We left last Monday for a 4-day Bahamas cruise without our 6th suitcase...the one designated for BOTH of the little kids' clothes.
I swear this stuff happens only to me.
Let's take a moment to digest this: In the middle of the ocean, going to an island nation, children with very small butts who are prone to spilling and nothing to wear. Here's a picture of it.
Now try to imagine that initial moment when you realize you forgot. You have no clothes for your kids. All your planning is down the toilet. A really small cruise ship toilet that flushes really loudly.
JakeRyan and I didn't point fingers at each other. It was mostly my fault. It was packed by me, left unzipped and never pulled out of Justin's room for The Suitcase Guy to lug downstairs.
This was the suitcase dreams are made of, perfectly packed with literally 10 outfits for each kid, 7 bathing suits, 7 pairs of shoes, all of the underwear and socks, PJs...everything. And it was sitting at home on the bedroom floor while my kids were still wearing what they'd worn to school that morning (a dress & pink Converse All Stars and jean shorts & a dirty polo). Here we are before we realized...
Here's where I'll point out that this isn't the first time we've left a suitcase at home...
And let's be honest: We all want our kids to look super-cute on vacation. Not just any old outfit will do. Everything was planned by activity. I even ironed Justin's shirts. And above all else - you DO NOT, under any circumstances, want your child to be wearing a souvenir t-shirt from the place you're visiting because that's dorky. (see photo below)
We noticed it was missing as we were about to get ready for our first fancy dinner. Because we packed fancy clothes that we didn't have...We scurried to count luggage tags to see if by some mistake it just hadn't been delivered to our tiny little room yet. No luck. We had five bags and five tags were used. We were so close...we could still see Miami, a city with probably no less than 10 Targets and a dozen Walmarts to buy clothes at.
I was sick to my stomach. I didn't know what to do. So I called my sister-in-law just as I was losing phone signal. She Googled a Bahamian mall for me. I was kinda pissed that she didn't drive to my house and get the suitcase and heroically rent a jet ski to race into international waters and throw the bag up to the 10th deck. Whatever. No offer to get a helicopter or anything. I have a bone to pick with her.
I knew that if we were lucky enough for the ship's gift shop to have anything in their sizes we'd be spending several hundreds of dollars. They had one bathing suit. $22. Ugg. We bought it, another to add to the nine she already owns. No socks, no underwear, no shorts...nothing.
After a strategy session with the ship's shopping consultant, we had a plan to go into Freeport...the REAL Freeport, not the tourist area, to get some clothes the next morning. We'd be leaving the kids with the ship Kid's Crew... like parents who haul-ass instead of spending time with their own children. We told them our sob story and the Director gave us some Norwegian Cruise Line gear for them to wear in the meantime. I wanted to hug her but I didn't want her to think she'd be watching the Crazy Hugging Lady's kids for the next few days. I have a reputation to live up to.
When we returned to our teeny tiny room, I stood in the bathroom hand-washing underwear and socks with shower gel and drying them with a hairdryer. Well this is a first...
They slept in Ryan's t-shirts...commando for one night. Natalie was NOT pleased.
The next morning, JakeRyan, armed with a list I made of the kids' sizes, took a cab into Freeport without me (to the tune of $60). Someone had to be with the kids in case something happened considering it wasn't the safest place on Earth. He was awesome and returned with the following:
- Bright yellow knock-off girl Crocs
- Two pairs of girl shorts
- Two girls shirts (only one matched the shorts)
- An orange and yellow dress
- A package of girl undershirts (too big)
- Underwear & Socks
- A boy bathing suit
- Fruit of the Loom briefs (two sizes too big) & socks
- Two pairs of boy shorts (two sizes too big)
- Two boy collared shirts (two sizes too big)
Poor Justin. Bahamian children must all skip sizes 2 & 3T. His pecker was hanging out the side of his underwear because they were too baggy. We couldn't find shoes in his size at all so he wore sneakers to the beach. I bought him a "Bahamas" shirt in the straw market too. I won't even tell you how much this crap cost ($200).
Didn't matter. It was raining anyway so our glass bottom boat thing was canceled.
Luckily for us, JakeRyan threw the bag of Natalie's hair stuff and jewelry in his suitcase. I was able to take her girly hair ties and use them to rig up the clothes that hung off her (check out my handiwork on the shoulders of the pink undershirt below).
However, my proudest moment: Norwegian does a "White Hot" party on each of its ships. I packed myself a white bedazzled tank top just in case we decided to go. I was pretty impressed with the mini-dress I created with her hair accessories.
So enough of my misery. Here are some photos of our Bahamian purchases. It's good to be home.
To look at the bright side: I've got a lot of clean laundry and outfits already picked out for at least the next few days and all those times that we go to fancy restaurants...yeah.
And one more thing. If you haven't yet voted for us in the Parents Magazine Funniest Mom Blog contest can you give us a click? Have pity on me. Takes 60 seconds.