Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Postcards from Parenthood: School Supplies and the Apocalypse

Little Bee started daycare this week. Over the weekend, I thought that I should buy her a lunch box, but then the logical buzzkill in me decided that was ridiculous, she’s 10 months old, she doesn’t need a lunch box.

Turns out, she needs a lunch box. I was a little too excited to head to Target on Monday to pick one up for her. I originally imagined an old school metal square lunch box, but the daycare provider suggested more of a fabric-cooler type lunch box, so I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to find anything cute.


Gina also mentioned to me that I should pick her up a little backpack, and my first thought was of pure love that Gina was indulging my ridiculous love of school supplies, because why the hell would a 10 month old need a backpack? For 100% cuteness potential, that’s why! I was shopping with a friend who has a 3 year old and another one on the way, and I was telling her about how great it was that Gina was encouraging me to buy her a backpack, and I said, “You know, because she’s gonna need something to carry her stuff in back and forth from daycare!” My friend said, “Like what stuff?” … Um… Well, she has two changes of clothes that stay at daycare, along with diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream… so … um… “Oh… um… I don’t know. Maybe she doesn’t need a backpack…”

Target’s selection was laughable anyway, so I didn’t get one for her. When I got home, I was excited to tell Gina I didn’t buy a backpack, that I resisted the urge, because after all, she doesn’t need one! She’s a baby! …to which Gina said, “But she DOES need one. The daycare provider keeps an emergency backpack for each of the kids.”


So the next day (yesterday), I managed to find her a character-free backpack and a mini flashlight, which was one of the items on the list for the backpack.

The other items:

A Two-Day Supply of the Following: 

  • Shirt/Pair of Pants; small hat, pair of socks, shoes 
  • Lite (gah! Lite?!) sweater/emergency blanket 
  • Diapers (4) and pair of gloves 
  • Bottle of water 
  • Emergency food (non-perishable) 
  • Pacifier, transition objects 
  • Bottle and formula 
  • Emergency card with important contacts 

As we started putting the backpack together, all I could think of was what horrible thing might happen that would require her to need these things. Despite the fact that she doesn’t walk (which justified not putting shoes in the bag), I pictured her walking, in a pair of dirty socks, with the backpack (which is just a little smaller than a normal backpack) on her shoulders, dwarfing her, wearing stained, mismatched emergency clothes and hat, her face layered with grime, heading down a desolate Los Angeles city street with her teachers and her other little friends, in some sort of apocalyptic scene where everything is gray… and she’s looking around for us, and just barely trusting the adults she’s with, and they’re all so grateful that they have their emergency rations of pureed carrots and pears…

And then I started wondering - would anyone notice if I just made myself a little joey patch and carried her around with me everywhere I went?