All the camping gear

Parkinson’s law?

I think it’s Parkinson’s Law which dictates that work expands to fill the time available, and I’ve certainly proved that’s true with packing for camping.

This morning I’m meant to be working – I run my own business from home. We are picking Buddy up from nursery at lunchtime and zipping off up the A64 to the coast for two nights.

Mimi is also at home, but so is Husband so it is his job to sort out the packing. Although it seems we have different definitions for what “sort out the packing” actually is.

In my mind I have work to do, so I should be left in contemplative silence to get on with it. Husband is on holiday from work so, in my view, has nothing better to be doing and should just be able to sort what we need.

Now don’t get me wrong. This post is not about man-bashing. I always said Husband would make a wonderful wife. He cooks, cleans, washes, shops and irons, and there’s little I can do for the kids that he can’t. He certainly pulls his weight at home and always has, so I’ve no complaints on that front.

But what he doesn’t seem to able to do is pack clothes for the children. When it was just the two of us I’d spend around 10 days gathering things for our two-week holiday in the sun. The spare bedroom would be given over to housing all of the shoes, clothes, toiletries and sundries that we needed for lying by the pool.

These days we have much less spare space (especially since I claimed the spare room as my office) and far, far less spare time. This means that packing is carried out, at best, 1-2 days before we go anywhere. Due to lack of time because of a rather long to do list, the packingfor our latest trip is yet to be done and we leave in a little over three hours.

Realising Husband was unlikely to come through on this front, this morning I ran around the kids’ rooms and gathered their things while Husband and Mimi finished breakfast. A task that would normally take me at least 30 minutes was completed in around 7 – which just proves that Parkinson (if that was his name) was indeed correct. I’ve yet to pack my things and Husband can sort himself out, but I’m sure it will be fine.

Without wanting to tempt fate, what’s the worst that can happen if I’ve forgotten a few bits? They both have underwear, something to sleep in (thermal and non-thermal options), and an assortment of shorts, t-shirts and trousers with a warm layer thrown in. They might look like they coated themselves in glue, threw themselves into the wardrobe and came out wearing what stuck, but there’s nothing new in that.

For years I’ve threatened to get Mimi a badge that reads “I chose my clothes today”. I have suffered the pitying looks of child-free couples who think that all children should be well-dressed and co-ordinated at all times. And I’ve seen the knowing sparkle in the eyes of other parents as they appraise my children, with their wild street urchin hair (I do brush it, at least twice a day, honest) and “colourful” outfits. Those parents understand that some arguments are worth having and most days the one about what your obstinate child is wearing is just not one of them.

Anyway, I digress. If there’s a clothing-related emergency while we’re away for the next 48 hours it will be my fault, but it will surely just give us another *hilarious* story to tell the Tinies when they’re grown up. And perhaps I’ll take some photos for good measure. You never know when they’ll come in handy.


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