Like father, like son

Sometimes it really feels like I am the man living in a house full of girls. Girls spend all their time the bathroom, the stereotype goes. Well, this girl sure doesn’t. She has 3 boy people who spend all of their time in the bathroom. If I get in there for 5 minutes a day, I consider myself lucky.

And, nothing like a bit of trip planning and preparation to confirm what I already know: I’m the low maintenance one, chez Johnson.

Anyone who has ever taken a long car trip knows two things. Or, should know two things. (1) riding in a car that is stuffed to the gills is no fun whatsoever; (2) returning home to ten loads of laundry is demoralizing, and causes you to rue the day you decided to take a roadtrip.

So, in order to combat the aforementioned problems, I instituted some rules for our upcoming 2000 miles-one-way-road-trip. Each person would be allowed to pack 3 outfits, 2 pairs of shoes and one pair of pajamas. Along with the necessary toiletries, 2 pairs of socks and 3 pairs of underwear. Well, the only Johnson who didn’t make a big stink about my proclamation was the one who doesn’t say much more than ‘no’ and ‘mine’. Mr. J and Mr. G protested. Heavily.

Jason likes to say that our oldest is a chip off his old mother’s block. But while there are some definite similarities in our personalities and preferences, I contend he bears definite resemblance to both of his parents.

Not least because, like his father, he is a serious overpacker.

I thought I’d enlist the 5 year old to help with packing his things. You know, generate some excitement; instill some ownership in the process. Well, Mr. G didn’t quite see it that way.

Aft first, he was happy to pick out 3 shirts and 3 pairs of pants, but was not content to stop there. He also wanted 5 pairs of socks (why?), a winter jacket, a puffy vest, fleece pajamas (in addition to the one pair I’d already set aside), wool slippers, a blanket and a variety of books and toys and 4 pairs of shoes. It’s as if he tried to anticipate every possible contingency. I had to wait until he left the room (ostensibly to get something else) to surreptitiously remove the fleece pajamas, vest and winter coat. The wool slippers ‘disappeared’ the morning we left. I braced myself for a violent reaction when it was discovered the choice items were missing…

Jason wanted to bring along 3 pairs of shoes, not two. And made all kinds of disparaging remarks about the unreasonableness of my packing ‘suggestions’. Moaning about how he’d have to sit around in his underwear because he wouldn’t have anything to wear, etc. 

What’s so wrong with conservation and minimalism? Clearly, in the Johnson household…..more is more. 

So in the end I brought only one pair of shoes – that my precious other half (princess) might have 3. I’m thinking my red Mary Jane Crocs are going to get real old, real fast.

8 thoughts on “Like father, like son

  1. Wow. You’re tough. I’m with G & Jason on this one. [Vicky ducks to avoid e-slap] I’m a total over-packer. Have to make sure I’m prepared! Why not just give every traveler their own bag (of whatever size will fit in the car) and tell him to bring whatever they want, as long as it can fit into that bag?

  2. The three boys came with three outfits and will leave with three. That cannot be said of our princess who has already tripled her outfit quantity in one day…. we will need a uhaul by the time we head back…

  3. Vicky, I’d have to give each boy a backpack – and really, how would they be able to fit more than 3 outfits in a backpack? I’m being ‘jenerous’! Renate the Cons are going back – I ended up ordering some flip flops instead. And, Mr. Johnson…just to clarify, I did not go shopping – simply got some hand me downs to clothe me in my enlarged state.

  4. All I’m sayin’ is your whole family already smelled bad (well, maybe not Nicola…not sure, didn’t get close enough) when you left us, and you didn’t have any clean clothes to change into. So I’m not buyin’ the three outfit thing. Jason, buy yourself (and your boys) some new duds. You deserve it brother.

  5. Daniel, they HAD clean clothes…they just chose not to wear them! Too tired from staying up until 4am, I think….PS. Amy, it took about 11 hours including 2 lengthy stops. Just FYI..


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