Whenever you travel, there are certain things that can’t be done until the last minute. When you travel with kids, this is magnified by an order of magnitude for each person. At least.
There are toothbrushes, hairbrushes and combs, still to be used; favorite blankets and toys that can’t be snuck away until the very last moment; shoes that are still being worn; electronics that are still being played with — they’re all still on my list. And then, since I’m likely to completely space out on important details when I’m stressed about getting out the door, I have a long list of things to do (such as take out the trash and close the windows) and things to remember (like the fact that the orange stroller is the one we’re bringing with us and how many suitcases we have to bring along — my mom once had to debate with Dan & I about the fact that we had one fewer suitcase than we were saying we should have with us . . . and it took her the better part of 10 minutes to convince us she was right).
I’m trying to keep things calm and normal around the house prior to our departure. I know the kids will do best if things aren’t hectic or stressed and if Mommy isn’t irritable or freaking out. But it’s hard to keep myself in a relaxed mode when I’m surrounded by unfinished to do lists and the clock is ticking down.
We are, now, down to only those last-minute things. That which can be packed, is packed (except for all of Dan’s stuff, which is another immense frustration entirely). That which can be done, is done. Our attempts at a normal, on-time evening are completely out the window since it’s now 9:30 and the kids aren’t in the bath yet (bedtime is theoretically 9:00, although we almost never make it). All that’s left, really, is to try to keep myself in a decent frame of mind while I finish up the loose ends. It helps me to remember that this time tomorrow, we’ll be home!