Saturday, May 21, 2011

Trip preparation stress

On Monday we leave town for a month. This is the first time Willow is going on a plane and the first time we’ve taken such a long trip. I’m just now realizing how much work it is to pack for myself and two kids, especially when we are so limited by the airlines in what we can bring. Luckily, we have a friend at our destination willing to lend us baby gear, and we’ll be borrowing a bunch of stuff from my parents. I also ordered some essentials – oatmeal, raisins, diapers, wipes, etc. to be delivered to my parent’s house.

I have a horrible tendency of experiencing something similar to third trimester nesting whenever I leave for a trip. I don’t want to leave a single dirty garment, even if it means getting up at 6 a.m. on the day of departure to throw the last dirty items in the washer. All those papers that have been sitting there forever – I really must sort through them all. The junk on the countertops should be cleared off. Those clothes that don’t fit any more – freecycle them. All garbage must be removed, even from the garage.
It’s ridiculous, because if I haven’t had time to get to these items in the preceding months, I certainly don’t have the time while trying to pack. But the day or two before leaving is usually a mad rush to try to get as many of these little tasks done as possible. The fact that we are renting out our house during our absence means there is even more pressure to leave things in good condition.

Mark has been working very long hours, trying to get his work done before we leave. But it looks like it won’t happen and that he’ll need to work quite a bit during the first week of the trip. So among the many other preparatory tasks, I’ve been looking for a local sitter in Wisconsin. It’s not going to be much of a vacation for me if I have to manage a toddler and an infant at a waterpark on my own. Thanks to I think I’ve found someone.

So while my days are now a continual to-do list, I know I’ll eventually finish. We’ll be forced out of the door, ready or not, to get our flight and then the fun will begin. We’ll be seeing tons of relatives, visiting some new places, and both River and Willows will have many new experiences. River is already very excited about the waterpark and his enthusiasm is contagious.

It’s going to be a lot of work taking care of two kids on the road. I’m seeing that already, just in the act of packing. But I hope it will be fun too. The next post will probably be from the road.

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