This weekend, we’ll be taking a short trip with the boys. Joe and Luke are excited because we’re taking them out of school for a day. Hubby is excited because the trip is mainly an excuse for him to take photos. I’m excited because I have a personal rule that I must leave the state once every four months, and it’s time for me to get out of Dodge.
I was upstairs tonight contemplating all I need to do before we leave. The list was long and mind-numbingly dull. Then, it hit me. I can divvy out my laundry list of chores. I thought about the packing. I’ve never packed for Steve, but I do usually pack for the boys. Steve always manages to pack about 400 pairs of underpants and socks, but then will forget to bring something crucial, like pants. I figure that he’s a grown up, though, so I leave him to his own devices. I do not, however, want my boys packing like their father does. So, I determined that it was finally time to teach them how to do their own packing.
“Boys…come up here, please,” I bellowed downstairs.
Noisy chaos continued unabated. I yelled again.
“Guys…I need you to do something for me. Come up!”
Still no response. It once again appeared I was talking to myself, and it was the most intelligent conversation I’d had with them all day. When they finally figured out that my caterwauling was directed at them and came up, I handed them each a packing list. I figured that was a basic enough way to start the process.
“Here you go. You are going to pick out your own clothes for the trip. This is the list of all the things you will need. Please select the clothes carefully from your drawer and stack them neatly in a pile. Try to remember that the clothes you select should match each other, okay? These are the only clothes you will have all weekend, so make sure you like what you pick out because once we leave you’re stuck.”
I sent them on their merry way. I was feeling rather smug about it too. When they had finished, I did a quick check to make sure all items were accounted for and coordinated. Sure enough. It looked good. I was pleased. I tossed their clothes into the suitcase. Next time I will have them make their own packing lists first for practice. I figure if we keep going at this current rate of travel, they should both be excellent at packing by the time they’re 14 and 12. Then I won’t have to think about it at all. And, who knows? Maybe then they’ll teach their father how to pack.