There are piles of stuff all over my floor. This isn’t that unusual in itself; said piles usually consist of crumbs, toy cars, discarded Mini Babybels with one bite taken out of them, every Thomas the Tank Engine book ever written – that sort of thing.
Tonight, though, we have piles of clothes, of wellies, of medicines and of snacks to eat in the car. It can only mean one thing: We are going on holiday and tonight is Packing Night.
Have you ever attempted to pack for a baby or toddler? I thought it was bad when it was just the two of us. I thoroughly loathe going on holiday, and nothing brings out the combination of my chronic OCD and wretched inability to organise myself (a pretty unusual combination it must be admitted) than having to pack for such an event. But when you throw a very small child into the mix, it becomes a form of torture akin to having pointy objects repeatedly jabbed into your eyes.
It’s not quite as bad this time because now Rory’s a bit older, we don’t need to take the colossal travel cot along with a load of bed sheets, Grobags and so on. He’s now big enough to sleep in a normal bed, so as long as we remember Les the Meerkat we’re good to go. We also don’t need a breast pump, sterilising equipment and a Moses basket, which is pretty fortunate because that will make room in the car for the metric f*ck-tonne of Duplo, Thomas the Tank Engine paraphernalia and 64 toy cars that we are going to have to take. This is before we even consider the clothing crisis.
We’re going to a festival, which means that Rory is going to need: clothes, clothes to change into when his other clothes get soaked from the rain, clothes to change into when he goes face down in the mud wearing his spare clothes and clothes to wear when he spills copious amounts of *something* down his second spare set of clothes. Also, a raincoat, a waterproof all-on-one, wellies, baby wipes galore, snacks with the word ‘organic’ on the packet so that we don’t look like we feed our child rubbish in front of all the hippies (if he actually eats one of the wholesome looking sweetened-only-with-grape-juice cereal bar things you can spank my backside and call me Dave, but it doesn’t hurt to try).
So, here we are surrounded by various piles. Richard has gone into organisation mode. I have gone into denial. I am also being very precious about the packing because he doesn’t understand the system that I have that is all in my head, and he’s made a spreadsheet and OH MY GOD, HE MUST BE KILLED.
I have been banished to the computer and I’m fretting that he’s not using the zip-loc freezer bags to the best effect. Also, will he remember to pack a range of carrier bags for dirty laundry? I bet he won’t. And then where will we be? Eh Richard? At least Rory’s in bed so we’re spared his usual onslaught of anarchy. I might go to bed too in a minute and perhaps take the peanut M&Ms for the car journey with me for a small cuddle.
Oh, and where are we spending this little vacation? A Travel Lodge in Merthyr Tydfil – the third worst town in the UK. I’ll send you a postcard.