If I had left her any longer, I would have been in real fear of the cat’s life

Tonight my daughter packed her bags.
With the confidence and speed of a season professional, she loaded up her case, zipped it up and sat next to it with her arms folded, giving a satisfied sigh.
We are heading for America on a fabulous 3-week holiday and the children are beyond excited.

Every night I have to list where we are going, where we are staying, how much money it will cost, who will be flying the plane, how long will it take to get there, is the pool really really just for us and no one else gets to use it and we don’t have to pay or get changed in changing rooms etc etc.

They sit there every night with their little bedsit lamps trained at my face, interrogating me.
But their excitement has moved on a notch now. They have started packing.

The holiday is still weeks away and yet Mia feels the need to start now (she’s been hanging around her grandma way too much), you know, ‘just in case’.
In case of what I haven’t the foggiest idea, but her pink suitcase is out and ready and you’d better not question her logic.

“What do I need to take mummy?”
“Well you need, shoes, and swimming costumes and lots of summer clothes and some underwear and hats. And then you can pack whatever else you would like to take with you.”

So tonight she has had a rehearsal pack. It’s taken her ages; putting things in, changing her mind, taking them out, chuntering away to herself, telling different teddies why they simply cannot come and why they will have to stay at home.

Then she zipped up the contents, parked the case outside her bedroom door and she is ready for the off.
I thought it wise to check what she considers her ‘essentials’ for the trip.

They are:

  • 3 pairs of pants
  • 1 dress
  • 1 pair of Crocs (bleurgh)
  • 1 baseball cap – good start so far.
  • 3 books
  • 4 dolls (bearing in mind she hardly ever plays with the things)
  • 1 wind up cuddly penguin (because he will want to see his friends at Sea World she says)
  • 1 Kid Tough camera (I’d be better off sketching the scene with a crayon and a scrap of paper than relying on this to take a decent photo)
  • 1 hot pink Cinderella handbag
  • 1 wooden Dora domino set
  • 4 Crazy Bones
  • 1 ornamental egg (with stand)
  • A pack of Match Attax (cast offs her brother gave her).

I’m thinking, if customs stop us and do a spot search, I’ll be the one walking in the opposite direction pretending I came alone.

I say: “But Mia, there are hardly any clothes in here. What are you going to wear every day?”
“You said it was really hot there mummy,” (she’s looking at me like I’ve told her the moon is square or I’ve said the maddest thing she’s every heard) “You said the less we wear the better, so clothes are the last thing I need to be thinking about.”

Which also reminds me of an incident in a shopping mall today (why do these things always happen when we’re shopping?)

Mia at the top of her voice: “Mummy, mummy look at that boy. He’s NAKED!”
(He was a teenager wearing a pair of joggers and no top and a very very red face)!

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