Parenthood brings with it a lot of baggage. Literally. Mums and dads must carry round a veritable army kit bag of supplies to cater for every eventuality. Here are 22 objects we can guarantee are always to be found in our handbag or rucksack.
1. A pack of wet wipes. ALWAYS. The one thing you should never leave home without.
2. A used wet wipe (now dry, soiled and somewhat crisp). You placed it in the side pocket of your bag, in the absence of any public bins, and it now lies forgotten.
3. A note from a teacher or key worker with details of a minor injury that you no longer remember your child receiving.
4. Two dusty raisins. No more, no less.
5. Your keys have a novelty keyring, which junior bought you for a birthday present. Kind of unwanted, but you have to go along with it.
6. A tiny but once-precious toy, which they lost months ago and have now forgotten about.
7. Spare socks as a minimum, but also spare pants, shorts, shirts and anything else that will fit in.
8. A first-aid kit which somehow never seems to have the one item you suddenly need.
9. An aged fruit bar with more hairline fractures than Evel Knievel’s tibia.
10. A couple of random Lego blocks. Why?
11. An ‘emergency’ colouring book, with a cheapo pack of crayons that are about as effective as ear wax.
12. A cuddly toy that your child insisted on bringing, but which you have to carry.
13. A packet of chocolate buttons that have melted and reformed more times than the T-1000 from Terminator.
14. A general-purpose cloth, which probably should have been washed by now.
15. A map and guide to Great Aunt MacDonald’s Activity Farm, or some such, which you carry around ‘just in case’ you ever return.
16. An invitation to Mable’s 4th birthday party in 2018. Nobody can remember who Mable was or is.
17. A pack of diaper bags, long after your kids are out of nappies. They’re so handy.
18. A spare carrier bag, or bag-for-life, which would seem like an essential, but never finds its purpose.
19. A small bottle of hand sanitizer, whose nozzle is damaged just enough to make it difficult to use, but not yet bad enough to throw away. See also suncream.
20. A receipt from Hobbycraft.
21. That novel you picked up a few weeks before they were born. It’s now five years later and you’ve looking forward to starting chapter 12.
22. An old dummy. It has been left unprotected in your bag for weeks, if not months, and is now caked in crumbs and fluff. You should probably bin it... but not just yet.
Although originally from the Midlands, and trained as a biochemist, Matt has somehow found himself writing about London for a living. He's a former editor and long-time contributor to Londonist.com and has written several books about the capital. He's also the father of two preschoolers.