|Photo courtesy of Emi Clark.
Doc’s color courtesy of Tide.
Packing for the girls is always a big deal.
I wish it weren’t.
But the one time I pushed my borderline OCD tendencies aside and just, you know, threw stuff into a bag…No one had socks. Susannah didn’t have nearly enough diapers. And I actually packed one half of a baby monitor. (The part that lets you know what the kid is doing. Helpful, so long as you also have the part that goes near the kid’s head.)
Back in the old days (three years ago), back when I was way thinner and cooler than I could be convinced of by any mirror image, I packed precisely and neatly.
For our epic trip to Rome, I actually drew out each day’s proposed outfits in my travel journal. Because- and this cannot be stated enough- I had too much time on my hands. (But I looked awesome. This cannot be stated enough, either.)
I seemed to have lost a goodly amount of brain cells between then and now, however, since I’d probably forget the girls’ carseats if they weren’t attached to the car.
So I make lists.
And even though it can be painful to know you have to write down things like “shoes” and “cups,” it’s more painful to arrive somewhere without the darned “shoes” and “cups.”
It’ll be good to get out of Dodge for a few days- even for a short road trip- with everything neatly packed into three duffels. One can almost pretend that all of one’s worldly possessions are listed on one tiny little piece of lined paper. (And not jamming multiple rooms in one’s dilapidated Money Pit, most of which are decorated on all sides by foam stickers.)
In other This Gal Needs Some Real News news- Doc Bullfrog has lost his rattle. That’s right, Doctor Bullfroggy- the lovie who has had the green loved right off of him- has lost the soothing shakey sound located somewhere within his bulbous head.
This may be bigger news to her parents, who have long detected their eldest daughter’s a.m. stirrings by the familiar tinkling rattle. Now Doc is a ninja. And now Doc is showing signs of aging.
My sister told me that there are few things sadder than having your kid say he doesn’t need to bring the lovie somewhere…and the feeling of desperation where you kinda want to remind him to, anyhow. Because that object of affection is the last tie-in to actual babyhood- something Nora’s been leaving behind in leaps and bounds.
And on days where she’s a sticky-headed monster, a shrieky bundle of fuzz, and crabby pile of tired…seeing her clutch Doc to her nose and suck her left thumb (“Is it okay to suck my thumb, Mom?” “Sure, babe.”) is a poignant reminder that my soft, sweet baby is still in there. Under all that peanut butter.
I’m gonna put Doc on my pack list. And I’ll underline it twice. Because that threadbare greenish frog head is an important member of the family and a comforting, familiar face (for all of us).
At least ’til he loses his face.