We recently managed a short but fabulous family break away to Center Parcs, which was truly awesome and there will be more of that to come. Having to now pack for two adults and two children it is somewhat of a monumental effort to gather together all the stuff that we need and the thought of this, never mind the expense, meant a trip abroad was really not on the cards this year.
Luckily our battered old Saab, with its missing wing-mirror cover and stereo that has been stubbornly silent for the last three years, does have a rather large boot. We set about our usual packing routine the morning of our departure.
I throw the kids clothes, nappies, creams and Calpol in a super large shopping bag and entertain the toddler whilst giving Little Miss’ bouncy chair an occasional kick so she does not feel forgotten. (I do kick the chair, not the child, just to be clear.)
Mr B loads up the pram wheels, buggy board, moses basket stand, carry-cot etc into the boot.
I chuck him bag number one.
He re-arranges the boot.
I throw my clothes into a reasonabley large holdall along with my make-up, wash things for all of us, towels and flannels for the babies, sing a song with the toddler, kick the bouncy chair.
I chuck Mr B bag number two.
He rearranges the boot.
We head for the kitchen. I grab a second super-size shopping bag and pack all of Little Miss’ bottles, formula, microwave steriliser, milton, bibs for the toddler, cutlery for the toddler, beakers for the toddler, grab some pre-made meals for the toddler from the freezer, add plenty of boxes of raisins/breadsticks/biscuits for the toddler along with several million packets of Organix crisps. I pull the toddler out of the food cupboard where he is merrily sprinkling its contents with a crumbled up oxo cube and kick the bouncy chair.
I chuck Mr B bag number three.
He rearranges the boot.
We return upstairs with another large carrier bag because it is now ‘appliances time’. This may be a holiday but there is no way on earth I can spend the best part of a week away from my beloved laptop, let alone my kindle. The laptop, however, gets a bag all of it’s very own. THAT is how much I love it.
The rest of the appliance bag however is actually quite startling in it’s sheer enormity. It would appear that for four days away we now require:
- Hair dryer
- Hair straighteners
- Kindle plus Kindle charger
- 2 x mobiles plus 2 x chargers
- Laptop plus charger
- Night light for babies plus charger
- Gro-clock for toddler plus charger
- Baby-monitor and base unit plus 2 x chargers
I also would have included electric toothbrush plus charger but figured there were probably not enough plug sockets in the place to cope with such an electrical overload. Manual brushing would have to suffice.
I retrieved the toddler from the middle of the laundry pile, kicked the bouncy chair and handed Mr B my final bag.
He looked somewhat distressed.
“We need this? All of it? It is just four days right?”
“ Yes, we do. And yes, it is.” I chirped, and kicked the bouncy chair.
He rearranged the boot.
Finally, after eventually managing to close the boot and sweating
profusely a little, he plodded upstairs and packed HIS bag.
Now I felt a bit bad. (His ENTIRE luggage is smaller than my handbag.)
We retrieved the toddler who was now halfway over the garden wall, bundled them both into their incredibly fiddley carseats and got in.
“Ready to go?”
“Yep.” I replied.
He turned the engine.
“Wait!” I screamed.
“The bouncy chair.”
He got out to rearrange the boot….
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