We are at the airport and a suave young lady is walking in front of me with a very stylish hand bag in the size of a small book. She reminded me of my younger, carefree self. I sigh enviously.. When will I be able to go out like that again? You see, I am a mom and gone are the days when I could go out only with my teeny tiny designer purse. Now even if it is a quick run to the near by grocery store, I have to carry a bag that may as well be called a military hold-all.
The expectation of my family is that I should be able to pull out anything the kids wish for / need from my bag, like a magician’s hat. I carry a big bag with multiple compartments and zips for storage, as I don’t like to carry the much commonly used diaper bag. Let me elaborate a little more about the contents of the bag and as readers you might be able to suggest something better after reading this article.
First let us begin with the most essential and proceed to the eccentric stuff as we move along.
1. The wallet – the one where I keep my driver’s license, the credit cards, the debit cards, the membership cards (these days even the local grocer gives a Privileged member card), some cash and last but not the least the mini family photo without which the wallet would be incomplete.
2. Cell phone – This connects me with the rest of the world. How on earth were we even surviving without this electronic leash few decades ago?
3. Keys – To unlock my Casa and Chariot.
4. The Water Bottle – “I want Water” is something I hear before even hitting the main road. So I have a designated place for the water bottle in my bag from where it can be pulled out quickly.
5. A Snack Box – Hunger or Boredem may strike anytime for the kids, the sooner than you expect. Just to avoid hearing, “I am hungry. Are we there yet?” sometimes I might have to take more than just one snack box because 2 kids means 2 different choice of snacks. Cookies, chocolates, chips, dry fruits etc. However, the lesson I have learnt over years is to avoid carrying anything that might end up spilling inside the bag like juice boxes, yoghurt containers, cheese strings etc.
6. Toys – “Where is my horsey?” is something my toddler would definitely ask for, the moment we step into our car. After a while, we might chance upon an ambulance on our way. So, in goes the horsey and out comes the ambulance. Thank God for Hotwheels and their miniature version of all kind of vehicles. If you have boys at home, the Hotwheels can really be a boon. I have narrowed my selection of vehicle toys while we go out to the following – an ambulance, a tractor, a police car, an aeroplane, helicopter, truck, bus, whatever we might see on our roads. Mind you, all these toys will be kept in my bag for easy retrieval whenever the little one demands.
7. Diapers – My son wears diapers and it is always advisable to take extra diapers. It is a different story that we may not even use them for such short shopping trips, but who knows when we might need them urgently.
8. Baby wipes / Wet wipes – For cleaning up after an icky sticky session of snacks. Trust me, there will be more chocolate on the face, hand and dress than the actual amount that was consumed.
9. A small Bib – For those sudden visit to the neighbourhood ice cream shop or food courts in the mall. It is very hard to resist the temptation of these delicious treats.
10. Sanitizer – To keep the germs at check.
11. Camera – This is not part of the everyday packing. Since we are going on a vacation, I wanted to carry my compact digital camera for those quick captures. The cell phone battery will not last longer if used for taking photos also, along with playing games, checking mails and whatsapp messages.
12. Passports – As adults we have our Driver’s license to prove our identity. But for children, passports will be the only Id proof and we were strictly advised by the ticketing personnel to carry them for boarding the flight.
13. Sunglasses – “Do you have place for keeping my Sunglasses?” asks my hubby darling. “Of course, there is” I reply after realising that I also need to carry my sunglasses. Who wouldn’t want to look cool in the holiday pictures?
14. Hair accessories – My preteen daughter who is becoming conscious of her looks, tells me “Mom, Put these scrunchies and comb in your bag. I am wearing my head band now. I will tie up my hair later if I feel hot”.
So what do you think? I have mentioned all the contents of my bag. I think I have covered about almost everything and taken care of everybody’s immediate requirement. Now all of us can be happy and enjoy the journey. Atleast that is what I thought when my daughter asks “Mom, Where is my lip balm?” and my son goes “I want elephant. Mummy where is elephant?”. Now how did he get reminded of an elephant at the airport. My mind frantically searches for an answer that will be acceptable to both of them.
After realising that it is going to be tough I decide to tell the truth. “I didn’t bring them”. While my daughter looks at me with utter disappointment, my son screams “Mummy check the bag for elephant”. Now I really wish I could say “Abracadabra” and pull out the things they are asking for or do the whole disappearing act myself for the big finish.
(Photo Courtesy – Internet)