“You ready to leave?” used to be a phrase which was asked rhetorically. You never really checked the answer from the rest of the crew since they’re all adults and can get their hungover arses out the door by themselves.
“You ready to leave?” when you have a wild baby is a question you are dreading to ask, because the answer will for certain be No. “No, because Iggson has poed”, “No, because Iggson has turned the trash bag upside down”, “No, because Iggson is gone”, “No, because we have forgotten to pack our own clothes” are unfortunately frequent answers. When travelling with a baby you also need to start packing at least four full days before departure, or you will for sure have forgotten half of your stuff. You probably will anyway, but at least you feel like you’re prepared mentally. Until the day of departure, that is. The two days in the run up to departure are critical because they need constant guarding of the suitcases and/or piles of clean laundry waiting to get sorted and packed. Why?
Because there are ten fat but tiny fingers attached to two hands with dimples that just cannot wait to tear it all out! To really, really, get in those bags with perfect piles inside and pull it all out on the floor. Those fat but tiny fingers (probably covered in mashed banana and tomato sauce) cannot wait to feel all the different materials of the colourful clothes and then bite them till they rip and use the remaining rags to polish those two round cheeks until they shine like a Maserati in Dubai.
Get in there!
Yes, yes! Use that carefully folded white silk blouse to get the porridge with blueberries off your face that mommy missed!
Yes, yes! That cashmere cardigan that was bought in Juan-les-Pins feels so good between your teeth!
Yes, yes! Might just as well get in the suitcase and lay down among those good smelling, soft, fluffy piles and rumble around in it. Happiness has never been so present!
Until mommy or daddy comes back into the room. That’s where happiness abruptly ends and you get placed in behind bars in your travel cot, having to watch the piles being rebuilt, without you being able to touch, smell, feel, bite… It must feel like watching apples mature and then when the day has come to harvest; a moose has been in your garden and eaten them all.
So close he can smell the deturgent
We have travelled so much since Iggson was born, considering half of our family is from England, so we (the parents) have learnt a lot about packing. The first times it was about making sure all his things were packed, nothing a simple checklist wouldn’t take care of. Then he turned six months. On his six month birthday he began to crawl. One or two days later he was pulling himself up with the help of furniture. These two factors made him truly believe that he could climb things. So it didn’t take long until he at least realised he could get in to things. All packing since then has become a neverending nightmare. You know, like one where you’re running and running but the enemy is getting closer and closer… It doesn’t matter what you’re packing for. If things are newly cleaned and neatly folded they have a target on it’s back as subtle as a basketball.
Unattended suitcase = Unpacked suitcase
Our latest packing experience was just now, sadly packing to go back home from our amazing Christmas holiday in the Swedish mountains, Raumundberget, where we’ve been for the last few weeks. And packing this time was a bloody nightmare! The colder the weather, the more you need to pack. The more you need to pack, the longer it takes to do so. The longer it takes, the bigger the piles! The bigger the piles, the more curious baby! The more curious baby, the bigger the mess!
I have no idea how he did it; he was under constant supervision? But as I was walking down the corridor to put the last of the laundry in the only suitcase with some space left in it, my Samsonite hand luggage comes walking towards me. It was more like speeding actually. It was speeding towards me like a really fast, drunk, turtle without a head with a tie and a few pairs of enormous panties as a tail.
You’re absolutely right, it was the child. My husband had left the bedroom to get the shampoo bottle from our en-suite bathroom and that’s all it took for Iggy Iggson to empty my hand luggage (which by the way is too big to go on Ryanair), turn the bag upside down over himself (which by the way was packed and waiting to get zipped), and run off on all four, laughing like a mad man.
Among all the reasons you would need a babysitter, hiring one so you can pack a bag, any bag, in peace was not even a thought the size of a fart in the universe before I had a baby. After tonight’s packing experience my fingers have been working so fast the keyboard started to smell like burnt plastic; looking for a packing-nanny.
He might be good at sorting, but his services are no longer needed.
Thank you and good night!