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So my mom’s…

January 27, 2008

birthday was this past Tuesday, and my sister and I concocted a plan to meet at her house, the midway point for an impromptu cousins’ slumber party. The end goal being that we would leave early in the morning when her boys woke up and proceed to swoop in on my Mom’s house as a surprise. Only my Dad was apprised of the details. His job was to have Mom unaware, and of course, there. It’s all so easy when it’s in the planning stages.

The additional details, er, um, complicating factors are always in the number of children, their ages, and have mercy, whether you can get the DVD player properly strung between the headrests in a way so that every child can both see and hear with plasma TV quality. Right.

At one point, I realized that the superhero quality I should have is that of being able to pull extra speakers and a widescreen out of my……nose. It wasn’t happening.

This is where I want to rant that I remember having to ride across the country and back on car trips with nothing but a couple of hardback Nancy Drew’s to keep me company, and being perfectly content to do so. If I had things to gripe about, it was that my sister had crossed over the clearly visible to me, physically invisible line that so definitely separated her Strawberry Shortcake paraphernalia from my much more essential Snoopy dress up dog. That’s all stuff worth griping about. Right.

Anyway, part one of the plan worked well. My sister’s children who are part rooster, woke up at 5:00 a.m. Figuring that lying in my bed trying to ignore their crying was not the most sisterly or auntie thing to do, I dragged myself from bed to begin the Travel Day.

Our goal was to leave the house by 8:00 a.m. which should have been well covered given that we were up before 6:00 a.m. Remember the previous complicating factors I mentioned? Add into the equation now that both my sister and I are descended from a long line of upper crust Southern bag ladies. Do you know this type? Are you a fellow sister?

For those not as blessed, allow me to elaborate. Everything must have its place, or bag in this case, and everything in its place, or bag. So that makes a bag for each child. (I’m a rebel on this because I throw all the clothes of 3 boys into one bag.) Then there is a bag or two for each mom. The moms are allowed to either subdivide their bag between clothes and toiletries or can choose to bring along a separate bag for toiletries with lots of cute little bags inside containing the subsets of toiletries. Then, there is a bag for snacks, a bag or three for drinks (this breaks down into bottles for the baby, big milks for the preschooler, water bottles for the older boys), a bag for shoes, and a bag for toys/entertainment per boy. You must have a bag for books/DVDs/CDs/iPods and accessories. Throw in a sleeping bag for each boy, plus pillows which don’t fit into a bag, unless you count the pillowcase as the bag. And you can see where screenwriters got the idea for the Clampetts moving scene. And why Vera Bradley has such a raging Southern girls fan club.

However, this is where having lots of boys comes in handy because I am all about training these sons to be good Southern husbands having lived the motto, “Mama packed it, and Daddy makes it fit into the car.” Off they were like so many, three actually, ants that toted bag after bag after bag to the van. I stood at the back and made “suggestions” about how and where to place the bags for maximum bag fittage.

8:08 a.m. we left the driveway, and were off. To Starbucks.

8:28 a.m. we left Starbucks, and were off. The baby started screaming his head off, having been up since 5:00, the tyke was tired. The boys in the back couldn’t hear the movie, there was a glare, the baby was too loud, and how much longer anyway?

I turned to my sister and informed her that I was going to pour the Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte into my ears, believing that it would do more good there than down my throat.

Let’s wrap this up. The baby did fall asleep. The boys were content to “see” the movie once I started to hand them the hardback Nancy Drew’s, and the traffic ran to our favor. We arrived safely, thoroughly surprised Mom, and celebrated with a nice lunch and afternoon.

We then repeated the above events for our return Friday, with yet one more complicating factor. But that’s another blog post for another bag, I mean, day.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2008 2:20 am

    Oh I had never heard that saying, “Mama packed it. Daddy makes it fit in the car.” Is that Southern? I just grew up that way and assumed my husband would follow suit. He has and is extremely talented at it. Good for you for teaching your boys the fine art of packing the car.

    Also, how do you think we used to pack before plastic shopping bags came along? I depend on those for all things last-minute. Super classy, I know.

  2. January 30, 2008 2:50 am

    Yep! We call it the “Dad Pack” job. It is amazing what can fit in the back of a minivan.

    ummm. You didn’t mention a “book” bag. No book bag? I’m hyperventilating from way over here!

  3. January 30, 2008 7:58 pm

    I totally agree about the car entertainment thing!! My family used to load up in our station wagon and/or mini van for loooooong roard trips, and we had nothing except for books and travel yahtzee to keep us amused. And Amy Grant cassette tapes, too.

    It drives my husband crazy how many bags I pack. He just doesn’t understand! 😉

    I wanna hear about the trip home now!

  4. January 31, 2008 3:55 pm

    Julie, I apologize for the scare. Abso-toot-ly we had a bag for books. There was a bag for the boys’ books, my books and my sister’s fashion magazines.

    Brenda, plastic grocery sacks reflect the epitome of my bag-ladyness. Into those I find myself throwing all the odds and ends that didn’t get into their proper bags but still must make it into the car.

    Megan, story on its way.


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