My husband likes to tease me about how big my diaper bag is that I take with me everywhere. I like to be prepared for every possibility, which with 3 kids five and under, is a lot of things. I take more diapers and wipes than I think I need, extra clothes for each child, toys and a few books, diaper cream, acetaminophen and ibuprofen, teething medicine, Band-Aids, bug bite relief medicine, and an assortment of other things that I may need. People think it’s too much, until they need a Band-Aid and I’m the only one with one.
When my youngest was about a month old, we went to a farm event several hours from our house. I packed a few different bags since we would be gone all day. I had my usual diaper bag, along with a smaller bag to carry with me during the day, and a bag with the kids pajamas so I could put them in their PJ’s on the way home. We would be getting home after bedtime, and there was no way I wanted to wake them up to change them. On the way home, we stopped for dinner and I took in the bag with their pajamas. I didn’t take in the regular diaper bag with the extra diapers, since I didn’t think I would need to change them during dinner. After dinner, I took my oldest to the bathroom first and got him ready for bed. I took him back out to his dad and took the younger two in to get changed. Changing my 2 year old was uneventful. My baby was another story.
After my oldest two were born, I spent months trying to get rid of the thrush from both myself and my baby. My youngest was no different. She was still taking medicine at this point (nasty stuff that tastes like cherry-almond hand soap- I would know since they prescribed me the same stuff). Since she was not used to swallowing anything other than breastmilk, the thick, sticky medicine inevitably made her gag and often puke, even though I tried my best to dribble it in slowly while she screamed in protest at being given this gross concoction.
I slowly dripped the medicine in her mouth while I changed my 2 year old and then her, so that she wouldn’t choke. I had gotten to the very last little bit when I must have given her too much at once. I had even had the forethought to leave her PJ’s just on her legs so that if she drooled some medicine out or spit up a little, it wouldn’t get on her pajamas. Well, there was no “spit-up”. It was full-scale puking up of everything she’d eaten for approximately the last week.
Have you ever tried to bathe a baby in a restaurant bathroom sink? It’s really not all that easy. I tried cleaning her up with paper towels, but as I sat her up and saw the puddle under her, I realized I was going to have to wash her off. I managed to get the water temperature to be fairly comfortable, but the air conditioning was on way too high, so the bathroom was freezing. I got her washed and realized that I didn’t have a towel, or any clean clothes or a diaper for her. I put her against my chest to keep her warm, soaking myself in the process, and found a burp cloth I had with me to use to dry her off. Luckily a woman came in to use the bathroom in the middle of this and I asked her to find my husband and tell him I needed the diaper bag. The one time that my then 4 year old was not insistent on staying with me was the time I could have used him. Sending my non-verbal 2 year old out to find his dad would not have been helpful since he wouldn’t have been able to tell him what I needed. At least I was saved by that stranger from having to parade out of the bathroom with my naked baby in my arms.
Having children forces you to do things you never would have dreamed of doing before. I am a shy person and don’t usually talk to random strangers, led alone ask them for a favor, but I couldn’t leave my baby to freeze just to save myself some embarrassment. No matter how well you pack your diaper bag, there will be something you are unprepared for, but it’s the things you aren’t prepared for that make life interesting and make the best stories.
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