Extreme Packing With a Five-Year-Old

This past weekend, while the rest of America was home celebrating a murdering rapist who discovered India somewhere in Central America, my family and I went away for the weekend. We were gone Friday through Monday, which meant that we needed to pack. Have you ever tried to pack a suitcase with a small child? They have two modes:

In this mode, the child will attempt to pack almost nothing, and what he does pack will not be things that need to be packed. For instance sometimes he will pack just Uncle Bear. Uncle Bear does not need to go into the suitcase, because he gets to ride with the people. What needs to go into the suitcase are clothes, but clothes are the last thing that an inappropriate minimalist wants in his suitcase. He may prefer to pack a single potato, or perhaps his sister’s headband, but he will not put clothes or a toothbrush into his suitcase, that’s for sure.

The other option seems to be to pack everything. I do mean everything. I have walked into the bedroom to find the dressers drawers completely empty, because every scrap of clothing has been shoved into the suitcase. We might as well be moving. But beast mode packers do not stop at clothes. Oh no. We also need all of our toys in the suitcase, just in case we want to play with them. Cars, trucks, blocks, books, Rescuebots, train sets, and anything else within arm’s reach goes in there, until the top cannot be closed and the zipper cannot be zipped. Oh, and just try to take any single item out of the suitcase if you are looking forward to an epic tantrum.

At some point in the future I do hope to reach a happy medium, somewhere between these two modes, where I can say “We will be gone for three nights,” and the correct number of each item makes its way into the suitcase without any sneaking or fighting. But for now, we either repack in secret, or bring an extra bag!

Posted in Parenting, Uncle Bear, Vacation.

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