Before I became a mom, I scoffed at the idea of pushing around a stroller and carrying a giant ugly diaper bag. When I worked retail at a gift boutique downtown, I'd see these poor women lugging baby gear and getting the wheels of their enormous strollers caught on everything in the store. I'd just roll my eyes, pitying their struggle and follow behind them, picking up items they knocked off the displays.
“Ugh, I'm never going to have a stroller when I'm a mom.” I told my co-worker with an elitist tone.
Hey, pre-parent Melinda, “You're an IDIOT!”
I have come to my senses since then and bought a very modest yet completely impressive stroller that I use almost every day. It's small and easy to maneuver as there are just some things a modern mother needs. Also, the bottom basket easily holds two six packs of beer which makes shopping at the liquor store, or walking home from New Belgium a little easier.
Recently, I have taken a few overnight trips with Liam. The monumental task before leaving was to assemble all of the baby gear and wrangle it all into a reasonably sized suitcase. My first attempt at preparing myself, a baby, and a dog to go to Grandma and Grandpa's for a few days took me 5 hours, half of which Liam screamed through because the one day I needed to get something done, he decided to cry instead of nap. Ugh. By the time I arrived at my parents house, I was out of juice, luckily, grandparents tend to like their grandchildren and they gleefully took him off my hands for a little while. Since that trip, I've curtailed my prep time to a mere one hour. Now that I know what I'll actually need, it goes much faster. (i.e. leave the portable bath at home but bring extra diaper wipes!)
Another item that was indispensable when Liam was a newborn was the self-bouncing baby seat. He was pleased with that for some time and even napped in it for his first 6 weeks. Then suddenly our family began amassing baby seats. At one point in our living room alone were 4 places for Liam to place his little baby butt. He has since outgrown the infant seat, preferring the gigantic, obnoxious, hideously unfashionable baby entertainer with a jumper seat. This is another item I swore I would never own, yet here I am, eating crow.
I have to thank my mother for the final item that I'll mention here, my diaper bag. She bought me the Cadillac of diaper bags. It's artfully constructed from laminated canvas with a tasteful pattern on the front in a messenger bag style with a zip out diapering station. Super sweet. I am the envy of all my friends . . . not really . . . maybe just the ones who change a lot of diapers. It's simple and functional enough that even my engineering husband commented on the ease of use. Neat.
So, to all of you moms out there, the next time you fold up that stroller and swing it into the back of your SUV, know that I'm there too, straining my back alongside you as as we haul around all that kid crap we thought we'd never need.