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what’s in my bag, tate edition

Man, there’s nothing better than watching a kid pack his vacation bag. At the first hint of a trip, my three year old Tate will drag out his huge duffel bag into the hallway, and start filling it with his essentials. This week, in preparation for a week-long trip to Central Oregon, he packed the following.


1. Robin (his older brother was Batman) costume from Halloween 2011

2. Gangnam Style t-shirt (more on this in my next post)

3. Envelopes, for correspondence

4. Maraca

5. Highlighter. Like mother like son. Other assorted pens.

6. Journal. For journaling. He can’t write.

7. Pastels. They melt, mark anything they graze, and oh yeah, the box has no real closure.

8. Blanket.



Tate kept packing while I snapped these photos. He, like his dad (a master packer), works in stages. Also like his dad, Tate knows the importance of packing within packing. So he likes to put his toys in boxes before he puts them in the bag. Like so.


Bon voyage, Tate.

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hope #

    My boys are 6 and 3, and I’m a lawyer in Portland, so I love your blog. I also wanted to name one of my boys Tate, but because my last name is Whitney, everyone I proposed the name to would say, “His middle name should be Guggenheim!” ha ha. I couldn’t saddle him with that. But Tate is the absolute perfect name: cute, short, no alternative spellings, not too common. I like to read your posts and notice similarities….like I have that same transformer that Tate’s packing in the last picture. From a birthday cake, right? It doesn’t even really move its legs or arms…so classic that it would be a treasured item to take on a vacation!

    July 15, 2013
    • he would have had to have been The Tate Guggenheim Whitney. that sounds like a dope museum and worth the $30 entrance fee. i don’t know where we got that transformer, but i bet it WAS a birthday cake!! crikey. now that i know your name i hope to run into you one of these days at a lawyer function. or hopefully, somewhere more exciting

      July 15, 2013
  2. lesliepotts #

    Love it! Its amazing the thought processes of children! I know between my two kids 5 & 3 i would find everything from mini lalaloopsies to the dogs leash or my favorite ( but missing) sunglasses!!

    July 8, 2013
    • the dog’s leash is great. super responsible. i love it

      July 15, 2013
  3. That is so cute and funny. “Envelopes for correspondence”, he he. It’s funny about pastel boxes, why is it that they never close that well? My son is 15 months old and he has a little Spiderman rucksack he takes to his grandparents and other short trips. We keep finding “useful” stuff inside it, like mum’s sunglasses and dad’s socks.

    July 6, 2013
    • Cute! My boys love their bags. Plastic ziplocs especially

      July 10, 2013
  4. I take strong packing skills demonstrated by young children to be a reflection of orderly mathematical minds in early action. Packing is a little bit puzzle, a little bit mental list making and a whole lot of fun to watch.

    By the time my kids were third graders they’d each gotten to the point they could pack for an extended trip without much supervision. There were always surprises in their bags, but once they’d grasped the basics of aligning predictable activities with the number of days plus a Murphy’s Law “extra” for the basics? They were golden.

    July 3, 2013
    • And I bet if they screw up enough they realize they have to remember the item the next time they pack

      July 10, 2013
  5. Once we let our kids pack their own bags for a camping trip. They helped each other, even making lists of what they would wear each day and brought extra clothes. When we got to the campsite, no one thought of extra underwear. They both assumed Mommy would pack those.

    July 2, 2013
    • Ha! Tate gets himself dressed every morning. Puts on a jersey over his pajama top. Puts on shorts over nothing. He must prefer to be top heavy

      July 2, 2013
  6. At least he is interested in packing for himself. It’s like pulling teeth to get my kids to pack their things, so I end up doing it at the last minute… then they complain when they don’t have something they really wanted.

    July 2, 2013
    • I fully expect his enthusiasm for packing to wear off, perhaps within the year. Although now that I think of it, his six year old brother is similarly enthusiastic

      July 2, 2013
  7. nancy #

    I remember when Kirk brought only one pair of shoes to Sunriver – a pair of rubber rain boots. He hiked in them, went to the pool in them, went out to dinner in them! He survived.

    July 2, 2013

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