Can One Be Over-Prepared?

It has not been said nearly enough that my next door neighbor* is a dream come true. Her boys and our boys are BFFs. All too often, my boys are there playing. It's a win-win for everyone.

Whadda you lookin' at?
All four boys read the required number of hours this summer to earn free admission to Nashville Shores. Time got away from all of us (read: I totally forgot that they had those coupons) and now school starts back on Monday.

To make a long story short, my next door neighbors were going  and invited our boys along. I packed their lunches, waters and the like and sent them over at the appointed time.

She texted me thirty minutes later:
 "We're just now leaving. I always forget that even though Husband is here to help pack, I still have to organize it. He's fine with vacation but acts dense with lunches and stuff. Ugh!"

I reply:
"Big Daddy is the opposite. He packs like we are going to be on 'Let's Make a Deal.' Of course, he gathers all the odd stuff but forgets the obvious stuff. Like money."

My husband, in the wee hours of 7 a.m. last Friday, asked me if we could go to go to the zoo. I am not sure if you've heard but we live in the South,  and it's about 200 hundred degrees in the shade.  At night.

He played his hand well by sneaking out the house earlier and coming back with doughnuts a healthy breakfast and asking not only before coffee BUT by text. Then proceeded to remind me that we could get in BOGO with a Kroger Plus card and a receipt. And if that weren't enough? The cherry on top with sprinkles was the promise of going to McKay's,** which is my favorite place to go other than the beach.

While I was getting ready, he packed our lunches, drinks, and the like. I never have to give food much thought other than beverages. One can never have enough Diet Coke, in my opinion. As is with most of our excursions  I handle technical stuff: sunscreen, sunglasses, a book to read, large enough pocketbook to handle requests of "can you hold this for me" and other similar necessities.

But apparently, Big Daddy wasn't going to be caught empty-handed. I kid you not, had Wayne Brady walked up and asked for ANYTHING in exchange for $100 he would have been ready.

He had:

  • plastic gloves
  • wet wash cloth
  • sanitizer spray
  • bread to feed the fish (that we aren't supposed to feed) 

  • personal sprayer to cool off (okay, I'll admit that was a good choice for him)
  • quarters and pennies for the smasher/souvenir maker
  • few empty baggies
  • personal wipes (for the bathroom) 
When he first pulled out those gloves, I thought I was going to wet myself from laughing so hard. Not that I would have noticed with all the sweating. And I'll also admit that his supplies were actually quite thoughtful and handy. 

"Dude. Does she seriously have an iPhone?
Pfft. Whatever. I'd turn around for a Droid."

Now, if that weren't enough--lunch time.

The zoo plan was clearly premeditated. I baked a ham on Thursday for dinner because I had a meeting. Whilst I was away, he made a huge bowl of ham salad out of the leftovers because, "that was a big ham and we might not eat it all." 

What did the EagleScout of '84 have packed in his picnic basket, Boo-Boo***?

Ham. Salad. 
See? Pre. Meditated. 

But not just ham salad sandwiches. No.

We had bread choices. Cheese choices. Mayo and mustard. Seriously, it was like being at Subway and building a sandwich. Except more like at a construction site and my Malibu transformed to a roach-coach.

And as much as I hate to admit it, I got annoyed because we had choices. I am more of a here's-your-sandwich-take-it-or-leave-it packer. But packing 360 (+/-) in about a nine month span will do that to a person. 

However, when he pulled out the cheese and crackers, and pudding cup, and extra- chilled Diet Coke all especially for me because he knew I don't care for ham salad, I got over myself.

It's the days like that the boys will look back and remember that their dad went out of his way to make a special summer memory.

They don't even have to know it was on a tight budget. But if Wayne Brady could have just shown up, we'd been ready.



After writing the trip to the zoo, it occurred to me that perhaps in my zeal to write this post in a fit of comedic inspiration,  I was too quick to make Big Daddy out to be the over planner I used to be.Or thought I was.

Here is what I sent with each son for his day out:

  • Sandwich as per individual choice. One PB&J, one ham and cheese. 
  • Sun chips
  • applesauce cup
  • two capri suns
  • One large water bottle that had been frozen and was refillable
  • granola bar
  • snack crackers
All food save for water bottle was packed in large ziplock bag so not to be a mess or nuisance in the neighbor's cooler. I also sent along:
  • WetOnes
  • personal potty wipes (at son's request)
  •  ONE ibuprofen because one son had immunizations the day before and his arm was sore
  • Just-in-case money
  • sunscreen
  • extra pair of dry clothes
  • towel
And the Pièce de résistance:
  • a signed and dated letter stating that Mr. and Mrs. Neighbor had my permission to make emergency medical decisions necessitating care until I could be reached. It had each boy's full name, date of birth, and pertinent medical history. 
Overkill? Perhaps. But you'll notice, I still forgot the plastic gloves. 
Had Wayne Brady shown up, you know that is what he'd asked for. 

What is the one thing you bring on a summer day trip you think no one should be without? 

*Not to be confused with the across-the-street neighbor.
**McKay's is a used book store. Think of Amazon prices in a store. And they give credits on what you bring in. They are sadly only located in Tennessee. Which means I may never move out-of-state based solely on that fact. 

***Channeling Yogi Bear voice. I loved that cartoon. 


Beccabernstein said...

Hats for everyone! I'm a redhead and I get sunburnt checking the mail. But just because you tan in the sun doesn't mean it's good for you. I keep hats for everyone (hubby included) in my big kid bag whenever we head out for a summer adventure.

BTW: The letter giving your neighbor authority to administer care if necessary is very smart. I'm gonna adopt that!

FashionablyOrganized said...

Big Daddy cracks me up, and he's fantastic. I pack like he does. I'm the you never know girl. That's why everyone asks me if I have a {fill in the blank}, and 9 times out of 10 I do. However my hubby...not so much.

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