June 2, 2010

traveling light

The first indication of the amount of space an unassuming little baby will occupy occurs at the Baby Shower. It is at that moment, that the new mother realizes just what she is in for. She receives gift after gift after gift ... Breast pumps, Boppy pillows, seats for bouncing, eating, traveling, and everything in between, diapers, baby bath tubs, more toys than can be counted, clothing, blankets, and even furniture.

The word "shower" doesn't really sum up the quantity of gifts that are ultimately bestowed on the new family. Baby Downpour (Deluge, Torrent, or Typhoon) would actually be a more appropriate title.

Eventually, there are so many gifts that it takes two or three vehicles to return them all to the house. Then, once there, it takes an entire room to hold them all. Even after sifting through the spoils and separating them by stage of development, the thought of what is to come, of how the new little human will actually need all of these items (and more!) can be daunting.

Seriously. How could a baby use so much stuff?!

You see, I like to think of myself as a minimalist, as the type of person that lives an uncluttered life in an uncluttered home ... So, incorporating all of the things that came with my baby was, in many ways, a bigger adjustment than the baby himself! Almost nine months in, I thought that I had gotten past that overwhelming stage of parenthood ... But I was wrong.

One of our most recent adventures, a five day trip to the Carolinas, brought it all back to the forefront. After packing and piling up all of the items we would need to take to keep the little man happy, I was in disbelief. All of his goods could have filled the trunk of a small car on their own!

Was I just being an overzealous first-time mother?

Did Malcolm really require all of that stuff?

Now that the trip has ended, I have to admit that we did, indeed, use everything. While I'm sure I could have gotten away with leaving the whale tub or the feeding seat at home, both items made my life easier ... So they were worth the space that they occupied. I probably could have packed fewer clothes, but you never know when a simple bite of prunes is going to go horribly awry or a diaper is going to explode.

With this first journey (successfully) out of the way, I get to set my sights on our family's next vacation to Florida.

It will last about twice as long ...

Hopefully that doesn't mean I'll be bringing twice as much!

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