So, it’s as hot and humid as Satan’s arsecrack here today. Consequently, there has been a lot of NO YOU CAN’T GO OUTSIDE IT’S TOO HUMID going on.
(Funny sidenote: for the longest time, Stinkerbelle has gotten confused when trying to say “humid” and instead said “dammit”. As in, “It’s too dammit!” Yes, we’re bad parents, and we LOLed and LOLed.)
So, because it’s TOO DAMMIT, we have had to stay inside and keep ourselves amused. We postponed going to the grocery store because it’s just too hard for me to breathe out there. So we had to find other, fun, vaguely active and educational things to do.
Lots of Sesame Street is always good to count and sing songs and dance, so we did that. We made soup in the crock pot. But beyond that, my suggestions to colour or play with letters or whatever fell on unreceptive ears. And then, I got a brain wave.
“Hey lovey,” I said to That Girl. “Do you want to help me pack for our trip?”
And when I say “packing”, what I actually mean is “letting Stinkerbelle choose things that may or may not go to NS, and put them in a little suitcase, because she needs something to do”.
No matter. Stinkerbelle has been OMG SO EXCITED about going to Grammy and Grandad’s house… well, since April, actually, when we first booked the vacation time for this trip. So she was MORE than happy to start packing. Even though, as I explained to her, we were not GOING to Grammy’s house at this time — we were just going to “practice”.
She was okay with that. One thing I have learned from travelling is that kids like suitcases. It’s a big thing with zippers and compartments and OMG WHEELS I CAN PULL THIS AROUND. So the thought of playing with one and packing stuff and choosing what to put in it? BIG FUN.
We started by going downstairs to the basement and choosing a little carry-on-sized suitcase. It’s one of a set we bought to prepare to travel to Ethiopia, one that never got used because it is a different colour than all the rest of the set. (It was a ridiculously good sale, and they only had so many left in black, so we got this little green one to complete the set. WHAT? SHUT UP.)
I said, “Look, this one is perfect for you.”
She was ENRAPTURED. First off, GREEN OMG. Her favourite. Also, it’s just her size, and has WHEELS. But mostly? It was HERS.
So, she happily pulled it around the main floor for awhile, saying every now and again, “I GONNA PACK MY EVERYTHING.”
Now, part of my thinking with this is that I know that she is Four, and as someone who is Four, when it comes time to go, she WILL want to take her EVERYTHING. And we just can’t. So, in an effort to avoid the inevitable trauma about having to leave this friend or that book behind, I told her that we can only take what she can fit in the suitcase, and that she can pull.
So far, so good. To her, the suitcase An Infinitely Deep Well of Packing Space Into Which I May Pack My Everything. So after she finished pulling the empty one around, we went off to her room.
We spent awhile pulling on zippers and looking into various pockets and such, and then it became time to pack. She’s been fixated on taking her books, so I told her that she could take five.
She chose carefully. Then we closed it up and she pulled it. NOT TOO HEAVY, HUZZAH!
Then, we went through drawers and cupboards and talked about what she might need. I let her talk about what she might need and why, and choose whatever she wanted. (Knowing full well I’d have to put it all back again.)
She happily packed everything she needed from her room. Well, except for two special friends, Baby and Abby Cadabby, who she let me know IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS must ride with her in the car.
I can understand that.
Then we closed it and I let her pull. “Lots of room!” she said. So we took the suitcase downstairs to pack some toys.
She chose very carefully. I looked over and, at one point, she was head-first in her toy box, emptying it behind her, looking for a very specific toy.
At last, she was ready. And following is an itemized list of what she feels she needs for two weeks in Nova Scotia with Grammy and Grandad:
- 5 books
- a pair of panties
- 2 pairs of jammies
- 2 shirts
- 2 pairs of shorts
- a hat
- a bathing suit
- a pair of pants
- a cardigan sweater
- two pairs of slippers
- a magic wand
- her princess dress
- a soccer ball
- a pinwheel
- her Blues Clues blanket
- a musical Eeyore
- an empty kleenex box
- a giraffe
- a memory card game, and
- an empty dispenser for those rolls of tape to take cat hair off your clothes.
She hit many of the major packing groups there. She told me she would wear her shoes, obviously. And carry her little plastic toy camera in case Daddy forgets to bring a camera.
I don’t know how much mileage we’re going to get out of this suitcase as a travel item, but we sure are getting its money’s worth as a way to keep That Girl busy when she is stuck indoors.