My kids go back and forth between Daddy's house and my house every week: four nights here, three nights there. One transition day always falls during the school week.
We quickly learned that it wasn't fair to the kids to make them live out of a suitcase, so both of us keep a full wardrobe for both kids at each house. All they have to bring with them is their school bag and whatever beloved stuffed animals they can't live without, which has historically resulted in a large duffle bag of loveys being transported every week.
Herein lies the problem. Now that summer is over, I didn't want the kids to stand out as different because they were lugging a big bag once a week. It wasn't a big deal during the preschool years, but now that they were both school-aged I didn't want the giant bag to make them a target, or get left at school, or have a beloved stuffed animal fall out or get taken by another kid.
The ex and I worked all summer to try to convince them to reduce the lovey transport to only one or two animals each, which they could easily keep in their backpacks. Tiny Pants was willing - all he needs is Sleep Bunny. Big Pants, however, needs an entire jungle of animals. Try as we might, he is just not ready, and I'm not willing to push him. I feel guilty enough about the situation - I don't want to scar him for life over being denied a comfort critter.
Luckily, Tiny Pants got the Kindergarten teacher Big Pants had and loved a few years back, and I was comfortable emailing her about the situation before school started. She was totally cooperative about making an inconspicuous place for the Daddy and Mommy bag.
The first Transition Day was also the first time I picked up both boys from school at the same time. (The first few days Kindergarteners got out early.) When I pulled up the school car line volunteers gave me only one kid - Big Pants.
Luckily, I remembered that I actually have two children (see, I'm not as flighty as some people think), and insisted that they find me another child to take home, and not just any child, but one I gave birth to. While they were rustling up Tiny Pants, his brother and I had the following conversation:
ME: If you don't see your brother in the pick up line, you need to tell the volunteer managing the line that he is missing.
BIG PANTS: Yeah, I guess I could do that.
ME: And you could also help him carry the Mommy and Daddy bag. It's mostly your stuff, anyway, and he is little.
BIG PANTS: Yeah, we really need to make sure he doesn't get left at school when he has the Mommy and Daddy bag!
ME: Big Pants, he is your brother! We can't leave him whether he has the Mommy and Daddy bag or not!
(Tiny Pants emerges from the building and is loaded into the car.)
TINY PANTS: Wow, I almost had to spend the night at school!
ME: We would not have left you at school over night!
BIG PANTS: Especially if you have the Mommy and Daddy bag!
ME: No! You are our person and we don't leave people at school!
Can you see how the loyalty to the stuffed animals trumps brotherly love in our house?