The night before.
4 over-packers + luggage cost + a 75 pound work suitcase = STRESS
Spent an hour convincing Phil that having carry each child CARRY their own suitcase + normal carry-ons (camera bags, purses, jackets) would result in disaster. It’s a personal pet peeve to watch the last person on the plane has a window seat next to you and comes in huffing and sweating and pulling a suitcase the size of a small town. They then attempt to shove 70 pound suitcase–wheels first– into an a FULL overhead bin while saying, “it will go, it will go”. Their belly or crotch is in your face while they jiggle and wiggle and you have no where to look. They then hand down NORMAL sized carry on bags of the people who were there on time. While those folks are forced to try and stow those bags under their seat the flight attendants come and try and solve the problem. This is basic math people. That size suitcase doesn’t fit in that size space. While all the giggling, wiggling and bouncing is going on the plane is delayed–further pissing people off. All to compensate on penny pincher with size-distortion disorder. And Phil wants to do this with 6 bags. OMG. I am determined to AVOID disaster and meltdowns this trip. This had CF of massive proportions written all over it.
After much nagging the 4 suitcases were condensed to 2. Oh yeah, “I told you so’s” were said and ignored. Being right all the time is such a burden.
“Kinsley,” it began, “get your plane outfit so it’s all ready to go.” She answered that she had already done it. “Show me” was my response. So she did. A pair of worn, wrinkled wadded up pajama pants, teva sandals and a wadded up swim shirt. Um Hmm. Things went down hill rapidly from there. Her second choice was no better. Unpacked the kid suitcase for the 3rd time to find something appropriate after we spend 10 minutes arguing that it wasn’t in there. Mom scores again. She didn’t acknowledge my rightness either. Now I have 2 pouters.
Travel bag-a.k.a the TOY BAG. Kinsley’s stuff covers the counter like food covers a prep table the night before a hundred person, 10 course catered dinner. I channeled my inner Susan, ‘don’t kill her, don’t kill her”. Remember we are traveling light? Of course she remembers-we spent 15 minutes arguing because she didn’t want her clothes with Colton’s in one bag because ‘they would never, ever, never find their clothes”. This was her logic. Having not ended that argument well I was determined to NOT cause tears. “Uh…I don’t think 4 books, a encylepdia sized word search book, your kindle, a notebook and your phone are necessary, do you?” Freak out look starts. “You can buy books on your Kindle. If you finish one, you can buy another.” Pause. Will she or won’t she FREAK? Deep, dramatic sigh. “Ohhhh-kayyyyyyy” and she begrudgingly pulls out a particular lofty volume. “I guess I won’t take this Guinness Book of World Records.” Really, really? A hard-cover, deluxe, full sized Book of World Records. Someone Susan’s voice prevailed and I don’t way what I really want to say. Instead I murmur, “Good choice.” The word search, 3 chargers, sequin purse and hand-me-down Ipod touch stayed. I had nothing left.
It’s not 9:30, I’ve yet to have dinner. I am frantically trying to pick up a bit while finishing my own packing when said daughter says, “I just wrote a really cool short story on Fall. Want to hear?” How to handle this one without damaging her delicate disposition. “I am having a hard time concentrating with so much going on. Maybe it would be better to read it to me on the plane when I can concentrate and really hear it.” Opps…that was the wrong answer. Shoulders slump, bottom lip pokes out and she dejectedly heads in the other direction.
So…armed with a ‘toddy’ from a mini model of whip cream flavored vodka I found in the freezer and a 4 year old packet of hot chocolate-THANK YOU GOD– I am about to call this night over. 4 am. Yes, 4am comes early and I”ll need to be at my best to watch out as Kinsley tries to sneak, I don’t know, her stuffed animals or her 45 favorite blankets into a bag.
Ahh…the night before a trip.