If you are married, and have kids, you’ve probably come very close to divorcing after packing for a family trip. My husband thinks I pack too much. I think he doesn’t pack enough. While I’m not the type to bring a portable potty, I am the type to bring what I think will make my life easier. He believes we either don’t need things, or if we do, we can buy it at our destination because “people live there.”
If I hate running errands at home, I loathe running errands on vacation. But for this trip, I tried really hard to find a middle ground, packing fewer outfits and diapers than I normally would have.
But when the Goose’s little kid suitcase got flagged at the airport because the unopened package of wipes was mistaken for explosive materials, my husband reminded me, “You didn’t need to bring that. People live there.” I guess because he hadn’t had to deal with the explosive diarrhea that Goose had on her last flight, he wasn’t particularly worried about it for this one.
He was also very unhappy about the Camelbaks I packed for the girls. “They have water bottles where we are going,” he said. “People live there.” But I know my kids, and I know how often they spill their drinks.
But I forgot about what planes do to water bottles, which is probably much, much worse.
Even though the nice attendant filled up the Camelbak after take off, the moment Goose flipped up the nozzle on her water bottle, a fully pressurized stream shot her point-blank in her tiny unsuspecting face. And as she screamed loudly and tried to wrestle the water away from her eyes, I could only watch in horror as the water shot up three feet high into the air, arced perfectly over the aisle of the airplane and came down to soak an unsuspecting Squirrel, who also started yelling.
The calm before the Camelbak storm
The husband was none too pleased.
His philosophy is that whatever you need is already on the plane. So he was aggravated when I pulled out goldfish (which was prior to the Great Airplane Soaking of 2017), and he was annoyed that I had brought headphones for the kids. And, true to my husband’s word, everything we could possibly need was provided, from kids movies to travel socks and ice cream!
Now, to be fair, we were also flying internationally on Lufthansa, which is apparently the official airline of children. Fly anywhere domestically with children, and you usually get the stink eye and some teddy grahams thrown at you. Lufthansa, however, has learned that marketing to the kinder-set is the way to win in the loyalty space.
On the first flight, the girls got a package that contained a coloring book, pencils, a puzzle, and a stuffed airplane, which Goose clutched tightly when she fell asleep for a few hours. At the lounge in Frankfurt, while it was 2 A.M. our time, the girls got t-shirts, more coloring books and pencils, and two building games. As we were boarding the flight from Frankfurt to Vienna, the flight attendant was trying to desperately and aggressively give me gummy bears, coloring books, and finger puppets — freaking finger puppets!– while I was already carrying my suitcase and an exhausted Goose to our seats.
It was at this point in the trip, when I had been up for about 23 hours, that my husband kindly reminded me that the two stuffies and a few small cars I allowed the girls to bring were also too much in his opinion because of course the kids were going to get free toys on the trip.
Next time, I’ll take him at his word and pack nothing at all. I’m sure it will be a huge success.