Packing: Everything But the Undies

A while back I took my kiddos to see my parents who live quite a distance from myself.  It is a long, long, god-forsaken drive, made bearable only with frequent applications of Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet Pepsi as well as peanut M&Ms.  Oh, and a DVD player.

So we get to my parents and all is well.  At least once I can feel my posterior again.  The next morning we get up and my mom tells my daughter, “Let’s go get you dressed.  Can you bring me your clean underwear and day clothes?”

Suddenly, my world of tranquility and nice turned into one of Dante’s 7 Levels of Hell.  It seems I had forgotten to pack any undies for my daughter.

Now let’s be clear on a few things here.  First off, my daughter would probably be quite content to wear the same undies until they fell off her hiney in a wee pile of tatters.  At her age, hygiene didn’t include changing one’s clothes.  However, because Grandma said she should put on clean undies, well, a proclamation from Congress and the POTUS couldn’t have held more power.

Go commando while I washed her sole pair?  Nope.  Wear one of her brother’s pull-ups just until the undies were tidy-whities once again?  No can do.  Wear a pair or her older brother’s Y-fronts.  Oh no, you have got to be kidding me.

So the plan for the day suddenly included shopping for new underwear.

The only problem is that my parents live in the middle of BFE.  As in, past the end of civilization and all shopping centers.  I kid you not.

We begin phoning all shopping options.  I even dialed gas stations in a 25 mile radius.  The nearest I found was a package of Grandma Panties circa 1962, size XL.  No way that was going to fit her hiney.

So, we loaded up the kids and the van and drove 75 miles into the nearest town that carried “girlie” panties in a size 4.

All told, those 4 pairs of Littlest Petshop panties cost me $84.62 in panties, snacks, bandaids (for the injury to my head when I whacked myself with the tail-gate of the van), 3 rides on the carousel, and dinner for 5 at Red Robins.

If you are traveling anywhere for spring break, do yourself a favor and double-check the suitcase for panties – for all members of the family.

“But I’m Your Super Best Buddy FOREVER!”

One thing that families with only one child miss out on is the camaraderie, and coinciding lack-there-of, between their children.  To be honest, sometimes I look back with something more than just fondness for the days when my oldest child had no one to fight with.  Of course, the rare times he actually plays with his siblings makes up for that wistfulness on my part.  But I have three kiddos which means that there are just a whole bunch of relationship dynamics happening at our house, compounded by my own capricious moods.  However, the relationship most fun (and torturous at times)  to watch unfold, is between my 6 year old daughter and 3 year old son.  For the most part, they are best buddies.

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Jungle Gym Anyone?

When my oldest child was two months old, my husband and I schlepped across the country with almost everything we owned so as to show my parents their second grandchild.  Those of you who have travelled with an infant know my pain.  You could have fit a family of 4 in our suitcase, let me tell you.  Over the years, the trauma of that trip has faded, but one memory has remained; it is nearly as freshly etched today as it was 9 years ago.  A college friend stopped by to see us and I was amazed at how her 3 boys just climbed all over her.

“That is insane,” I thought.  Why on earth would any parent let a child use him/her as a jungle gym?  Such pondering is easy to do when your infant is readily contained in a car seat.  Of course, anyone with a 3 year old knows that answer.

You let them in order to do something else.  Like have a conversation, or eat a sandwich, or use the toilet, or iron a dress shirt. (Just joking on the last one.)

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