Sunday, May 22, 2011

416. Packing 101

  • Horns
  • Ping pong
  • 11 $ or 44 25 cents
  • Camra
  • Shoes
  • Ball
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Tatoo
  • Finger puppet
  • “eyeball”
  • Bunny
  • Swimtrunks
  • Socks
  • Pencil
  • Silly bands
  • Books
  • Lego minifigures
Two days before our trip, Tall sits down at the dining room table and methodically starts writing out his packing list. I dab a proud tear from my eye as I realize he has obviously inherited my must-always-make-a-list-for-everything affliction. 

“Whatcha doin’, Sweetie?” I ask, even though I already know the answer.

“I’m making my packing list for Hershey, Mom. Do you think they’ll have rock climbing there?”

I choke on my coffee. “Rock climbing? Since when do you rock climb?”

“Well, I don’t … but I just want to be prepared in case it’s one of their activities.”

I read over his shoulder at what he’s written so far and I have to suppress a smile. Although it’s always good to bring a horn, finger puppets, and a tattoo with you on vacation, I typically bring more pedestrian accoutrements. Like clothes.

“Tall,” I begin cautiously, trying not to meddle too much, “What are you going to wear? I mean, uh, what about clothes?”

“I know, Mom,” he looks up from his list, “already thought of that.” He taps the page with his pencil. He is pointing at “swimtrunks” and “socks.”

Sure, I think to myself, who needs pajamas when you’ve got 11 $ or 44 25 cents in your pocket?

Speaking of which,

“Hey, Sweetie? What are all the quarters for?”

“Doritos,” he smiles. “Hotels usually have vending machines, right? I want to buy 44 bags of Doritos.”

To my knowledge, he has never eaten a Dorito. Our junk food fetish in this family runs more along the lines of KitKat bars, Twix, and m&ms; hence, the trip to the chocolate capital of the world. Plus, if they do sell Doritos (which they might, who knows), they probably costs more than 25 cents per bag.  I am thinking that Doritos must be part of some very clever commercials he's seen while watching cartoons. 

“Tall, save your money. I will buy you some Doritos if they have them. You can spend your own money on things you like, like toys.”

“Okay, thanks, Mom,” he says, waving me away like a distracting fly, “it might be a good idea to go pack your own things.”

I fight the Virgo tendency to make him write more practical things on the list, things like shirts, pants, and underwear. He is seven. Since we are driving and not flying, space is not an issue.  I will let him pack whatever he wants, and then I will secretly pack a separate bag for him.

After our long drive, we go for a relaxing swim in the hotel’s lovely indoor pool. Next, we go back to the room and change for dinner. After a delicious meal, we are exhausted and want to go to sleep. As The Husband, Short, and I start to get ready for bed, a look of panic flashes across Tall’s face.

“Mom! Oh, no!” he says, urgently, “I think I forgot to write pajamas on my list!”

“Don’t worry, Sweetie,” I say as I retrieve a small tote from the closet, “I packed a couple extra things for you, just in case.”

“Thanks, Mom,” he says, a note of relief in his voice, “Did you pack any worms?”



  1. So true! When he was three, our son packed twelve pairs of socks and a framed photo of himself. I had the back-up bag, too. Love your blog!

  2. Thank you. :) And I love the part about the framed photo of himself. Sometimes I'll catch my 4-yr-old staring at himself in the mirror and he'll say, "I look nice!"


  3. Reminds me of the first few times my son went camping. He packed a huge bag to carry all his extra "stuff" and forgot to include a change of clothes. No worries, though. Most of the boys wore the same clothes all through the weekend anyway. In fact, I remember unpacking his trunk from summer camp and finding 6 sets of clean clothes and one VERY dirty set of clothes. Gotta love boys. :)

  4. Le'Ann, Love this. So typical. If I ask Tall if his socks are dirty (and I can visually tell that they are), I get a response like, "They are clean, Mom. I only wore them twice or maybe three times." Yuck!

    MOV :)

  5. after our first camping trip with baby i came home with a whole bag of un-worn clothes - each! it was too cold to change clothes most mornings, and short of a poonami there was no good reason to. can't wait to see what the pie "needs" for a camping trip in a few years! (less clothes, for sure.)


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