Friday, February 18, 2011

Carrying Only the Essentials

Ellie had the day off from school today so we had one of those days where we could do something fun while Madeline was in school.  Now that Ellie goes to school for a full day, I don't get many days like this with just the two of us.

Our morning started off with a trip to the pediatrician for an ear recheck.  She had an ear infection almost two weeks ago and we needed to have her ears checked to make sure the infection was gone.  I'm happy to report that her ears are back to normal.

While we were there I noticed many things.  The poor girl who was walking out of the office with her throw up bowl, the little boy who was making trips to the bathroom every 5 minutes, and a lot of babies who were toted around in their car seat carriers by parents carrying diaper bags that may be too large to fit in a carry-on compartment of a plane.  In the nearly 9 1/2 years that I have been a parent, I have never been able to understand this phenomenon.

Then we went to the zoo with my parents.  Given that it's a day off from school for a lot of kids, and it's also one of the warmest days we've seen in a while, the zoo was rather packed.  Ellie zipped through the zoo at hyper speed, seriously this child pauses for maybe 3 seconds at each exhibit.  Once she's seen the animal she's had enough.  Not being an agile five year old, my parents and I had to navigate through the crowds of strollers and the lesbian couple (the things I notice that often times I wish I hadn't).  In our navigating, I noticed once again the huge overstuffed diaper bags.  Some were for tiny babies, and others were for toddlers.  Honestly, I don't get it.  Nosy person that I am, I noticed in one stroller an open diaper bag, presumably it was open because it had too much stuff and couldn't close, which had what appeared to be a 3lb can of powdered formula.  Are you kidding me?  When my girls were eventually on formula, a can that size would take about 2 1/2-3 weeks for them to consume.  Why does one need something so large for a trip to the zoo?  Do some parents fear that they will be trapped in the zoo?

I guess I just don't get it.  I carried a diaper bag with Madeline.  After a month of carrying my larger bag which wasn't very large, I moved to a very small bag that contained a pacifier, a few diapers and wipes in a portable changing pad, a bottle if we were going to be gone a long time, a burp cloth, nursing pads, my wallet and keys.  When I had Ellie I started out with the super small bag and then decided it was easier to just put her bare necessities in my purse.  If we went somewhere for a long day, I'd bring the bigger bag and pack enough diapers and wipes for the day, a small blanket and a change of clothes.

Maybe I'm too much of a minimalist, but I don't see the point in being weighed down with a lot of unnecessary stuff.  I did keep a small bag in the car that held emergency diapers, wipes, pacifiers and other items that could be needed in a pinch, but I didn't carry them.  Once in a while I'd need to dip into my emergency supply, but I never felt like I needed to lug it around with me.

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