We're heading out on a short road trip in just a few hours. To circumvent any last minute packing offenses, I called the girls to the kitchen table so we could compose a list of all needed items for a two-night excursion. Emma the Brave spoke up first.
"We'll need pajamas and two day-time outfits."
"And toys," added Mouse.
I reminded them that daytime outfits must include socks and underwear and gave Mouse a knowing look. She giggled. "What else?"
"A night light." This was Emma.
"And toys," said Mouse.
With a little coaching they finally rattled off such inessentials like toothbrushes and toothpaste, dog food and bowls, toques, scarves, gloves, water bottles and rain gear.
"But then we won't have room for any toys!" Mouse cried.
"We'll see," I assured her, then sent them off to pack--or, rather, repack.
Ten minutes later the pair arrived at check-in, conveniently located in the kitchen. Emma was first, wheeling her Winnie the Pooh suitcase to the spot on the floor in front of me. In the crook of her arm she carried her one permitted carry-on--her favourite stuffed bear. Quick inspection revealed everything was in order. Not only had she managed to include all required items, but also a blanket, two notebooks, a pen, and four small soft toys. Next up was Mouse.
Immediately I sensed trouble. Mouse's suitcase bulged so much that Piglet's stomach looked like something out of Alien. To make matters worse, over its handle were three small hand bags, all stuffed to capacity. Without a word, I broke out the list.
"Pajamas? Check. Two day-time outfits? Check and check." Together we went down the list, unearthing her essentials from an assortment of nine soft toys, a deck of playing cards, 2 blankets, two journals and a pen. Calmly, I suggested we scale back on the toys, leaving behind the heaviest ones, and keeping it to one small blanket so her bag would close without difficulty. "But no handbags, Mouse. Sorry."
I waited. Historically speaking, a wail was imminent.
Mouse looked pensively down at her handbags. "Okay, Mommy," she said, then carried the handbags and four of her soft toys back to her room. I almost fell out of my check-in chair. When she came back, I had her roll her suitcase to the loading zone a.k.a. the dining room. "No touching your bag until we go. Got it, Short Stuff?"
She smiled up at me. "Got it!"
Yes, I think she has.