By Rich Hernandez
I’ve always been under the impression that I need to pack in case anything and I mean ANYTHING happens. I mean, other than the normal things like getting dirty, messy, sticky or torn cloths, what if an emergency happens and we’re not able to make it home for a day or two? For those very reasons is why I’ve always packed the diaper bag, the way that I do. I understand the idea of traveling light and trying to carry as little as possible, cause it’s easier that way, right? If you pack correctly, it’s really not so bad. As for the things that I pack, and it all depends on the ages of the children but my youngest son gets two pair of pants, two short sleeve and two long sleeve shirts, two pair of underwear and two pair of socks. The oldest gets one extra change of clothes and another extra pair of underwear. Other than that, the essentials go in such as a Prespot roll-on, two plastic bags for dirty stuff, their water bottles, snacks in an awesome zip-up Gold Fish bag, a small first aid kit, a small flashlight, a few crayons and paper, Clorox wipes, lotion, chapstick, any kind of meds they might need at the time, sticky mats from Chick-fil-A, small size forks and spoons, a few bendy straws, an extra bottle of water, wipes and some hand sanitizer (also known as hanitizer). Yeah, yeah, I know…WOW, you say. That should only weigh a few hundred pounds! Two boys and four and a half years of carrying a bag around, I’m only on my third one so I figure that’s not too bad.
Anyway, back to packing and being ready for anything. About three months ago, my boys and I were having a great day at Costco, doing the sample thing and happened to pass by a dad, with two small boys in his cart. Just him and his boys and no bag. As we passed, the youngest proceeded to puke all over his dad’s hand and arm, then the cart and finally as gravity would have it, all over the floor then his and daddys shoes. So, question for you. What did the over packer do? I pulled aside, yanked out the wipes and started handing them over, as the dad needed them. When the little boy was cleaned up and the dad was partially taken care of, I got the extra bottle of water out and gave it to him, which he proceeded to have the little boy drink and spit into the trash can, which was conveniently located close by, on the corner. After the situation was taken care of, he looked at me with a HUGE smile on his face and with a first bump he said, “RIGHT ON MAN! SERIOUS DAD SAVE!” I made his day and he made mine.
Just so happens, the other day, my boys and I went to Cherry Creek mall, to play for a while and as we made our way in, there was a small girl, about 4 or 5 years old with her grandparents and she was crying and throwing up in the entrance. Without thinking, I threw down the bag and pulled out those trusty wipes, two at a time and just kept handing them over while grandma started wiping the little girls hand and grandpa wanted to start cleaning the floor. I told him, “how ’bout you go ahead and get her cleaned up and the mall cleanup crew can take care of the floor.” (DUH!! )After that, I pulled out the extra bottle of water and handed it to the grandma. Lord knows, if I gave it to the grandpa, he’d probably take a break and start drinking it. Anyway, by the end of child-cleanup time, the grandma handed the water back to me and said, “Here you go. Thank you. We didn’t open it. Looks like we won’t be needing it after all.” I told her that it was for the little girl to use for washing up and cleaning out her mouth cause I’m sure the taste in her mouth wasn’t something she wanted to keep.
Case in point, be ready for anything because you never know how much your help can mean to not only another adult but even more to a child. You never know just how much you can help ease the difficult, embarrassing or scary situation and help calm that child. You can be a moment changer. After all, that’s what life is made of, good and bad moments that are remembered, sometimes for a lifetime.