Say Cheese, Sasquatch

You remember those days when your kids were babies or toddlers, and you felt like you were packing for trip to Fiji just to head to the grocery store?  After you had carried all the assorted bags, extra clothes, camcorder, toys to the car and gotten Jr. safely tucked in the car seat, you still had to make three more trips back to the house for things you had forgotten (keys, purse, your brain).  Glad those days are long behind you?  Yeah?  Don’t rub it in. 

As we headed out for church yesterday morning, I realized that my family has never quite let go of the toddler stage.  Each of us was weighed down with enough stuff to open our own Walmart and still make a killing on Ebay with the leftovers. We tend to pack for every outing as if we might not be back home until Paula Abdul says something that makes sense.   I’m afraid we may have an undiagnosed doomsday complex, because we seem to pack for all the “just in cases” of life. 

Uber and H-T never go in the car without their Nintendo DS, their game pack, their car charger AND standard charger.  If they happen to be in the car, at a crucial point in their game, and the little red “low power” light comes on?  No problem.  If they are at a friend’s house, and are deep in a Wi-Fi battle when the warning signal lights blinks?  Not an issue.  I haven’t yet warned them of those few places on earth, usually over 200 feet away from buildings and automobiles, that are not wired for any type of charger.  They have enough to worry about with global warming and the future of social security.  Why send them into panic mode? 

I usually have about four armfuls of stuff when I head out into the great unknown.  But experience has shown me that they are all absolute necessities. 

  • Cell phone, car charger, standard charger (duh – did you think the boys came up with their obsessions obigfootn their own??)
  • Camera – – because if I really see Bigfoot, I don’t want no grainy, half-ass cell phone pic – – I want a CNN-worthy ,$25,000 close-up. 
  • Two coats, a change of clothes, a blanket, gatorade and some beef jerky – – hey, I’ve watched Oprah…if you get stranded in a snowstorm in your car, this will keep you alive (as long as I remember my cell phone charger)
  • A book – – I’ve been stuck in many waiting rooms with magazines old enough to feature Jennifer Aniston’s haircut on Friends as “the next big thing”
  • Plastic grocery bags – – this trend started after an unfortunate car trip following a delicious dinner of undercooked shrimp and blueberry pie. My upholstery used to be tan.  It’s a lovely pukeish-blue-taupe now.
  • Pillows – – ok, so I’m old.  Riding in the car makes my back hurt.  Plus, they will come in handy in the snowstorm.
  • Water bottle – – again, I’m old.  2 quarts a day is supposed to help keep the wrinkles away. 
  • Portable DVD player and my Gilmore Girls DVDs- – if traffic comes to a standstill, I know that Lorelei, Rory, Richard, and Emily will talk me through it
  • Makeup bag – – because you never know when you might need a quick touch-up… like say…when CNN gets wind of my Bigfoot biopic…

Now R-T is not a “watch the sky for falling airplanes” type of man, so he generally makes it to the car with just himself and his dignity.  We’ve warned him numerous times to grab an extra pair of boots, maybe a weather radio, or even a set of jumper cables.  He’ll be sorry he didn’t listen.  When we get trapped in that snowstorm, and the boys and I run down the car battery with our various chargers, who do you think it is that’s gonna have to tromp through the snow in his tennis shoes to find Bigfoot and see if he is willing to give us a jump??


10 Responses

  1. You lost me at the Paula Abdul comment because I couldn’t see through my tears of laughter to read the rest. You seriously crack me up.

  2. This is the first time I’ve read your blog. I will be back! What a gift you have! I may type “ROFLOL” a lot, but this time I was LITERALLY laughing out loud. (I didn’t quite roll on the floor, but I WANTED to.)

  3. BBM – You’ve had some pretty doggone funny material lately yourself, dear lady. I’ve had to grab a few hankies of my own!

    Kelly – Thrilled to have take a few minutes break from your forum work (you do such a terrific job on there, BTW) and stop by! Please do come back anytime!!

  4. What is the deal w/Paula Abduhl?? Bizarre… I’m still in the preschooler phase with all the toys, change of clothes, etc. I was hoping there would be a light at the end of this tunnel. Thanks for bursting that bubble… 😉

  5. lol I was thinking the other day that at least now they carry all their stuff back from the car into the house and I don’t have to do it for them…!
    I also imagine your journeys are a lot longer than ours – which puts our nintendos and books, ipods, etc to shame really…. but on my recent shopping trip I di have to buy – after I finally found one – a bag to put my life in – make up, book, drink, phone and music…and diary..and spare book in case I finish the one I’m currently reading…:)
    Thanks for the laugh, Katie

  6. RG – Not to worry, in a few more years I’m sure the games will be lasered directly into their retinas…nothing to carry…ta-dah! 🙂

    RD-please immediately send your trick for getting them to bring things BACK into the house…that is a whole other blog there!!

  7. Yeah…I’m still there. Amazingly, I seem to find more crap in my car that belongs to Mr. 17 and Ms. 14 then the younger two…and yes, if we were cough in a snow storm, we would survive for a few days on whatever food items have been dropped or simply left for lost in the twilight zone that is my van! Great post, as always!

  8. Yay, we’re not the only ones! I tend to pack things that we might actually use, while my son (who may have been a squirrel in a past lifetime) stashes food EVERYWHERE (under car seats, in the trunk, various pockets). This takes on a decidedly yucky turn when I find fruit that has self-composted in one of his little hidey-holes.

  9. SD-I’m afraid we are heading for van territory in the very near future–the car just isn’t gonna hold all our stuff for much longer

    FM-Look on the bright side…at least you can always locate the food by following the smell! 🙂

  10. Topsy – you are too funny! :o) We still have to pack a lot as well….for my 3 yr old we need to take a sufficient amount of toys and snacks, as well as inhalers, bendryl, etc. For my 8 yr old we need to take all of his chargers and such for his ds, and again, any additional toys and snacks. For me, we have my ds (heehee, I know…sad…) and all chargers and extras, I need my cell phone chargers and an additional case for said cell phone, just in case my trip to the grocery store turns rugged and I need to protect my lifeline from the harsh environment. :o) My hubby usually packs his laptop when we go, and he also likes to carry around an old fashioned paper journal (I had no idea they still made those!) to jot down notes when they come to him. He’s a writer, so he HAS to be able to write the moment anything comes into his head. :o)

    The great thing about me is…once something gets into my vehicle, it NEVER seems to come out. So while we occasionally load up when we go out, more often than not we know that what we need to take is probably already out in the car. :o) Great post!!

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