Originally published in December, 2008
The very heavy cost of leaving the house (if you dare)
I'm not one of those sit-around-my-house-and-watch-soap-operas kind of moms. Nothing against you Susan Lucci followers, but that's just not my thing. I need, I mean really NEED, to get out of the house everyday, at least once. It's my sanity, plain and simple. And because I have a seven month old, he tags along.
we I leave the house (let's be honest, my son is merely being lifted from point A to point B - I'm the one trying to catch some fresh air), I resemble one of those street performers who balances a truckload of items on his head, hands, and feet while dancing a jig. Except I don't have a tip jar in front of me. I should work on that.
Getting out of the house isn't what is used to be. Before the baby, if I wanted to run out for a frozen slushy, I could be in my car, down the street, and slurpin' away in a speedy eight minutes.
But venturing out with my twenty pound companion ain't what I thought it'd be. Because venturing out with a twenty pound baby actually requires venturing out with an additional fifty pounds of
crap very important and delicate baby things.
Like at the airport, there should be a weight limit to what my son can take with him on our little outings. If he goes over, than he must sacrifice something. The problem is, how do I make my son sacrifice necessities like food and hygiene? It's not like when I go over the 50lb. suitcase limit and have to find a creative way to carry-on eight pairs of but-I-must-take-these-with-me designer shoes (BIG joke - designer shoes are a thing of the past, back when I was running out for slushies, you know, the good 'ol days). Not to mention, getting out of the house with this twenty-pound dumbbell now requires as many trips to the car as I take to the bathroom in a day (It's important to note that I have a small bladder).
And it's inevitable that I'll forget something. Actually, several things. Have you ever forgotten an extra set of clothes and wound up on the other side of town with a baby who, um, had an explosion and is now wearing an overflowing diaper with poo down his legs and up his back? Yeah, that's fun. That's called learning a lesson. A major lesson.
So I suggest creating a checklist. Type it out, copy it a few dozen times, and have it handy the next time you are crazy enough to leave the house.
Heck, don't create a checklist. Let me do it for ya!
Here's the how-to-survive-an-afternoon-out-of-the-comforts-of-home checklist (I'm starting to think staying at home watching Days of Our Lives is a much better alternative after all):
- Diapers. Lots of diapers.
- Booty wipes. Just keep a stash in the car. I use booty wipes for a lot of non-booty issues.
- Booty cream. Butt paste. Whatever you call it.
- Purell. Keep this in your pocket at all times. And if you don't have a pocket, stuff it in your bra. You never know when one of those strange smelling old biddies is going to insist on touching your child.
- Pacifiers. Yes, I mean multiple pacifiers. You will drop one, and you will lose one. It's universal law.
- A baby bottle. Unless, of course, your baby is breast-feeding. I lasted four months. I tried to last longer, I really did.
- Baby formula. Again, unless your baby is breast-feeding. And PLEASE, if you are a member of the La Leche League, I don't want to hear it.
- Snacks. Lots of snacks. Snacks for baby and mommy, because snacks make baby and mommy very happy.
- At least one extra baby outfit, but why not pack two while you're at it?
- Baby blankie. Because babies need blankies. They just do.
- Sling for wearing your baby. Unlike what the Motrin Ad proclaims, we momma's wear our babies out of necessity, not fashion (okay, and for bonding, but let's be real, being able to "hold" baby while hands-free is a Godsend).
- Stroller. For strollin'.
- Lovey or soothie or whatever it is that your child MUST have OR ELSE . . !
- Tylenol. You will get a headache. That's part of motherhood. Deal with it.
This certainly is not an exhaustive list. So then why am I so exhausted?
Dear Lord of all things primitive,
How did we go from simplistic cave dwellers to stuff-infested creatures of stuff, stuff, and more stuff? How did we go from Baby Moses floating across the river in a basket to Baby-give-me-more floating across the sea of junk apparently required for baby's survival?
I sure have no idea.
Actually, I do have an idea. Remember the time you turned that fish into a meal of plenty? Let's try that again, but instead of a fish, I'll bring one baby item and you can turn it into everything baby needs in that moment. Wouldn't that be fun? Because not only would it make my job as a mother more efficient, but it would really save me a trip to the chiropractor's office.
But if I must lug around 20lbs of baby plus 50lbs of his junk everyday, can't I at least lose a pound or two. I mean, would it be so terrible if I actually used this baby lugging as a form of exercise so that I could stop feeling guilty about the dust accumulating on my treadmill? Okay, fine, I lied. I don't have a treadmill, but you aren't going to hold that against me, are you?
Ah, forget it. At this point, what's a bit of junk in my trunk on top of all this baby junk?