“Let’s all go out today” said my wife the lunatic, wistfully over breakfast one weekend.
As of right now, I have been a Dad for 2 years, 11 months and 15 days. That’s 1,080 days. Well over 93 million seconds. Or roughly how long it’s takes my family to leave the house.
My wife didn’t offer a follow-up to her earlier whimsy, so I decided to pretend it didn’t happen, continue with my breakfast and watch the latest hapless guest presenter of Saturday Kitchen try to interview an 80’s popstar, pan-fry a duck breast at 10am and make a mental note to change their agent & media team.
“Where do you think we should go?” she followed-up, minutes later.
“I do like this new format.” I asserted, pointing at the TV with my fork, cleverly throwing her off topic. “It adds some much needed cringe to weekend cookery, don’t you think?”
I congratulated myself. My quick thinking had brilliantly distracted my wife from any thoughts of going out to Westfield, the New Forest, Central London or God forbid…Whitstable.
“So that’s a no then, right?” said someone, somewhere.
“like a holiday”
Like most parents will know, going out anywhere requires an array of pre-planning, packing & ensuring adequate entertainment for bored children is readily to hand. For non-parents I like to describe it as getting ready to go on holiday. But without the joy.
Usually as we pulled out of the driveway to go shopping, we had a boot-full of buggy equipment and bags with nappies, wipes & changes of clothes in the backseat. By the time we’d returned to car with several bags of shopping, it became apparent that there wasn’t any room left for the new purchases and that the only thing that we could feasibly go shopping for anymore was a bigger car.
Early on in my parenting I’d had enough. I went maverick. And Whitstable happened.
By this time it was Summer. Yasmin was walking and I decided a day trip to the coast for the day was doable. I convinced my wife that anything that wasn’t already in the car could be obtained from the High Street once we were there.
I have nothing against Whitstable. It’s a delightfully pretty, small seaside town in the South East of England, complete with a small fishing harbor and a Michelin star restaurant. Just for me, it represents my own personal hell.
One exploded turd-sack, one hour spent trying to find an open Boots on a Sunday and a young girl sat in her carseat wearing my scarf as a nappy later, we decided to turn back before we arrived in Whitstable. What was the point? It was ruined forever. To hell with Whitstable.
Then there were two.
When Leo was born, I refused to go back to those early days of having to cart around the same amount of stuff as we did for Yasmin when she was a similar age. But we had to, or Leo wouldn’t fit.
Overtime we managed to rationalize the amount of ‘stuff’ we’d need or take with us and now ask ourselves the following before we buy it or pack it.
Idiot Proof Questions:
- Is it essential?
- Does it have a dual purpose?
- Does it fold-flat?
- The iCandy Peach 2 buggy
- This, we haven’t changed and is still a tank, but we keep it in the car. Also the excellent bumpers are perfect for ploughing through tourists on busy London streets
- Leo’s brilliant Kiddy Evolution Pro 2 car seat
- The benefit of this, is that it folds out completely flat meaning he can stay in it longer than your regular car seats and we can forgo the carrycot.
- Yasmin’s Maxi Buggy Board
- This is awesome. It clips onto the back of the buggy for her to stand / sit on (when saddle is attached) and saves space that would have been taken up by another buggy, double buggy or additional seat.
- Leo’s Ergo Baby 360 Carrier
- For when you’re in a rush. Pop in the babe and off you go. 4 possible positions, although not, as the name suggests, upside down.
- 2-in-1 Travel Potty
- I covered this in my last post and completely value for money.
- Leo’s PacaPod Sequoia Changing bag
- It’s a bag…..not at all masculine…nuff said
- Yasmin’s Peppa Pig bag containing spare clothes
- As it’s a rucksack, she gets to carry this one saving much needed under-buggy space.
- Books and toys for in-car entertainment
- Really whatever the flavor of the month is.