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Baby bag tales

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So three weeks after Kitty’s birth, he was due for an appointment with his paediatrician. And after doing the necessary preparations for his trip to the outdoors, I handed him over to his father, before swiftly grabbing my handbag and following my two men out of the house (I’m still yet to learn how to balance carrying Kitty and carrying a handbag at the same time. How do they do it?).

But a few steps out of the house, I suddenly stopped in my tracks, letting out a loud gasp. Was I walking out of the house as though I had no child? I had only carried my handbag, as though I were going for a coffee date with the girls (wossup mkondo wa mwisho gang, wanamaresh). Yep, no baby bag. What mother does that, I wondered, as it gradually dawned on me that I had joined the club of women who are to be seen with big baby bags on one hand and baby on the other.

So I told the hubby to give me a few minutes as I dashed back into the house. But once inside the house I momentarily became lost. What exactly goes into a baby bag? I didn’t quite know so I threw in what I could think of – a diaper, a nappy liner, an extra baby shawl and his hospital records (would you believe I had even left behind his records?).

Then came the next shocker – where was the bag itself? I had no baby bag. Geez, and you would have thought that I had nine months to prepare for this moment. But nooo, I had forgotten to buy the bag. How that had missed my mind I don’t know. I had shopped everything baby by week 36, but I had never thought of a baby bag. How now?
So what I did was to throw in these things into a paperbag. A Tusky’s shopping paperbag. Shame, shame, shame on me. I walked out of the house with my head bent low. Surely I could do better than a shopping paperbag yawa tho! So I vowed to buy a bag as soon as possible. And I did exactly that.

So on our next clinic visit three weeks later, thank God I had a nice baby bag. Not an exclusive bag that looks like a baby bag, but a big nice bag that does not typically look like a baby bag -if you know what I mean. Yaani the big bags that a woman can carry around even without a baby in tow. The bag is nice, to the extent that three weekends ago, I left the house and carried it along with me – minus the baby. And I shopped for some stuff and stashed them inside the baby bag. Don’t ask me what I was thinking, for the things I shopped for (groceries et al) ended up contaminating the baby bag. Contaminating in the sense that I cannot put baby things inside it anymore because baby things are special and shouldn’t be mixed with other paraphanelia –if you know what I mean.

So now I had to look for another baby bag for our next clinic appointment, which was last week Friday. I didn’t want to carry his stuff in a shopping paperbag again. Surely that’s embarrassing. I mean, how on earth do you adorn yourself with a nice handbag and then carry your baby’s things in a supermarket paperbag? Shame, shame, shame on me again. I don’t want to be those kinds of mothers who dress to the nines, yet their kids are in tatters. Not nice.

So I got us a new baby bag. And I looooooove it. It is designed in patchwork, whereby pieces of different kitenge fabrics of similar size have been sewn together to create a beautiful pattern. You can see the photo

. It has nice pockets inside, and is big enough to fit all baby needs.

Now, I must confess that I love patchwork to death. There is something about patchwork that makes me think that everything around me is nice and blissful. I don’t know if it’s the colors that just remind me of my childhood – where everything was nice and blissful, without any stress. When I carry my patchwork bag, I feel untouchable as I am usually on cloud nine. So I’m very happy to have a bag that makes me very happy. I’m sure Kitty is happy too.

Oh and by the way I’m slowly learning that a diaper, a nappy liner, an extra baby shawl and his hospital records are not enough for our baby trips outdoors. I have since added two more diapers, baby wipes, a romper, baby jelly, a mackintosh, a burping cloth, a pen, camera and notebook (a journalist never misses this). I don’t know if there is anything else I need to throw in, but if you think there is, you can let me know.

Coming up: On Wednesday, I’ll feature an interview with a mother of twins – how life has been since she got them – her joys, challenges, experiences etcetera etcetera. So stay tuned to this blog. Cheers.

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.

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