Disclaimer- This post is not directed at anyone personally. Sometimes I forget myself what it entails to travel with little people. The post is general thoughts and information only.
People forget that toddlers are little PEOPLE. Whenever I am invited to stay somewhere, they expect me to throw a hat and sunscreen in a bag for me and the kids and take off. For some reason people think of “housewife” and “doing nothing” synonymously. “You just stay at home, so you can just get in the car and come visit!” You know, cuz I am a prisoner at home just dying to get out and have no plans of my own. And people, for some reason, think of “kids” as “pets” with no mind-power of their own, willing to follow me blindly anywhere. (Yes, i am the authority figure and they “have” to do what i say, but i feel uncomfortable if i am constantly forcing them to do everything).
Maybe I just over-prepare. I do tend to be a planner and have always loved my lists. I am a homebody as well. I LOVE being at home. I do not enjoy traveling lately. Did I when I was younger? Yah, sure. But even then I’d rather be gone 3 days or decide to live there. Long term ( anything over 5 days in my mind) travel never appealed to me. Maybe when I am older…and can afford better travel accommodations. Ha ha. When I travel on my own I am constantly forgetting essentials for myself, like a toothbrush or contact stuff. I get nervous packing for little beings that depend on me. Some of you parents out there must know the feeling.
People that invite us out, from the goodness of their hearts (which I appreciate), forget about the preparation. Sometimes it’s like prepping an octopus to win a gold in the Olympics.Especially if you are somewhere isolated. The clothes alone. Let’s say your kids are extremely low maintenance. People seem to think all the clothes you need for your kids for the week will fit in a kiddie backpack.They may be smaller but you do need twice as many of them. For accidents or spills or if they get too dirty or cold….So they take up just as much room as an adult’s. And because little people get hot or cold easily, you have to account for all weather possibilities. If you are somewhere with a washing machine it’s easier. But you still need quite a few clothes! Especially if it’s a long drive- you have to account for juice spills or accidents when you can’t find a potty or spot to stop on the road fast enough. Or an exploding diaper, if they are still in diapers.
My kids get carsick. So there is also that to account for. Although that makes it slightly easier since they aren’t allowed milk in the car, only water.
There’s the snacks, the foods, the wipes, the diapers, the toys, the books, the clothes. There’s the videos to add to the portable laptop…yes we use videos. Oh man, I was dead set against it at first. “My parents never used videos!” I would protest!! But then, my parents drove with us for a max of 3 hours at a time until we were older. After half a dozen car trips with two over-tired toddlers screaming behind us, I caved. Now when they are over-tired a video goes in and it quiet periodically until they fall asleep. I used to tell Izzy to watch the scenery to calm her and make her sleepy. That was, until I found out that watching out the window for that long made her feel sick.
My kids, for example, are extremely sensitive to most soaps. So you have to remember to pack or buy soaps. The list just goes on and on….
Then there are the things you forget until you are a new parent again. Anyway, enough ranting. A Little Miss book actually said it better than I ever could….
“Something Mr.Nonsense had said had actually made sense. She had never thought of going on vacation before. The more she thought about it the happier she felt. She thought of all the fun things she could do:
There was the planning and organizing, there was all the shopping she would have to do, there was the packing, and she would have to learn the language, and read lots of books about the place she was going to visit.
That’s a lot of work!!
Little Miss Busy smiled happily.”
– Little Miss Busy by Roger Hargreaves