Practical Advice for Parents Traveling with Tots

Don’t try to pack with a toddler assisting.

In order to avoid revenge Nimoo-style being wreaked upon the apartment in her passive-aggressive (or just aggressive) way, I normally leave packing until the morning of a trip. Things get piled strategically though. That passes unnoticed by the kitty. She doesn’t seem to be able to distinguish between piles accumulating out of sheer laziness of the adult person she lives with and those that contain specific items destined for suitcases.

So okay. I got up, and got clothes into one bag, had a shower, figured I’d dry my hair then pack Cameron’s toys and books, and my various toys (computer, camera, iPod and their various cords and chargers). The best laid schemes gang aft agley or however that’s spelled though. These plans got spoiled by a “Mommeeee! I awake! I happy! Let’s go!” He remembered that today was taxi and airplane day, and was rearing to go. He hit the ground running, and hit the pile in the livingroom with who knows what in his mind. “Put away! Put away!” was his first reaction. While I hate to discourage this behaviour since someone in the house needs to be good at putting things away, now was not the time. So I explained that I was packing, that these things were coming with us, and added Bunny and Blanket and his nightlight to the mix. Oh, but I forgot the pillow. I would hear about that in 13 hours. But nevermind that for now … now understanding, Cameron assisted my packing with zeal. “Pocking, pocking,” he chanted, grabbing seemingly random items. The pile grew. And grew. And grew. I tried hard to let him make some decisions, but was not going to be lugging our maximum baggage allowance, no way no how. Two bags, each carry-on sized, though they got checked. We’re going away for a weekend, not a month. Eventually I did manage to filter out most of the oddities that Cameron figured we should bring with us. “Cameron, Nana has plenty of soap. Really, we don’t need to bring a dinner plate.”

We’re here, at Nana’s, safe and sound and with two very full but nice and small bags.

Happinesses for today:

Cameron’s bare-butted dancing, with chants of “Let’s go! Taxi! Let’s go! Taxi!” He all but hauled me out the door he was so excited.

Kissing Nana hello, and again later, goodnight.

Seeing Cameron literally FLY towards Betty at the airport, and seeing Betty’s face as she wrapped her arms around him.

Standing outside on the patio, looking over the bay. It’s dark out there, the wind-ruffled water swallows the glow from the lights across the bay, not allowing any reflections. That wind is salty and cool, fresh compared with the city air. Between gusts I can hear the clinking and bumping of the boats in the marina. This is an anticipated happiness – I’m heading out there now, before an early bedtime.

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