Thursday, 2 July 2009

It’s a Girl Thing

Now it’s Daughter’s turn to go on a school trip… France beckons, her first visit abroad on her own. I am absolutely terrified… she of course is jittery with excitement, as the countdown begins.
In contrast to No. 1 Son and his packing fiasco, this countdown is a well orchestrated, detailed and precisely planned event, which begins at least 3 weeks before the date of departure…

“The countdown”, as far as I can see, is documented by lists. Not lists given by the school, you understand, oh no. In fact, I don’t know that we actually get to see those…. No, these are Daughter’s own Priority Lists.

The first list, the PPL (Provisional Packing List) almost immediately necessitates the construction of the ISL (Initial Shopping List).
The PPL, you see, contained a plethora of vital clothing components that do not currently reside in daughter’s wardrobe… A quick example… swimming costume for water park daytrip, swimming costume for beach daytrip, sarong, flip flops, sunglasses, new denim shorts, 3 or 4 new T shirts, New Hoodie (in case it’s cold), new summer nightwear, camera case……
Apparently the current swimming costumes are a bit small (I’ll accept that), and she has to have two, because they need to perform specific functions don't they, mum, one is for swimming and water rides, the other for the beach, of course they have to be different….and the t shirts… well, after all she is going for 4 whole days, and as you'd expect, the myriad selection she currently owns are just not fit for purpose.
Anyway, List 2, The Initial Shopping list is born. I am shown this list briefly, asked for a financial contribution… and off she goes with her friends.
She returns from town laden with packages representing a selection of items on the list.. namely the swim wear. She also discovered lots of cute little dinky travel toiletries that she really does need, Mum, aren’t they sooooo sweet, these little bottles, just right to pack. And look at this belt…. Oh… by the way, I spent all the money so I couldn’t get the camera case or T shirts, but I did see one I reaaallllly need for £15 instead of the £3.99 from Primark so I didn’t have enough…oh, couldn’t get the denim shorts either (were they on the ISL….? No, but I just realised I need them) so we’ll just have to go shopping again…..


The next trip, it’s the two of us. Before we set off she admits endearingly that she loves going shopping with her Mum…. Ahhhhhhh, maternal heart melts with a sigh….. cos she always gets bought lots of extra stuff …. Back to earth with a bang!
Anyway, here we are, armed with List 3 RSL, The Revised Shopping List. This list contains the (expensive) T shirt she really wants, one or two other T shirts, camera case, socks, suntan lotion…. Basically most of the stuff she didn’t get last time!
We do have a good time together, and this time she does come home with all the necessary items from the list, oh and also a dress and some make up and an extra pair of shorts and some new cute white pumps not on the list….

The following day the Edibles to Buy for Journey list is handed to me to get with the food shopping… it contains orders for snacks, biscuits, drinks and sucky sweets for the journey, with the catch all phrase “anything else you think I’d like” tacked on the end.

Now the date approaches…. She is due to travel on Wednesday, so on Saturday the PPL (Practice Packing List) not to be confused with the PPL (Provisional Packing list) is created. This PPL differs from the earlier PPL as although it still appears to be a complete inventory of her entire wardrobe it does this time include all recent additions. The PPL is put in to action, as she selects the case she will take. We have those sets of 3 different sized cases stacked inside each other, so Hubby brought the entire set down, assuming she would unpack them all to get out the smallest to use….. I’m sure the Mums out there will be shaking their heads in disbelief at this sweet male naivety!!
Daughter spends Saturday evening happily packing her case entirely, right down to the toothpaste, socks and jewellery.

Jewellery: Let me tell you about the jewellery! Now, as I make semi precious gemstone jewellery, daughter does have rather a lot of crystal bracelets, pendants, necklaces and ear rings. In fact 3 whole jewellery boxes full. Because she doesn’t know what she will be wearing on a particular day, and she doesn’t know how she will be feeling, she is taking her entire collection! That works out to 3 make up bags full of jewellery, for 4 days, bless her!

After completely packing everything, she takes it all out and puts it away again (I use that term rather loosely in the case of the items she leaves lying around on the floor) ready for the final packing, to take place on Tuesday evening.

So now we get on to the subsidiary lists..
The day bag list, the Handbag list and the Toilet Bags List (I kid you not)
We have numerous different Toilet Bags.. one for hair: shampoo, conditioner, products etc, one for shower, one for body lotions and sprays… not to mention the actual make up bags and the make up bags of jewellery.

Finally, on Monday evening, it is the time to consult the relevant lists and pack the Day bag and Journey Essentials. And to create the FPL, Final Packing List. This list even has little boxes by the side of each item so they can be ticked off as they are put in to the case when she packs on Tuesday evening.

The Day Bag is packed with entertainment for the journey… I pod, Nintendo, book(s), notebook and pens, magazine, camera, the handbag contains the Euros, Passport, Money etc…….
All done. Mmmmm.
She can contain herself no longer, she just cannot wait until Tuesday, she has to do the packing now! She can't wait a minute longer (“Cos there might be something I’ve forgotten and if I pack the night before it’ll be too late Mum…” You mean something that hasn’t made it onto any of the lists?? How likely is that! Anyway I want an early night tomorrow so I’m ready for the journey….).

So…ooo, Monday evening, she brings the suitcase into my room, followed by numerous trips carrying armloads of clothing, bags, shoes and so on. Right, is that the lot…let’s check the FPL.
PANIC.
We have lost the FPL!!!! Oh no…. what can we do. Panic and near tears ensue. A mini whirlind races through the house, overturning cushions and small furry animals, looking under and over every bit of furniture!! What did it look like? what was it… was it a scrap of paper? No, it was in my notebook…. Notebook …. Didn’t you just pack your notebook……? Phew!

So, everything packed and correct, the night before at long last arrives. Daughter announces she intends to have an early night… and by early I mean quarter to 8!!! Normally, she goes to bed between 9.30 and 10, often reading for a while…..tonight in her PJs with teeth cleaned by 7.30.

8.30: Can’t sleep Mum. Read your book (sheepishly) I’ve packed it…. Will you do me a guided meditation, that usually helps me to sleep.
Don’t know about her, but I dozed off whilst I was paddling my feet in the clear tinkling stream……

Finally Wednesday Morning dawns. All too quickly for me.
And now she’s waved goodbye to me, and has gone off on the coach, quivering with excited giggles, squealing with her friends, comparing luggage: a host of over excited 13 year olds, lookout France!
 
Site Meter