Saturday, May 22, 2010

Working the Heavy Bag

Of the many wonderful things I can say about Mrs. LIAYF, one is that she is usually prepared for just about anything.

Now, being adequately prepared for multiple situations is a great thing, especially when you have a little person traveling along with you. However, I had been doing my share of grumbling under my breath recently about the size of the bag my beautiful wife was packing to bring along with us. Even in those instances when we were merely traveling a few blocks to complete errands this bag would accompany us.

Not only did the over the shoulder bag in question contain one full change of clothes, but it also included another short and long sleeve shirt, a fleece hoodie, a gallon sized plastic bag filled with spare underwear, diaper rash cream, wipes, and first aid supplies. Add to that a bento box filled with spare snacks, and a front zippered pocket which stored our camera, her wallet and cell phone, hand sanitizing lotion, checkbook (yes we still have one), bib clips, sunglasses, two to three tubes of sunblock, a toy car or two, and at least one board book.

But that wasn't all. To top it all off, the pockets on either end of the bag contained an umbrella and Lukas' full 20 oz water bottle! I'm fairly certain that if there had been a natural disaster, or perhaps even a apocalyptic terrorist attack nearby, we would have been well enough equipped to ride out the initial shock waves for days wherever we happened to be positioned at the time.

Why was I grumbling? Well, who do you think was designated to carry around this ever increasingly heavy bag which, by the way, was starting to bust at its canvas seams?

Bingo! It was yours truly, Sherpa Dad.

I'm not exaggerating when I say this felt like carrying a bowling ball on my back and was beginning to give me a serious back ache. I probably would have been better off if we had just packed all of these provisions into one of those large backpacks you see serious hikers sporting when leaving for a week in the bush. At least then the weight would have been evenly distributed, not just slung over my shoulder pulling all my back muscles out of whack.

I do, however, think my protests are beginning to find an audience with Mrs. LIAFY. Plus, she has had more opportunities recently to spend time out and about with only herself and Lukas which had obviously emphasized the point of how heavy and awkward the bag had actually gotten.

The fortuitous result of this manifested itself a couple of nights ago when I came home from work to find Mrs. LIAYF and Lukas waiting for me to arrive so we could head out for a trip to our local grocery store.

Though it needed a bit of adjusting, Lukas - with a big smile - was proudly sporting this more sparsly provisioned bag with only the most essential items:

Let me tell you, that was one extremely liberating trip to the grocery store.


Grace said...

So what items actually made it into the new improved bag?

morethananelectrician said...

My wife will tell me to get something out of "the heavy bag" and I won't be able to find it through the rubble...but she can go right in there and pull it out within ten seconds. Now, I will only carry the bag, but refuse to enter...there could be something alive in there.

Juli said...

Better days are coming my 8 and 9 I simply tell them to get in the car, and go. Although there are those occasions when I could really use a baby wipe for random clean ups.

Ben said...

Sherpa Dad! You sound like a superhero, whose only power is the ability to carry heavy or awkward items. Not sure if you'd get your own comic!

Jessi said...

Alas, I am the opposite sort of mom. I often leave the house, only to discover an hour later that I brought 9 diapers and 0 wipes. Or that the "outfit" I packed is actually two pairs of pants and one of the big kid's nightgowns. Or sometimes, I carry the same bag around for a week, oblivious to the fact that we are using stuff out of it and then wonder where or where all those diapers went and what is that growing in the sippy cup. On thing I will not be passing onto my kids is "Be Prepared."

Mrs. LIAYF said...

@Grace - Since Lukas carried the bag, it had to be light. Here's what made it:
* 1 pair underwear
* 1 pair light pants
* 2 gallon ziplock bags
* 1 box of raisins
* 3 matchbox cars
* 1 small book
* 1 tiny set of markers (good for drawing on drink coasters at the pub)

That's seems like enough for Happy Hour at our kid-friendly beer joint!

Irrational Dad said...

My wife, luckily, saw the light ages ago. We carry around a half-full backpack.... I can't wait until he's out of diapers, so I can lighten the load even more.

In hindsight, it seems absurd that we spend $50 on a diaper bag, knowing that we had backpacks and such around the house already. Ahhhh.... new parenthood at its finest.

EdathomeDad said...

When our daughter was younger we lugged around the heavy bag. Now that she is three I have been going rogue and not sporting the bags at all. Just going for it and handling any emergency MacGyver style. Surprisingly my wife has unknowingly followed the lead.

Steve said...

I don't object to carrying the bag, more the scooter and simultaneously my daughter.

Homemaker Man said...

With the two babies, you always need some stuff, but I've cut down by leaving a fairly full diaper bag in the car and then making smaller travel bags as needed. He's a cute big boy with that back pack.

SciFi Dad said...

To reduce space, remember that pants can be cut into shorts or underpants; not that I'd know anything about that.

Mrs. M said...

Nice! I tend to be a big packer too - but I have definitely downsized with each kid. I had a huge diaper bag I always used with Hannah, then it got changed to a very small diaper bag with Eli. I was in Seattle with the kids Tuesday night and we were walking from our hotel to a restaurant for dinner and I didn't (wait for it) take ONE bag! I shoved my wallet and phone in my pockets and then quickly shoved a "just in case" diaper in there too and I REALLY hoped if I had to use it I wouldn't need wipes. :)