This weekend we went down the Shore for a night. To any outside NJ, we went to the beach. The Jersey Shore is not that skanky place on MTV. It's family friendly, so down to our house we went. My StepD and her husband are year 'round tenants so we're lucky we don't have to do the summer-weekend-stock-up each time. We keep the basics there which helps the departure chaos a lot. Early in the season, though, there's not much down there except the "I'd never wear these at home but they're OK to leave here just in case" clothes. Early in the season, however, stockpiles are thin so packing must be done. I've yet to figure out why that never seems to end well.
You know you'll pack for a baby. Preschoolers and young school aged kids will need intervention. It's incredibly disheartening that my 12yr old son may never be able to pack two shirts and two shorts that stand a chance of matching. Until his recent infatuation with boxers, underwear never hit his packing radar. If he weren't wearing shoes in the car he'd be barefoot every trip. He does remember his PSP cell phone, and nuclear-strength-fragranced AXE body wash. Only parents of tween/teen boys or HS teachers can appreciate my sheer delight that he packs AXE. All. The. Time. I don't even know where he gets it.
My 10 year old is pretty decent in this regard which helps me focus on me come packing time. Flip flops may be forgotten at times, but he can match clothes and recall you need a swimsuit to swim. He remembers that he doesn't go commando each day, and even thinks through pajamas for strolling around a crowded house. My on-the-verge-of-pubescent son can't grasp that boxer briefs are not appropriate attire in and of themselves. I give him a list, or have him write what I dictate, but no results. This all sets in motion the downward spiral of confusion.
Despite the best intentions, I always seem to be racing through the house glomming up my own stuff like a crazy person after unpacking/repacking the boys' bags. I'm such a hardass, I don't let him pack six sleeves of gum, 4 bags of chips, a PSP and AXE for a long weekend. Well, I should say I won't let them ONLY pack that. I'm a real bitch right? Every time, we have madness and drama heading out to excursions. Shore house, Williamsburg, Florida-- always chaos. I can pack six days ahead with three lists, and STILL something is left out.
The disheartening pattern is what gets omitted, whose things. In the asylum that is our house, MY things are the things I keep forgetting. In a race to get them taken care of, I'm but a frazzled woman with a half done list and husband starting the car before my hair is even done. It's gotten to the point that any trip secretly includes a Google search ahead to see where the closest Walgreens is. I can tell you every Target within 20 miles of the hotel we stayed at in Florida. I've lost track of how many makeup bags, bathing suits, and contact lens cases I have had to buy at quadruple resort town rates. I can swipe my husband's T-shirts for sleeping, but he gets really peeved when he finds his awesome razor in the shower. I've asked if he prefers the alternative to a wife with smooth legs, and he promptly hits the sundries shop for me.
Moms always are putting others first. Airlines remind us to have the basic sense to provide oxygen for ourselves to enable us to save others. I guess packing should be no different. I'm so preoccupied that they may not have socks that I get completely derailed. Thank God they have belts so their pants will stay up. That will come in handy when I drag them into CVS for deodorant.
Right now, my mind is wandering for tomorrow. It's wandering because even though we only needed to pack for two beach sessions and an overnight, once again I ran amok. One night going from our home to a house an hour and a half away, and they've done it to me again. (Yes, I'm pinning it on them.) Son1 has his cell phone charger. Son2 has his Nintendo DS and toothpaste to last a month. I, however, came back from the beach to realize in my "just get in the @*#&$ car!" mind I lost sight that I had some things already at the shore house, but not some, how shall I say-- "key essentials." How crazed was I chasing their stuff that I forgot my own underwear? Really?
Gotta run to go GoogleMap Victoria's Secret.