Challenges, big ones and small ones, accompany motherhood. There are uphill battles and downhill strolls but absolutely nothing could’ve prepared me for the day to day struggles of travelling with a baby. And by ‘travelling’, I don’t just mean long drives or going on holiday. I’m referring to the basic task of going to the Checkers that’s about 1km from my house. Because whether you’re taking your baby to the park or the Pick n Pay, you have to take everything you own, with. For their small size, babies take up a lot of space. My mom always says that it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. I live by this rule.
Thermometer? Need it. Extra clothes? Need it. Six pairs of tiny baby socks? Need it.
When going grocery shopping, half of the groceries end up on the passenger seat because the boot it constantly occupied by a pram and all its fittings. The car seat that fits into the pram is obviously necessary and I take the bassinet separately for in case he wants to lie down for a nap. I take three different types of blankets: one warm, not so warm and cool. Anyone else? No?
Then there’s the food. I take bottles of expressed milk, my breastfeeding cover (in case he doesn’t want the bottle), a flask of warm water for heating said expressed milk, a jug to heat it in, water for in-between feeds, a fruit that mashes easily, a fork to mash it with, something to chew on and literally-life-saving-Flings.
For the last month or so I’ve also had to start packing Williams’ entire toy collection too. Babies get bored easily, so I can’t just take one or two toys. No. I bring every toy he’s ever owned since birth.
Instead of traveling with a baby, it usually looks like I’m rather traveling with a circus. And don’t even get me started on the ill-fated, oh-so-dreaded, inevitable DROP. If you’ve got your baby in one hand and the snacks, toys, blankets, diaper bag and the pram in the other, and you suddenly feel something drop to the ground, I suggest you leave it. I promise you it’s not worth it. If you do have the courage do bend down and retrieve your dropped item, consider yourself warned. Diaper bags will come flying over your shoulder and the smallest thing you packed will fall and roll away, causing you to run after it like a pack mule. Everything, I repeat EVERYTHING will fall to the ground and you’ll have to start packing your entire circus from the beginning.