I’m trying to remember a time when I could leave the house with just a little handbag for a whole day or go away for a few days without needing to somehow relocate my house. Although I’ve got pretty good now at packing for a few hours away from home – helped by the fact that the explosive poos are now occasional rather than the norm so I don’t need to carry six spare changes of clothes everywhere – anything above and beyond this or with additional activities requires a lot more effort.
Last week we went on our first proper mini trip away to Anglesey in North Wales. It’s safe to say we took everything except our furniture. The car was full to the brim. My husband’s casual analysis of the situation was “Where will the other child go when we have another one?” (Er excuse me – the other one? I’m still working on this one and have my hands pretty full here sweetheart so don’t be getting any ideas!)
I should probably mention at this point that there isn’t a baby gadget out there that we don’t own. I would never have believed such a small person needs so much stuff, but between our own approach of haphazardly buying anything anyone has ever recommended to us for a baby in the hope that it will get him to sleep, eat or not cry (or a combination of those things) and my mum’s approach of doing the same and then some more, Mothercare has pretty much thrown up in our house. So when I say the car was full to the brim, I mean it was like babyland on steroids in there (because what’s the point in having all this crap if you don’t take it everywhere with you).
Bottle making machine, bottles, play gym, changing mat, a whole suitcase of varying temperature outfits (thank you British weather), room thermometer, sleep pods, baby monitors, sterilising machine, bath toys, books, blankets, toys, sling, pram, Calpol, teething rings, teddies, beach tent, lotions and potions, enough nappies and wipes to sink the Titanic etc etc etc..you get the picture (this could go on for a while). And this was us packing ‘lightly’ (basically means we didn’t bring the night light, beanbag, bumbo chair or furniture).
Comparatively, I brought one small overnight case for myself which had a random jumble of half-matched clothes and shoes thrown in (pre-baby me would be horrified my outfits weren’t coordinated with an array of accessories), toiletries, sunglasses and (don’t ask me why) a book.
I have no idea why I thought I needed a book. I didn’t even crack a page. It turns out a holiday with a baby is just the same as every other day except you’re not at home and you eat ice cream and your body weight in foods you don’t let yourself have at home (this does not bode well for the summer beach body project which has thus far failed to get off the ground).
It’s not the end of the world that the car was full – that’s the beauty of a staycation, right? That you can just throw everyting in. Except that this amount of crap just stresses me out. I had to go into full military, PR planning, control freak mode to remember everything. There were checklists for the checklists!
On the positive side, we had a really lovely time so the military hysterics were worth it and it was a good practice run for our holiday abroad over the summer as it taught me that we definitely do not need to take all this stuff, which is a good job as we would need about six suitcases.
The reason I know this? We didn’t use most of it. We packed it up, put it in the car, drove it there, unloaded it, unpacked it, carried half of it around for three days, repacked it, reloaded it, drove it back, reunloaded it and reunpacked it. What a waste of time!
The one thing we didn’t bring that we needed? Absolutely bugger all!