packing with children

Packing with children. We move to the beach for 15 days!

The other day I saw a documentary from the 60s when people really started “going on holiday” in the summer. They weren’t afraid of packing with children then! The whole family could fit into a Chevy. And when I say the whole family I mean the father, the mother, the four kids, grandma, and grandpa… And even a canary cage! Really? In the roof rack, two small suitcases. REALLY?

We have three children and a minivan and yet, I think this year we’re going to have to hire a moving truck… The minivan is fine when we go away for the weekend. (Well, maybe it’s not enough either). But for longer trips… No way, Jose!

Every “packing with children” starts with clothes. Decided, you say: “this year I’m going to pack exactly what I need”, but as the packing process goes on, things get out of control. Oh, what a marvelous outfit, I put it in, “just in case.” 12 pants? Maybe too much? Come on, in a couple of years they’ll be too small.

After a while, you realize that you’ve put on party clothes (imagine you are invited to a birthday party at the Embassy), five to seven pajamas, “just in case”, and gloves, scarves and hats (in case it gets cold at night, that the sea breeze is treacherous), and that’s it! Empty drawers, packed suitcase. “Wouldn’t it have been easier to bring the whole wardrobe, straight away?”, grumbles your husband. “And so it goes, year after year. And then, year after year, the only clothes they end up wearing is a swimsuit. I don’t learn!

And I haven’t even talked about my own packing, which is also loaded with justincases (many of which you can’t even wear after your first child!). But, hey, If I hold my stomach in a little… Come on: let’s put the wardrobe into the suitcase. Just in case…

But wait! We’re going to the coast. To the beach! We’re going to need three umbrellas, otherwise, I’ll get sunstroke. A portable fridge, because beach bars are too expensive. The chairs, because I hate sand. Glasses to snorkel and enjoy watching the legs of the Mediterranean summer fauna. Fins. Mattress. Buckets and shovels to make sandcastles, and inflatable boat with its oars… Hey, do not judge me! It cost me a lot of money, and we use it twice a year! Oh! And the inflator! And the patch box, just in case it gets punctured.

The baby carriage, the travel cradle, the baby bag, the bag of toys. Oh, shoot, I almost forget the Mumablue books!, baby bottles, diapers… Hey, what about the bikes, wouldn’t they be good?…  That’s the challenge of packing with children! So many souvenirs of my backpacking days! It makes me laugh. That doc from the 60s is a fake.

I’m a mother… And a farsighted mother is worth two! (Or three, or four, now that I’ve put everything in the moving van) But this way I’ll be prepared for all those “just in case”. And that’s it.

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