Parenthood, I’ve found, is such a weird balance. Sometimes I waver between total and sheer awe and joy at my child’s life force and utter despair at the conveniences of my pre-child life that are now dead and gone. That may sound dramatic, but we are packing for a 3 day trip which for Dave is a ‘working vacation’ and we are only doing carry-ons plus it’s freezing wintertime weather. So I feel like the drama is warranted.
We used to take weekend stints to random locations with nary a thought. Like, book the tickets, throw some underwear and shirts in a bag, and let’s find us some drinks in a foreign country! I could sleep or read or just stare blankly on the plane, I could eat a full meal with both hands, I could just BE wherever and do whatever. And let me tell you what, I had really did have a good time, but sometimes I want to get in a time machine and SLAP that silly bitch for not appreciating it more.
Traveling is still important to us and we want our child to value it as well. We are going to Sapporo to see Dave play hockey and enjoy the snowy mountains and get out of town and spend Christmas as a family. And I know in my logical heart that it will all be fine, and we’ll have fun, and we’ll be glad we went. But the lead up is killing me. The packing, the planning, the thinking. A few other girls (and one other baby) and I are flying on different flights than Dave and his team so I’m planning my standard mother-alone flight plan (which has been done and executed successfully and consists of: unlimited access to snacks, unlimited access to nursing, continual pacing of halls/aisles and glaring at strangers who give us mean looks)…reminding myself that nothing can ever be as daunting as our 17 hour journey from Michigan to Tokyo on our own and that whole experience went rather well.
Mostly, I’m just packing and looking at my list and thinking ‘how can I best mitigate 3 days spend alternating between sweating profusely and sweating slightly less profusely in below freezing temperatures?’ and so far the answer is just ‘layers’ and ‘powerful deodorant’ and ‘red wine.’ I can’t pack light, but I’m trying to take packing lightly.
FOR BABY: In the carry-on (as pictured): 1 quilted snowsuit (to go over her clothes), 1 fleece snowsuit (to go over the first snowsuit), 3 pairs of tights, 3 sweaters, 3 long-sleeved shirts, 2 undershirts, 7 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of shoes, 1 pair of boots, 1 fleece sweatsuit, 2 pairs of pajamas, 3 bibs, diaper cream, baby acetaminophen, baby lotion, washcloth, weird baby toothbrush thing, 2 blankets, several stuffed animals most importantly her Lovey Bunny and a baby pillow (yes, she likes a pillow but don’t panic she will not suffocate on it we take it away from her once she’s asleep…a cruel trick if you ask me). Not pictured: 2 sippy cups, 24 diapers, 3 hats, 1 pair mitts, 1 neckwarmer, several books, all our snacks for the weekend (crackers, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate), my diaper backpack containing all the normal items (3 diapers, wipes, chapstick, bib, nursing cover, sling, burp cloth, plastic bags, camera, pre-packaged snacks, 3 bentos of fresh food), Ergo carrier, and we will be checking her travel crib (this is a time when a baby who is able to co-sleep would really come in handy).
FOR MAMA: I will be wearing most of what I’m bringing including: 1 pair of boots, 1 sweater, 1 long underwear shirt, SmartWool socks, winter jacket, hat, scarf, mittens. Adding to the carry-on: 1 long underwear shirt, 2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of underwear, 1 long underwear pant, 1 sweater, mascara, concealer (I am foreseeing a serious under-eye circle issue on this trip), deodorant (stolen from Dave), lip gloss, comb, iPod, Kindle, Kindle Fire (oh my gosh I know you guys but they serve different purposes, ok?)
As you read this, I will be on my way from Nikko to Tokyo, Tokyo to Sapporo. Hopefully I will neither lose my shit in public nor offend anyone with my body odor. Happy Holidays to us.