"The Muffled Cries For Help From a Daddy of Four Beautiful Little Girls"

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I Suppose The Children Could Ride On Top?

[It's a Backwards Works-For-Me-Wednesday, so you get to help us with YOUR ideas.]

As we prepare for a spring break trip, we are faced with the age-old question:

"Which children do we have to leave at home so we'll have room for all our junk in the minivan?"

There are pros and cons for each child, and we're handling this very democratically. We are allowing each child 3 minutes to present their case why they should be allowed to ride in the van with us on spring break. There will be some debating and primaries, a caucus here or there. But the final vote will be made by Cindy and me. I'm sure we'll handle it fairly.

Naw. Really. We just got a car top carrier, one of those hard-shelled kind. Previously, we had borrowed a friend's carrier. That was sooooooo nice of them. But it was soooooooo bad of me when, immediately upon picking it up from their house, I plowed right into my garage with the crazy thing on top. (We need a taller garage evidently.)

While our friends are nice and willing to loan the cracked carrier to us again, I know myself and I'll feel much better damaging my own property than theirs a second time. So Cindy found a used one through Craigslist online. Now all I have to do is assemble it and ask my MacGyver daughter how to attach it to the roof.

THEN I have to figure out what to put up there.

Here's where I love your help and ideas. Do I put suitcases up there? (Panic strikes because I know as soon as I pack the cases up there, someone needs their hairbrush or blanket or other such necessity from on high.)

In general, what packing tips have worked for some of you out there in Cyberinternetoblogoland? We've got a 14-hour drive to North Carolina, and I desire that our travels be the stuff that dreams are made of. That's a reasonable expectation, right?


Andrea said...

Too FUNNY! We always pack an overnight bag for each kid for in the car (or one bag with everyone's overnight stuff in it)and then put the suitcases on the top. However, if you are planning to stop overnight anywhere, make sure you bring a lock for it!

I do like the idea of putting the kids in the carrier...it would make for a quieter ride in the van!

Big Doofus said...

I agree. Each child (that is allow to go on your trip) has an overnight or traveling bag. Pay attention to what they put in there--especially the McGyver daughter.

Option #2 - Your girls are still pretty small (based on the pictures I've seen). You could probably get two or three of them up there. Just let them each bring a pillow, something to read and a flashlight.

Chris said...

Andrea and BD are right. One other hint. Putting the roof rack on usually requires a ladder. Once it's on, put the ladder right at the entry to the garage so that you can't drive in without hitting it. That will keep you from automatically driving in when you return home from your 14 hour trip. Unless, of course, you're so tired that you don't care that there's a ladder in the way dadgummit just let me in!!!!

Or, take the garage door opener out of the car and leave it in the kitchen.

Ma said...

"Leave the gun, take the cannolis."

Vanessa said...

I'd make a bag of essentials to have in the car and put the carrier up there.

I do recall one horrible trip when dh was fishing around in our carrier as one of our kids was sick so many times that we had run out of clothes. Good times. ;)

javamamma said...

Sounds like great advice from everyone. Enjoy your break! I'm still sulking over our lame 24 hour plans. Wah.

FrazzMom said...

Check your vehicle to see what the maximum weight is... We have a hard top carrier and the weight limit is 150 pounds so things that are light, but bulky go on top- sleeping bags, pillows, duffel bags etc...

Take the weight limit seriously. We had a soft carrier that we overloaded with camping gear last summer. The carrier ripped free from the straps while we were on the freeway and I lost all my camping gear when a big truck ran over it and scattered the broken gear across all four lanes!

mrshoppes said...

We travel with our church quite a bit. Each child gets their own special bag complete with crayon rolls (a cloth crayon holder that rolls up), plain paper, coloring book, small bottle of water, and a baggie of animal crackers. Cut up carrots, celery, broccoli, and bananas stay with us to be handed back.

There is a bag that is easy to get to at rest stops where paper, crackers, and such can be reloaded or rotated for small toys. That bag can not be bigger than an overnight bag.

We have two over-sized suit cases. One for boys and one for girls. Then there is the pack-n-play, the stay-in-the-van and stay-in-the-hotel diaper bag, and the meds box which has my synthroid, hubby's diabetic meds, two extra epi-pens, benadryl, adult and children's ibuprophen.

Looking at this, I say leave the children at home with little bowls of food and water with instructions to not have more than one bowl of food for each day you are gone. LOL

NeedANap2 said...

Depending on where you're going - you might pack a small fold-up stepstool in the back of the van so you can reach the cartop carrier in case of emergency (like sick kids).

I would definitely have an "overnight" type bag for essentials then put suitcases in the cartop carrier. For our trip, we put diapers, wipes, extra toys (to be able to trade out later), etc. in the cartop carrier. I packed all those so we wouldn't have to buy more later. I kept an ample supply in the diaper bag and overnight bag.

I also put the bulky coats (didn't know if we'd need them) in the cartop carrier.

I totally agree though that giving the kids 3 minutes each to make their case is great! :)