(Note: This may not be true in all households, it's grossly generalized, but it's certainly true in most of the ones I know of!)
10. Weeks, possibly months before the trip, Mom will arrange child care
9. A good two weeks before the trip Mom will start making notes for said child care provider
8. Mom will add to the notes to such a point that they will cover the fronts and backs of five 8 1/2 x 11 pieces of paper
7. Mom will grocery shop and stock up on all the things one could possibly ever consider eating while she's out-of-town
6. Mom will load up the frozen yogurt and Burgerville gift cards, and leave a huge wad of cash so that every possibly spending concern is covered
5. Mom will order an additional insurance card so one may be left behind - just in case
4. Mom will type emergency numbers, lists of foods toxic to dogs, and notes to all the teachers informing them of the schedule
3. Mom will pull out the suitcase and start packing days ahead of time, then wash all the clothes in the laundry room so that everything is available for packing, and wearing by child/ren left behind
2. Mom will clean, clean, clean then clean the house some more. Plants will be watered, beds will be changed, lights that haven't been dusted in years will be dusted. Slip covers will be washed, so will the throw rugs. New flowers will be planted in the window box. The house will look just so. Mom will nearly kill herself in the endeavor, but sleep well at night.
1. The night before the big trip Dad will say, "Do you know where we keep the suitcases?" "Are you planning to do any laundry, because I have a bunch of things I need to take with me." "What should I read on the plane?"