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A working mum’s bag shows she is prepared for any eventuality.
A colleague saw me taking a few receipts out of my bag the other day as I was looking for a particular report. “Ah,” he said. “A mum’s bag. No doubt you have the whole Mary Poppins hat stand in there.” I rummaged around and pulled out a hanger. “Voila,” I said. “Not quite a hat stand, but close.”
My bag has a huge array of things inside it. It ranges from emergency socks – you never know when you might need socks and these ones are for a smallish, child’s foot, but socks do stretch and it can fit any child or young woman’s foot at a pinch. I also have specialist socks – a pair of socks with grips which come from the nearest trampoline park. These came in handy only a couple of weeks ago when only son’s friend slipped in an indoor play area due to not having socks with grips. I felt a little bit like Supernanny when I brandished said socks.
There are also many other items in my bag. School reports, receipts, emergency biscuits for long journeys, water in case of tube breakdowns, a plastic bag for last-minute shopping, the odd glove [every year we get gloves for Christmas and just three months later I cannot find a pair that match], spare tights, paracetamol, Calpol sachets, cough sweets, bits of projects [the Stone Age being the latest in a long line], leftover dry ingredients from food technology class, people’s Oyster cards, cat flea treatment, tickets for the school Stone Age play, post-it notes reminding me to book a teacher appointment because I missed parents’ evening [guilt], etc, etc.
The bad news is my bag is fairly heavy and it can be impossible to locate important things like keys or my phone when I need them. The good news is that even if we are one minute from school and only son announces that it is Comic Relief day or the like and he needs to wear something read, odd socks, etc, I can instantaneously provide a solution.
Every now and again I empty my bag and get rid of half the rubbish – the receipts, the optician’s notes, the dentist appointment cards and the like. But within a week the bag is back to its normal size and weight, with interesting new additions, like a coat hanger or a screw driver. I am indeed prepared for any eventuality, like a Boy Scout on steroids.