In the years BC, I would leave the house with my phone, keys, purse and my cigarettes if I was smoking at the time. And that was it.
The idea of patting my pockets and slamming the door seems like the richest luxury to me now.
When Ziggler was tiny I pared down my luggage to only a spare nappy, wipes and perhaps a cardy, depending on the weather. When I stopped breastfeeding I added a bottle and a carton of milk to that but I still carried a nice compact bag.
Then I started weaning Ziggler. I added little tiny clippy containers of pureed peas/home-made baby shepherds pie using home-made salt-free stock/other nutritionally balanced and time-consuming delicacies to my (slightly larger) bag, along with plastic spoons, bibs, and little pots of sugar-free organic yoghurt.
Any pretence at travelling light was abandoned with the arrival of Pickle. Ziggler was still in nappies then and seemed to fall over in muddy puddles at the slightest opportunity so I would carry nappies, wipes, and a change of clothes for two. And a snack in case (God forbid) Ziggler should get peckish. An alternative snack in case she didn’t like the first one and tantrummed. And a drink. Then when Pickle started weaning it wasn’t so bad because we didn’t bother with purees and she roughly what we were eating along with the crap from the floor she enjoys (I would say we did Baby Led Weaning but that seems a bit more organised than I really am. And I don’t really like Parenting Methods. Perhaps this is where I’m going wrong). It did mean, though, that now I carry, in an enormous and overflowing sack:
2 sets of spare clothes
Bread sticks at all times
Alternative snackage of some kind
Bananas, which Pickle will definitely eat and I always hope Ziggler will be tempted by in an effort to insert some kind of vitamin in her body, ever.
Hats/gloves etc if cold
A Toy of some kind
Extra cardy which fits anyone (not me) Just In Case.
Often I have a bottle of bubbles or similar about my person. This is testament to my lack of clearing-out skills more than my mothering ones, but it has accidentally made me look impressively like an Alpha Mummy on occasion.
This lack of clearing-out skills betrayed themselves in a more characteristic way yesterday. We’ve had a terrible fruit fly problem in our house recently, and no idea where they come from. I’ve been cleaning even more scrupulously than usual (i.e. at all) so it really is a puzzle. Or, rather, it really was a puzzle. We were running late to pick up Sausage and Titch to go to the park. I grabbed a scarf from the understairs cupboard and noticed a cloud of the little flies flew out as I opened the door. On the back of the door was an old rucksack I haven’t used for a bit as I eschewed it in favour of something mildly more glamorous a while ago. I prodded the bag. Another cloud of flies puffed out. With a sinking heart, I unhooked the bag and gingerly investigated its contents. In the main bit – nothing too offensive, just a slightly sour smell and Pickle’s hat, which I’d been looking for earlier. In the front pocket, the smell got sharper and stronger and when I pulled the mini first-aid kit out (yes, yes, worrywart) it was dripping with a slightly yellowish substance. I took a deep breath and opened the pocket wide to find a couple of putrefying bananas, covered in tiny greyish husks that must have been maggots before they hatched into – yep, all those fruit flies.
So, my rucksack is no longer and Pickle’s lovely hat has had a bath in bleach. We were late for the park. I am a rubbish housekeeper and I carry too much crap about with me. But the flies have all scarpered, anyway.