Friday, February 4, 2011

Books for traveling kids: Too much stuff

Too Much Stuff!One of my worries for our next airplane trip is my daughter's current obsession with bringing a whole ton of toys wherever she goes. Going to the couch? Bring 50 stuffed animals. Going to preschool? Bring five stuffed animals. Going to have a bath? Bring ten plastic farm animals. Going to bed? Bring ten stuffies and five rubber dragons and dinosaurs. And so on.

I can only imagine what her hand luggage is going to look like. Maybe even bigger and bulkier than mine!

Obviously I'll put some limits on what she can bring, but I'm forecasting a very toy-heavy backpack for this trip. Used to be easy, when she was younger, because then I would be the one packing her carry on for her. Nowadays, that just won't fly (pun intended).

You can see a very small amount of her "boatload" of stuffies here (fittingly stuffed into a Pirate Pak from White Spot!).

For her birthday, which is coming up fast, I think I will get her "Too Much Stuff" by Robert Munsch.
Temina is excited about taking a trip on an airplane, and super-excited to include ALL of her toys and dolls on the trip as well. Until mom says: "You can bring just ONE doll." Impossible! How is she going to pick just ONE? She hatches a top secret plan and sneaks more than one toy into the airport and onto the plane.
This book should make for excellent on-board reading. Interestingly, Robert Munsch was inspired by a real-life Temina when writing this book. From his official website:
In 2003 I was on a flight from Toronto to Edmonton. Across from me was a mother with a 5 or 6 year old daughter. The daughter opened her backpack and proceeded to unpack an army of dolls. She put them on her seat, she attached them to the seat in front of her and even had them attached to the roof with tape.
At least I now know I'm not alone in dealing with a bring-along-toy obsessed child. That will comfort me on our upcoming family trip when I'm stuffing cows, rhinos, dogs, birds, elephants, teddy bears, and assorted rubber dragons into my daughter's hand luggage as the plane is landing.

And maybe, just maybe, some security screeners will get a good laugh when they x-ray her bag.

Update:  I did buy this book for my daughter and she does quite like it, and so do I. However, the jury is still out on whether I can use it as a way to limit the number of stuffed animals that come along on our trip.
You can see some of my daughter's creative use of her stuffed animals below in a violent art installation I call "Predators Devouring Moose".

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