I used to think of my husband and I as hearty, active people. We liked to get out and do things, we stayed in shape and ate right. We had adventures. He will still tell you about the time I abandoned him in the wilderness to be eaten by Drop Bears when we were momentarily lost, but first of all that’s only partially true because Drop Bears do not exist and secondly it was chilly and I had a stone in my shoe and I would certainly have gone back looking for him after a change of shoes and a cup of cocoa and perhaps a brief nap.
Now though I know that all my thoughts about us being hearty and rugged were delusions, because we have a child now and we are just exhausted by common everyday chores. We are weak, and it took a ten-pound bundle named Eleanor to teach us how weak we are.
Part of the exhaustion was in the lack of organisation. We’d bought all the stuff and were determined to still get out and do things – hike with Elly strapped to our chests, out to dinner and parties with Elly in tow. And we tried. We really tried. Aside from the fact that Elly can be calm and quiet right up to the exact second you cross the threshold of a home or restaurant, and then become an Anxiety Machine, screaming endlessly, we also had real difficulty with all the things you need for an Anxiety Machine you are legally responsible for. We would make about four steps progress and need something, so my husband would stop, drop the diaper bag, and root around looking for it. Then he’d pack up again and we’d go about another four steps and have to repeat the process. The sheer madness of finding everything was killing us.
And then my mother bought me a clear diaper bag from The Clear Bag store. And our lives changed forever.
Now, when we need something from the diaper bag, it’s so easy to find it we don’t even have to stop walking. You glance at the clear, sturdy plastic, see where it is, and unzip exactly the compartment you need, grab the item, and in all that time you haven’t stopped moving. It’s improved our efficiency by at least five million percent, depending on whether you believe in the metric system.
We’re still exhausted every night. And my husband likes to joke that the only reason I haven’t left him behind in a mall to be eaten by Drop Bears recently is because he usually has Elly strapped to his chest. And there may be some small kernel of truth in that, though I’d never admit it.