The whole thing started about 6 weeks ago when Big Daddy (aka my husband) and I decided, this time, we would be taking our vacation sans kiddos.
Being the ﬁrst time in a very long time that we would be away from our children, we did the requisite “second honeymoon” type preparation. We both started diet and exercise routines, Bought some fancy new clothes and visited the tourism sites for great spots to lounge and get our drink on. We also renewed passports, arranged for childcare, updated our cell phones - and our wills - and notiﬁed their schools. Normal trip stuff.
Then about 2 weeks before “take off”, I began to lose my mind.
I don’t know what happens to a mom when she realizes that she will be leaving her children behind while she goes away to relax and renew her mojo, but some time in the last 13 days, my life turned into a housewife’s version of ‘If you give a mouse a cookie” and I apparently stopped preparing for a vacation, and started readying for the apocalypse.
I should have caught the problem when, while putting together outﬁts for my youngest son, I proceeded to purge his entire closet and overhaul his wardrobe.
But before I could even ﬁnish with that task, I headed into my teens room...which obviously needed to be cleaned, and thought “Heck, why not remodel the whole damn room?” So, new furniture, ﬂoors, paint and decor for him...then it was time to clean my ofﬁce!
The insanity continued throughout the entire house!
Even the dogs and the ﬁsh got drug into my preparation panic...”HEY! They have to be groomed sometime! Why not 2 days before I get on an airplane? And that ﬁsh tank hasn't been disinfected in years!”
Once I was in complete insanity mode, I realized there was shopping to do & meals to plan for. Sounded like the perfect time to convert the entire family to vegetarianism! And what better time to start that whole “cook and freeze 3 months worth of meals in one weekend” thing than the present, Right?!
“Now, about that freezer.” It’s not going to defrost and clean itself! Might as well git er done! As for the stuff that can’t be frozen, well, you can never have too many cases of canned pasta, ramen noodles and squeezy cheese, can you? WHAT? Who knows? There could be a freak snowstorm or volcanic eruption and they could all be trapped in the house for weeks! They’ll need to eat!
In addition to all the grocery and food prep, we have to make sure the house is spotless since someone else will be living there while we’re gone and we wouldn't want them to think we’re bad housekeepers!...and if you’re going to clean anyway, you may as well rearrange the furniture, put up all the decorations for the next holiday, steam clean the carpets, organize all the closets and junk drawers and buy all new sheets, towels and throw rugs...just to be safe.
A few other things on the pre-vaca “to-do list”:
- Fill up the gas tank, which includes: Put air in the tires, change the oil, have the car detailed, take the car to the garage and have those broken door locks ﬁxed, new wiper blades, inspection. HEY! I need to have my driver’s license renewed...
- Make a list of the daily schedule for the sitter, write down; emergency contacts, passwords, bank accounts, Finally ﬁnish writing that book I've been planning, scrapbook all the pictures in that basket in the closet...
- Shop for goody bags for the boys for each day we’re gone. Get fruit, crackers, beef jerky, popcorn, movies, video games, books, itunes cards, a guinea pig...
- Get money out of the bank, get travelers checks, transfer funds, pay all the bills for next month, ﬁnish my taxes, open an IRA, start college funds...
By the time we are actually ready to leave, every task I have been avoiding for the last 3 years is complete.My house would put June Cleaver to shame and we have more
“provisions” than a Kansas Storm shelter. We are totally prepared for any major disaster that could occur in our lifetime...or at least during the 5 days we will be away.
And as my head hits the pillow on the eve of my big getaway, it occurs to me...I haven’t packed a damn thing for my trip yet! AND I FORGOT TO BUY THE GUINEA PIG!
Photo by Stuart Rankin