Spill it / by Christina Rosalie

I was sitting in the car today, poking desperately through my bag to find something to entertain Bean with while waiting for DH to pick up some last-minute essentials at the General Store just down the road from our house (Yes, we really have one. It s fascinating. There is a stuffed bobcat that has seen better days atop the freezers, and the man behind the counter has a comb-over and lives with his mother in the house up the street. His dog's name is Jasper. And he carries a bit of everything: nails, tackle, popsicles, potato chips, tampons, lemons, matches, ice cream sandwiches, steaks) and concluded that the eighty-nine things I’m toting around are a dead give-away about who I am. Maybe.

First of all, I never used to even carry a bag. I was anti bag. I stuck my wallet in my butt-pocket and sometimes even skipped that, opting only for cash and my ID. But I've come around. I didn’t have much of a choice. Once you're somebody's mother, certain things become essential. Like bag-having. And extra arms.

Second of all, I'm not sure what I'm really supposed to call It. A bag or a purse or a pocket book or the ever chic sounding 'handbag?' My every day bag is a pale green Gucci knock-off (remember this?) made of beautiful soft leather that is big and floppy that swallows it's contents. Especially my car keys. Without fail, I'm stuck in the parking lot holding an umbrella, two bags and Bean who is determined to get down and drive away without me, trying to find them. I know. It should be simple. I should always put them in that tidy little front pocket. But that would be utterly out of character. And I never think of it until times like now.

These essentials that can always be found in my bag are as follows: 1. A Ziploc baggie of wipes. I remember shopping for a to-go wipes container while I was pregnant. I was very attached to the idea. Certain I'd need to whip out a perfect little compact case of wipes---as if the things have to stay serene and neatly folded or something. Now it's down to a Ziploc which fits beautifully in any bag, and can double as a trash-bag if necessary (I used mine today, when Bean decided he needed to poop in the woods while we were on a mini-hike.)

2. Random non-perishable snacks including Ziploc baggies of animal crackers and fruit-leather. I've always been awful about remembering to eat. Then I'm utterly famished and miserable. It seems I've passed this gene on to my kid, and though it took me about a year to get the hang of it, I now always carry something in my bag to proffer when the traffic gets heavy, when the lines get long, or when the playground was just so much fun

3. An extra pair of Bean underpants. Just in case. Have I mentioned Bean is totally potty trained (except for the occasional night accident, and the odd time when we don't make it to a bathroom fast enough)? It's lovely. Except for I think I was a little unprepared for the whole public bathroom with small child who wants to touch everything business. Is it wrong that I just let him stand ON the seat while peeing, so that he doesn't have to sit on it?

4. Lip gloss. My last minute instant pretty look. It's the only makeup I wear. Except for mascara sometimes. Because really, when is there time for more?

5. Cell phone. I hate it. Yeah, I'm one of those people. I never answer it. But I like knowing it's there, just in case. Also because it's a fabulous distraction for a two-year-old when all else fails.

6. And then the eighty-nine other random items, some of which I've sketched for your viewing pleasure. Others include: two cancelled tickets to a mini train ride. A very beaten bottle of Motrin. Hair ties. Crumpled receipts. An extra Bean t-shirt. The wheel of one toy tractor. And the plastic hat belonging to the man that goes in Bean's favorite digger.

What do you keep in your bag? Go ahead. Play along. Post about it, and leave a link to your post, or spill right here in the comments.