Sunday, January 3, 2010

Packing when there is pre-trip anxiety

This evening at 10:30 p.m., I was spent. I had just invested a grueling 2 1/2 hours with a preschooler who is given to pre-trip anxiety. And I know, because I have it too. So, not only do I have to squelch my natural tendencies to be anxious about said upcoming "trip", I have to placate the ever-anxious young lady who lives under my armpit in such circumstances. Harrumpppppph.

So, what is an organizing mommy to do? My first instinct is to: get mad, dump her off with daddy or put in a movie. But it isn't taking care of the issue, in fact, it is just making it worse.

So, I lay on the couch with a cozy blanket and invite the little worry wort up with me. We snuggle and talk about every known and unknown detail that could ever be conjectured in her inventive mind right down to: "this is where you are going to sleep.." Half the time it is fiction, but what am I supposed to do?

So, then I let her watch me pack her suitcase. Every single day has an outfit with a clean pair of socks and underwear. The entire ensemble is bundled up with flat twine. Flat twine is that plastic stuff that comes on a roller for wrapping up tools. I discovered it in my husband's shop. He got it from Menards or the Tool Crib. So, we have five days worth of clothing "bundles" in her suitcase, along with a warm and cool pair of pajamas.

And then we proceed to pack the toy bag, and the sleeping bag and lay out the pillow, the boots, hats, gloves and jacket. Finally, it is time for the bath and pajamas. I am tired and looking at the clock. She does not want a bath, and I want her to have a bath. I'm too tired to be patient.

At this moment, my husband comes in. He was probably just looking for something, but I saw him at the "rescuer" and asked him to take over for 5 minutes. I needed oxygen. or a valium. not sure which. I opened the windows, even though it is -1 out. Five minutes isn't going to kill anyone, although I did notice my rosemary bush croaked. Oh well.

So, after the bath and pjs and teeth brushing, she just cuddled right up on my lap and went to bed. And I lived. Now to deal with my own pre-trip anxiety...

Where is this trip? I'm going to Chicago tomorrow for the week. The kids are heading north to WI to stay with friends, and Will and I are heading to Chicago for a class at Moody. I'll be checking in if I'm able...

8 comments:

momstheword said...

Oh o.k., now I understand. I thought you were going on a family vacation, and thought your daughter was anxious even though you'd be there (I forgot about your trip).

My youngest son just agonized whenever he had to go stay at my parent's house (or anywhere else for that matter) if we had to go away.

He was afraid of being the only person up in the house, and he knew at our house, I stayed up later.

Of course he outgrew it and now is fine, but as a kid, he had the same questions and anxiety.

I think it's because my dad was a heart patient and he was worried that something would happen to him (or him and my mom) while he was there and that he wouldn't know what to do. At least, that's what he said one time.

momstheword said...

Forgot to say have a lovely trip and thank you for linking up!

sara said...

I need to learn that kind of patience. I hope you all have a wonderful time.

Jenny P. said...

Best wishes on your trip -- I can't wait to hear all you learn about!

Mrs. Parunak said...

Have a wonderful time on your trip! I hope you learn lots in your class and have lots of great fellowship with your husband!

Organizing Mommy said...

Nan, Emily gets pre-trip anxiety EVEN when we are going on a family trip. I wish I could say that this is normal, and it is, normal for us, I guess!

We are taking "pastoral counseling"--and loving it. Fun

Erin said...

Have a wonderful trip. I think all that you are doing will help your daughter feel empowered while she is separated from you.

Becky said...

Boy, kudos to you. I don't deal with situations like that very well. I don't tend to have anxiety over much of anthing, except hubby making last minute changes to my schedual, so I don't do so well when my children demonstrate it (thankfully it rarely happens). Hubby runs that gauntlet for me, he's much better at it.