Monday, June 25, 2012

Packing....Then and Now.

We all know life changes after having kids...whether you have one, two or19 like the Duggars. Whatever. Life changes. Most of the changes are for the better. Most are wonderful. But there are concessions too: Free time, going to the bathroom alone, stretch marks, leisurely travel without being terrified of the next meltdown (you know, where you can actually listen to music or read a good book)....and your OWN luggage and carry-on. Your own-as in...not having to share with your offspring.

Pre-kid, my suitcase would be filled to the brim with tank tops and skirts and dresses and impractical shoes, loads of jewelry, makeup and even my hair straightener.

Post-kid: I have 4 pairs of pants, a couple rough and tumble shirts, two bras, underwear that needs updating, a necklace if I am lucky, sneakers, a few flip flops, and a vial of mascara. "All this" for a one month trip.

My carry-on bag is even sadder--er--kid friendly. Pre-Kid: water (back when water wasn't a weapon), some mints, a Luna bar, I-Pod (pre-I phone era), magazines (a huge selection) and two-three books.

Post-kid: a change of clothes for Alex, jammies, sippy cups, kid-friendly snacks, board books, lolly pops (to equalize ear pressure), children's Tylenol, two blankies, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, My Little Ponies, a sticker book, crayons, diapers and wipes.

What do I now have in my carry-on bag that is my own, or for my own personal use? Imodium (hey-it's a 16 hour flight from Texas to Brisbane!), my phone and my wallet. So yes. Life changes.

I'll probably bring my Nook. Although, I fully expect to not be able to read anything I download. See-it's different for women. Dan, he can tune everything out and get absorbed in a book or magazine. I, on the other hand, have one ear open for the first minuscule sign of grumpiness or discontent. I can't relax, I'm always trying to circumvent any tantrum....prevention is key!

My advice to other parents of toddlers who have to travel long distances (air travel):
-Even if your child is under two, buy them a seat if you can! Most kids are comfortable in their car seat and less so on the lap for long periods
-Walking the aisles may not work out well...despite thinking that a change of scenery will keep your kid from getting too ornery. Once they walk the aisle-they will NEVER want to go back to their seat. Beware!
-Lollipops for toddlers-helps with ear pressure on landing and can be very distracting for a whining child
-Stickers. Need I say more?
-Avoid the red-eye. Kids never sleep when they are "supposed to" while traveling. There is a good possibility that taking a red-eye will just make them crankier.
-Buy a Go Go Baby car seat thingy. Look it up. Beats a stroller any time for airport travel
-Snacks snacks snacks!
-It's costly, but if you can, buy a Tablet for your kid and get their favorite shows. It's baby crack.
-Mini Magna-Doodle is always a winner with us
-Layer the clothes
-Don't even try to stick to potty training when least not until you get to your destination

That's all I can think of for now. We've taken Alex to Florida two times and this will be our third time taking her to Australia. We've kind of accrued tips and pointers.

And despite having to share my luggage and carry-on, I'm super excited for this trip and secretly love the fact that I'm toting all of Alex's stuff too :)

1 comment:

  1. Have a great trip. Sounds like you have a good game plan for that insanely long flight.