Out And About

It all started with the need to just get out of the house. After a lazy Saturday with the kids, I just needed some fresh air on Sunday - even if it was punctuated by a ride in my not-so-cute car to the way-too-big toy store.

Mom with Infant and Diaper BagOf course, I couldn't just drive to the toy store. An outing like that with two kids under the age of three requires a hearty dose of caffeine. So I did what any sane mother would do: headed to the nearest Starbucks drive-thru. One venti caramel thingamajig later, we are on our way . . .

. . . then Paige got hysterical.

Truth be told, my five-month-old daughter only cries in the car when something is really wrong. So, I knew I had to stop and presumably feed her. I toyed with the idea of going home, but threw it out since that would inevitably delay our trip even more.

Instead, I decide to stop at the local complex that is used as a de facto community park. I parked in a secluded area and unstrapped her. We had just settled in to feed when it hit me. What? The smell. The telltale smell . . .

"Aw, crap . . ." I said aloud. How apropos. Thank goodness my two and a half year old was too engrossed in watching for Mack trucks to hear me.

And that, my friends, is when I realized there were no wipes in the fancy-schmancy diaper bag or the car. Worse, Paige was wearing her only pair of pants with us and she'd slimed through her diaper and pants.

Fortunately, I had a napkin. One clean, rough napkin leftover from breakfast-on-the-go a few days earlier. No water. No soft rag. A napkin. And no pants.

She pulled away from the boob and giggled. Seeing my chance, I fastened the handy-handy nursing bra back up. Then, I jumped out of the car, determined to change her quick. Halfway through changing, I realized that my shirt wasn't pulled down enough and I was showing some skin. Tug, tug and it was all fixed.

Change, change, change. Wipe, wipe, wipe. Fasten, fasten, fasten. I grabbed Will's sweatpants from the diaper bag and put them on Paige. They were – I kid you not – at least 5 sizes too big. But they did the trick for the time being.

As I started to stand again to strap her back into her seat, I realized one important thing: the hem of my shirt wasn't the problem. The fact that it was still pulled up and over my boob was. Yes, ladies and gents, I was standing in a public parking area with my black lacy bra exposed.

Thank goodness for small miracles: my car was obscured from view by some just-blossoming trees . . .

Time to update the contents of the diaper bag.

Pack that bag!

Having a well-stocked diaper bag is really important if you are going to be out and about. Always check yours before leaving the house to ensure that you aren't forgetting something really important.

These are diaper bag essentials:

  • diapers
  • wipes
  • a change of clothes for each child
  • a change of shirt for you
  • tissues
  • an empty cup or bottle (depending on which the children use)

These are diaper bag good ideas:

  • an extra blanket
  • extra socks
  • diaper rash cream
  • sealable bags -- for messed clothes

These are a waste of time:

  • a portable wipes warmer
  • a car bottle warmer
  • clothes for every season (dress in layers instead)

Don't forget!

We all need a friendly reminder of what not to leave home without . . .

  • Your keys
  • the cell phone
  • the wallet
  • the diaper bag
  • a baby carrier and/or a stroller
  • formula for the baby, if appropriate

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