When I was pregnant with my oldest child I knew a few true things about having a baby. Most of these things, it turned out, were totally untrue. Foremost among the untruths was this: babies require a lot of junk in order to survive and be happy and get the pediatrician to put a little PostIt Note on your child's chart saying "you can tell that this baby momma totally knows what's going on because she owns a baby wipes warmer." I bought all kinds of stuff that I later discovered is the reason that garage sales and consignment stores were invented. I also discovered that the depreciation rate on a baby bathtub is basically 100%. Apparently other moms just use sinks... or the bathtub that came with the house. Or maybe, people just feel weird about putting their baby's naked bum in the same place where someone else's naked bum has been sliding around. Even if the other naked bum that's been sliding around belongs to another baby.
As the birth of our 4th baby grew steadily closer, I realized that I was going to have to break down and buy some supplies for our new addition...and I wanted no part of it. This was for two reasons. First, when we found out we were pregnant way back in January, we had no job and therefore - no health insurance. Awesome. I basically handled this by pretending that the reason that I was sick everyday was because I had some rare and exotic stomach flu whose other side effects were constant crying and giving false positives on at home pregnancy tests. The professional term for this is "denial", and it lasted until at least 5 days past my (alleged) due date.
Second, even though we now do have a job and health insurance, I was trying to be resourceful and just use what I already had. (Stupid recession.) Which unfortunately was not much since I either gave away or sold all of my baby clothes and accessories the previous year... (when we had a job and insurance)... because I couldn't get pregnant. (Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?) I came up with a couple of super rad ideas too. What baby wouldn't want a hat made out of his father's old Gold Toe sock or a jammie sack converted from a tee shirt that reads "Eat Krispy Kremes"?
My mother, however, was not having any of this. She generously gifted our son with clothes and diapers and onesies and a super plush bath towel and a super plush blanket with a softy edge(my husband really wants a man size one of these). She also got me a new diaper bag. The best diaper bag ever.
This bag has a name- "Chocolate Cake". Literally, that is the bag's name. Mmmm. Mary Poppins wishes that she has this bag. This bag comes with a matching wallet. This bag comes with a second, washable bag that you use to protect the Chocolate Cake bag just in case you are forced to place it on some kind of unclean, unworthy or otherwise undesirable surface. (I asked the lady at the store if the second bag was for dirty diapers. She was not impressed and I think that she seriously reconsidered allowing someone who would not hesitate to put actual poop inside this diaper bag to purchase it.)
I have gotten more complements on my bag than my baby - and he is cute. I take good care of my baby and I take good care of my bag. I am proud of my baby, but I am also proud of my bag... and that's what got me in trouble. Bag pride.
Here's how it went. I took all 4 children to Winco for the weekly grocery shop. (I do this because I love to hear the comments about how it looks like I've "got my hands full". It's my favorite. Also, it's fun to mess with the guy that has to reconstruct the Pyramid of Giza out of macaroni and cheese boxes on the end of aisle 4. You haven't seen fear until you've watched that guy's eyes when he catches site of my four year old demonstrating his new found ability to walk backward and spin at the same time.)
After strategically parking near the cart return and assigning each child a cart spot where they would not be within touching or breathing distance of their siblings, I strapped the baby up in the sling and picked up the Chocolate Cake bag. I looked at the Winco shopping cart. Visions of little hands covered with peanut butter and jelly, boogers, H1N1, and worm guts flashed before my eyes. The cart that was good enough for my kids - not good enough for my bag. I put the bag back in the car.
I was very thorough. I covered that thing with every sweatshirt, backpack and burp cloth I could find - just in case there was some roving diaper bag bandit on the loose... because I'm sure that the master camouflage job wouldn't tip him off. I closed the door. I realized that I forgot my cell phone. I put my hand in my pocket to get my keys.
It was one of those times when you feel like you might throw up a little bit and automatically start to do a mental inventory and your mind starts replaying the last few minutes of your life. I saw myself removing my wallet. I saw myself putting my cell phone in the pocket of my bag. I saw myself hitting the lock button on my key. I saw myself putting my keys... in the pocket of my bag. The same bag that was now residing at the bottom of a pile of kid gear... in my locked car... with my cell phone. Awesome.
I learned several things that day. One was that pride cometh before the fall... and the call... for help from the Winco customer service/MoneyGram/Lotto numbers line. I learned that I need to stop using the automatic dial feature on my cell phone and actually memorize someone's phone number. (Seriously, the only phone number I could remember for several minutes was 911 and I don't think that they would've been on board with my definition of emergency.) I learned that my plan of keeping my spare key in my bag just in case I locked my first set in the car qualifies me to work for FEMA or maybe those flu shot planning people. (I'm sending them a resume). I learned that anything that can be locked, can be unlocked (after your husband gets the valet key from your friend that was holding it as a backup),
But most importantly I learned that the best way to deal with your kids during a dilemma with the Chocolate Cake bag at Winco is... the chocolate cake aisle at Winco - and that's something that I'm proud of.