Packing for 28 Hours

Last weekend, we traveled from Seattle to Portland for my sister-in-law's baby shower. We were staying only one night - Saturday - and from the time we walked out our door on Saturday morning until the time we got home on Sunday afternoon, we were gone approximately 28 hours.

A few nights before the trip, I informed Mark that I was making a packing list. Without breaking stride or pausing for breath, I also told him that we should probably pack some of the stuff the night before. Because, you know, we were going to have a lot of crap. 

Mark's response: "but we're only going for one night!"

Oh, silly rabbit. Overnight bags are for bachelors.

While I appreciate that Mark's lack of a vagina means he can throw an extra t-shirt, socks, a pair of underwear, and some deodorant into a grocery bag and call it good, there are three important factors that he was failing to take into account.

(1) I am a woman who has never been good at packing lightly (and we were going to a family event, and I was having one of those weeks where I hated all of my clothes). My friend Hitha over at Hitha On The Go has some great ideas for packing lighter. She also just had a baby so we'll see how that goes :-)

(2) We were going to a family event for which we'd been asked to contribute a number of items.

(3) We have a baby. And babies require a lot of shit.

All things considered, I think we actually did pretty well on this particular trip. I managed to only pack three shirts, two cardigans, two pairs of pants, and a single pair of shoes - a minor miracle and largely the result of my desire to avoid having Mark accuse me of being ridiculous. Of course, I also packed a flat iron, makeup, various toiletries, a hairbrush, etc., but I consider those things obvious and not optional.

There there was the stuff for the baby shower:
  • Three (3) 13-gallon trash bags of hand-me-down baby clothes for the mother-to-be.
  • Three (3) tupperware containers in varying shapes and sizes containing roughly 8 dozen cookies (in lemon ricotta, almond Florentine, and chocolate chip varieties)
  • A tiered cookie tray on which to display the cookies
  • Eight (8) white ceramic dinner plates, hauled down at the request of my in-laws who are wonderful and also rather finicky about the quality of dinnerware off of which they (and their guests) eat.
  • Eight (8) white ceramic dessert plates -- see explanation above.
  • A full set of flatware -- explanation above also applies to instruments used in the transference of food from plate to mouth.
  • Oh yeah... and the actual gift for the expectant parents.
It is still up for debate whether it was my mother-in-law or father-in-law that decided that the hauling of white plates 200 miles was necessary. Either way, watching Mark progress through the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief over the course of about 60 seconds (they can't be asking us to do this (denial); fuck that, we're not doing it (anger); can't we get someone else to do it? (bargaining); I can't believe they are making us do this (depression); okay fine, I guess we're just going to do it (acceptance)) made the entire thing totally worth it.

Side note: Yes, I am taking a bit of a dig at my in-laws over this particular idiosyncrasy, but it should be noted that I totally won the in-law jackpot. 

And then there was the stuff for the baby:
  • Travel outfit (departing)
  • Travel outfit (returning)
  • Back-up outfit in case the car induces a diaper blow-out (it turns out that cars vibrate at exactly the right frequency to get A's bowels going)
  • Outfit for the baby shower
  • Sleeper
  • Back-up sleeper in case the first sleeper is wrecked by poop, vomit, pee, or some combination thereof
  • Sleep sack (here's a link for my non-parent friends)
  • ~15 diapers, approximately one for every two hours we were going to be gone
  • Wipes
  • The Pack'n'Play
  • The Ergo Carrier (which I prefer)
  • The Beco Carrier (which Avery prefers)
  • BPA-free plastic baby bowls
  • BPA-free plastic baby spoons 
  • BPA-free sippy cup (now called a "transitional cup" because of-fucking-course it is)
  • A rattle that our nanny-share family got in Mexico for their youngest son to keep him entertained on a trip a while back, that Avery has now appropriated. I am sure it contains lots of BPA.
  • Two WubbaNubs
  • Banana Mum-Mums (the most effective silencing device for babies over the age of 6 months)
  • Cheerios (it was on this trip that I realized that my car is going to be a Cheerio wasteland for the next decade)
  • Socks
  • More socks
  • A hat
  • A jacket
  • A blanket
  • An extra blanket it case the first blanket is wrecked by poop, vomit, or pee, or some combination thereof
  • The car lovey
  • The sleep lovey
There are also probably a variety of items that we packed that I've forgotten to list here. The amount of crap you carry when you have a small baby is astonishing.

But I think I've proved my point. Even for 28 hours total travel time, you need a list.


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