Really, there is no in-between, is there? You have either prepared way too much or way too little.
I know what you’re thinking: this is not one of those baby issues I’m overly concerned about. Nor should you be. Let’s just take a look at what happens when you do either, because remember, you really can’t do anything right.
When I first had my perfect angel-face, I would carry the heftiest diaper bag you’ve ever seen. I looked about ready to hike the entire 2200 miles of the Appalachian Trail for six months. I packed four extra outfits, fifteen diapers, two burp cloths, three pacifiers, an entire pack of wipes, 10 two-ounce bottles of formula, and two bottles–only to be away for three hours. I was ready for anything.
My ultimate goal is to be super mom. I thought, “But what if [insert crazy, apocalyptic adventures which can only be seen in movies] happens? I’m going to be prepared! If she spits up all over her outfit and a burp cloth, I’ve got extras. Plus, I can feed her what she spits up! What if, after that, she poops on her extra outfit, thus needing another diaper and a ton of wipes, and of course, another outfit. WHAT IF– we are in the desert with no access to water, and she drops TWO pacifiers in the sand and a rattlesnake swallows them, poops all over herself because of the heat, and spits up INSIDE of her bottle? Yes, all within the three hours we’re gone. I don’t know why we’re in the desert and I’m sure she would have other problems to worry about, but in case it does happen, I am prepared.
As time went on, I realized I would never take my daughter to the desert. Also, I was told I was carrying too much. “You really need only one extra outfit, maybe four diapers, the one pacifier and burp cloth are fine, a small package of wipes, and one bottle.” Okay, I’ll bite. She’s over three months old, I can lighten up a little bit.
Not. Let me explain what happens when you lighten up a little bit.
I was on the way to a doctor’s appointment. My doctor is an amazing man who lets me bring the babe. So, I pack light, after all, it’s only a one-hour doctor’s appointment. I packed 3 two-ounce bottles of formula, one extra outfit (no onesie, because what’s going to happen?) one bottle, three diapers, one pacifier, and one package of wipes (it’s just easier that way). I fed her before we left and headed out to my doctor. I was feeling good.
We got to the doctor about 45 minutes later. Traffic, I tell you. No big deal. She slept the entire way, and there should be no reason she’s hungry.
Here’s the thing: at this point, little doll baby was going through a bit of a growth spurt. About half an hour into my appointment, she starts screaming as if I hadn’t fed her in fifteen years. I tried everything. My doctor tried everything. She would not calm down. She kept rooting, trying to suck on her hands, all the tell-tale signs of hunger. Alright, I thought. I’ll feed you one of the two-ounce bottles.
I forgot the insert in one of the bottles. The formula went through the holes of the bottle all over my doctor’s couch and the baby’s outfit. She’s still screaming. I’m simultaneously searching frantically through the bag for another bottle and bottle of formula while cleaning the doctor’s couch and baby.
I FOUND ANOTHER BOTTLE (used bottle, disgusting). I leave my soaking-wet child with the doctor, run into the bathroom, and clean out the bottle’s insert. I run back, stick the insert in the other bottle, and put the formula inside of it. My hands are shaking as I desperately try to feed my child. I grab the baby from the doctor, apologizing profusely for my horrible parenting. My hands are shaking. The baby is screaming.
I spill half of the formula all over the baby. What. The. Fuck.
I reach into the bag to get the last bottle of formula. At this point, she’ll have about three ounces. Okay, I thought. That’s doable until we get home. I start feeding her while I look through the bag for an outfit. No onesie to replace her already soaked one, but an overly-large Play and Sleep outfit. Awesome, I thought. She’ll look like a homeless ragamuffin. Fine, at least she’ll be dry.
So, we calm down. I feed her. She’s fine. The doctor’s fine. We laughed awkwardly at my incredible misfortune. We continued to sit and chat a bit. Then, it was time to burp her. No big deal.
I forgot the burp cloth. Let me repeat: NO BURP CLOTH. The child is burping burping burping on my shoulder. Then she gives me this look. The look that’s resembles a wiley coyote when he’s about to eat you. The look a politician gives you when they promise something they know will never come true. The look that says, “Oh yeah. I’ve got something brewing.”
Then there it was. The most heinous amount of spit-up I’d ever encountered. Think of Vesuvius and my face and shoulder were Pompeii. That’s insensitive, but in that moment, that’s how I felt. And how was my angel-face? Smiling. She was smiling, that creepy little goblin.
My doctor? Laughing uncontrollably. Mama? Literally just sitting there staring at my little Puck, except instead of love she was spewing, it was….you know.
We got everything cleaned, thank goodness. She fell asleep, because, you know, she has no heart.
In the future? I will pack like I’m hiking. Because parenting is an uphill battle.