to be heading home tonight, except we’re not packed. It’s a bit different, this time – Olly and I will be staying at my mom’s for two weeks. So we need a bit more stuff than usual. And I only have so much free time in the day to gather all of this stuff together. So we’re probably not going to leave tonight (which is probably better, anyways – we’ll skip the nasty rush hour traffic).
When we go away for the weekend, I try to pack light. It’s only a couple of days, how much stuff can we really need? Certainly not all of the things we have available to us at home. An outfit for each day, plus a spare; a few toys; enough diapers for two days… Make that three days, you can never have too many diapers; all the medicine we might possibly need; enough formula for two days… But what if he hits a growth spurt??? We should probably bring a little extra, just in case; all the bottles, because what if we don’t have time to wash them?; speaking of growth spurts, we should probably bring an outfit or two in the next size up….
I think you’re getting a pretty accurate picture of how my brain works. Now take that weekend worth of items and turn it into two weeks – Yikes!
I’ve had to come up with ways to pack light. It helps that my in-laws have a few things at their place, like receiving blankets and toys and books and a high chair and a baby tub and a swing and a playpen and a stroller (seriously guys, thank you). I can save a lot of space by leaving diapers and formula at home, and buying them when we get to our destination. This works well for longer stays, because I know we’ll go through a box of diapers and a tin of formula anyways, so I’m not wasting anything.
So, my brain took a vacation shortly after I started this post. The rest of Friday was a bust. This morning wasn’t great, either. After a pretty restless night (is this finally sleep regression #2?) we were moving pretty slow. The list of things that I almost forgot to pack might actually be longer than my original packing list. I needed to shower and Olly needed to nap at the same time. Alex tried to get him to sleep, but Daddy is fun and Olly got all riled up. So, 30 minutes of getting him wound down and finally to sleep later, I managed to shower. During my shower I, of course, managed to remember a whole bunch of other things I’d need to pack.
Olly slept way longer than usual and I started to feel like the day was passing us by. Alex realized we had just run out of cat food and had to run to the store to buy more. I started to think we’d never make it out of the house.
While he was out, I did some dishes and had flashbacks to my childhood. We lived in Peterborough and had family in Toronto and would visit often, so this frequent travel thing isn’t new to me. Every time we went away, though, we’d have this mad dash to get packed and out the door on time, and at the eleventh hour, my mom would suddenly need to do the dishes. It drove me nuts. We were always late and it was always because the dishes needed to be done, and I just never understood.
I get it, now. But I digress.
Alex came back with cat food and we started to gather everything at the front door. I wish I had taken a photo because it was ridiculous. We had: our large suitcase, packed to bursting with clothes for Olly and I; the bassinet, full of miscellaneous items; a large Ikea bag, also full of miscellaneous items; a small overnight bag for Alex; the stroller base and bassinet attachment, also full of miscellaneous items; the bottle bag, and finally, the diaper bag. Alex looked at everything and said he’d try to make it fit.
He did it. He crammed all of that into our mid-size sedan (Alex has since informed me that our car is compact, not mid-size). Plus us and baby. We’re on the road now and almost in Peterborough. And I don’t have to do this again until the end of March, when we go home. Phew!
Olly has been kind to us today, and only fussed a little bit, and then fell asleep about halfway through our drive.
He hates the carseat and will sometimes spend the entire trip telling us just how much he hates it. Those trips make me question my sanity.
I was going to try to turn this into an instructional post, but I’m pretty sure it’s more of a venting post now. I’d feel much better. Thank you, readers, for the therapy session.
We forgot the baby monitor.