Leaving our house on time to go anywhere has recently become my worst nightmare. From start to finish, it takes us 2.43 hours to load up and head out. Heaven forbid we make any last minute plans to go somewhere, because with that kind of un-organization going on, it bumps up the preparation time to 3.37524 hours.
In the beginning, after Bonehead and I got married, we threw on whatever clothing was appropriate and took off. This was back in the day of grunge, so clothing consisted of jeans and a flannel shirt, sweats and a flannel shirt, or shorts and a flannel shirt (usually the very same flannel shirt). At any point of any day, we left our dwelling with such sweet freedom. Lunch at 11:30? Sure, let’s go. Wanna go for a scenic drive? Let's get going, chop chop. Hungry at 2am? Let’s drive around until we find an all night diner.
Then Smoochie entered our lives, and things became a little more difficult. Now we had to worry about an adequate supply of diapers, clothing, the proper kind mind you (can’t pack the boy gym shorts when it’s 20 below with the wind chill), food and the like. Leaving our place of residence was a little more difficult but still fairly easy.
And then Smoochie got older. He started toting toys. Then he grew bigger. Now we have to worry about him trying to pack for a major move instead of going to the grocery store for an hour or grandma’s for a day. If we would let him, that boy would tote along a suitcase full of matchbox cars, two or 3 big Tonka trucks, a fake camera, a cell phone, Florida his stuffed dog, two pillows, some tooth picks and a stick of butter. If we would let him.
Hubby is progressively gaining his own routines designed to clutter up our impending departure times. If there is any excuse in the world to include one of his bikes in our excursion, the bike needs to be packed. Which means the bike gear needs to get packed. By bike gear, I mean the helmet, the gloves, the water bottles, the socks, a bike pump, at least one type of grease/lube material, a change of clothes or two, and certain personal hygiene products. Normally, this would be OK, but not one of the above mentioned items ever gets put in the same place twice, in which case I become the lost and found referee. “Honey, have you seen my other sock?” “Do you know where my bike shoes disappeared to?”
Critter is too little to tote along toys other than the teethers and rattles we lob into his car seat with high hopes of avoiding an hour long scream fest on the way to Grandma’s. A good Critter scream fest will shatter the eardrums of even the most hard of hearing companion, let alone in a car with all that glass for those scream waves to bounce off of eternally. Fortunately, he’s still at the fairly simple stage which means all I have to worry about packing is a change of clothes, jammies if we plan to be out past 7pm, diapers, wipes, cereal, jars of baby food, burp cloths, bibs, dishes in which to prepare his food, baby spoons, a changing pad, baby bumbo seat in case we need a place for him to sit/eat. We keep the stroller in the back of the minivan (the monstrosity takes up the entire trunk space) at all times because we find it is needed quite frequently. Fortunately for us, he’s not trying to cart around a years supply of turkey bacon just yet.
Ok, so now that we have everything packed for the 6-7 hours we are going to be away from home, that will be 2 or 3 trips to the minivan to load everything up, another trip for any items we might have forgotten, a trip into Bonehead’s car for any crucial items he needs from there (sunglasses and sunscreen), and two kids to lock and load. Is it any wonder I’m exhausted before I ever step off my back porch?
Pulling out of the driveway, we resemble nomads, with only our eyeballs visible above all of the crap we have attempted to stuff into our minivan. If we ever got lost and had to live off of what we had with us, we could survive quite contently for months, or at the very least, be kept nice and toasty warm with one helluva bonfire.