They reckon you can tell a lot about someone by looking at their shoes.
That may well be true, but, since I became a dad, it’s the contents of my pockets that say most about me!
Like some kind of pack-horse, I’m constantly weighed down by all manner of rubbish that seems absolutely essential when a tot is around.
Here’s my 8 Things In Your Pockets That Prove You’re The Parent Of a Toddler!
- Wet Wipes. Everywhere I go, whatever I do, you can guarantee that I’ll be called upon to bring a Wet Wipe into action. If an army marches on its stomach, a parent… where am I going with this metaphor? Essentially Wet Wipes are… Essential… to modern day parenting. Snotty nose? Wet Wipe. Bit of vomit? Wet Wipe. Flicked dinner in Daddy’s face? Wet Wipe. Spilled Sudocrem down the front of your trousers? Wet Wipe. Need to clean up your shoes because you’re worried people will judge you on them? Wet Wipe.
- A Bit Of Twig. A walk with a toddler is less about forward propulsion and more about stopping and examining every bloody tiny little thing that the young ‘un passes. Now, I’m no idiot. I understand that if you see something for the first time it is quite interesting. However, that said, do we really need to pick up EVERY SINGLE twig we see on the path? These muddy bits of detritus inevitably get passed off to Daddy, who must keep them in order to avoid a total tot meltdown. My role seems to be similar to those royal protection officers you see with the Queen – she inspects then hands over stuff to them. In their case it’s flowers and chocolates, with me it’s bloody twigs. All my trouser pockets are filled with decomposing bits of twigs that once held a (fleeting) sentimental value to my son.
- Hand Sanitizer. Only a fool would take on the job of supervising a tot – mini humans pathologically drawn to mess, grime and all types of unpleasantness – without the reassurance that a bottle of Hand Sanitizer can bring. Don’t misunderstand, carrying this product doesn’t mean I’ve gone all ‘phobic’ – far from it. It just means that when your little one hands you a fistful of mud, you have some way of not spending the entire day covered in filth – when the Santizer is combined with a Wet Wipe. They’re the perfect double act – like Morecambe & Wise, with more of an emphasis on disinfecting: “I killed all the right germs, but not necessarily in the right order.”
- A Musical Vehicle. Now I’m not suggesting that musical vehicles (like those created by Vtech) were first created by sadists in a diabolical plan to bring misery into the lives of already stressed-out parents. I’m not suggesting that at all. OK, I am suggesting that this might be one possibility. Moving on, no-matter how these toys first came into being, one of them is always, and I do mean always, in my pockets. You see, the trouble with such items is your tot will discover and want to play with them just as you’re leaving the house. So, in order to avoid a total meltdown, you allow said child to hold onto the vehicle in their buggy as you go out and about. Soon they’ve chucked the previously beloved object to the floor and you scoop it up. Into your pocket it goes, where it lies dormant until days later when it awakens to embarrass you in the pub (like you go the pub anymore)!
- A Snotty Wet Wipe. This disgustingly damp ball of filth will have been used to mop up an explosion of mucous that erupted (like a mini Vesuvius) from your little one’s hooter. There’s never a bin around when you need one, so into your pocket it goes, where it’ll live until you’re trying to pay at the supermarket checkout – ready to emerge instead of that illusive club card. There is, however, an upside to these balls of snot: they’re unbeatable as a method of defence should you find yourself face to face with a mugger…
- A Semi-chewed Biscuit. Never in the course of human history, has a baby ever chewed on biscuit without stopping and giving a gooey chunk of semi-digested custard cream to its parent – ‘for safe keeping’. These remnants go, along with everything else, into my Mary Poppins-esque pockets to be lost in the midst of time. NB: Never ever, even in your drunkest state, be tempted to nibble on one of these mis-shapes. No good will come of it – I promise.
- 300 Dummies. If you’ve managed to get to this stage without your child using a dummy (or pacifier to our American cousins) good for you. You’re a better person than I am. Sadly, these little rubbery devices are essential for the smooth running of operations in our house. Chaos, and I do not use that word lightly, would ensue if we didn’t have a whole collection of pacifiers to hand at any time of the day or night. As such my pockets are filled with the little blighters. In fact, they’re so important I’ve had to develop a system. My left pocket is for clean dummies, fresh from being sterilized and my right pocket is filled with dummies rescued from the floor after my son has unceremoniously chucked them away. I can safely say that I have never confused these pockets… probably. Almost certainly. Perhaps.
- Fireman Sam / Postman Pat / Paw Patrol figures. Whatever it is your child is into, it’s essential that at all times you have a 3 inch plastic effigy of said character in your pocket. These are for the true emergencies, the total meltdowns, where distraction and begging are the only options available to the parent. “Don’t do that, look here’s Postman Pat. You like Postman Pat don’t you?” This, if I’m honest is based more around hope than experience. Even so, Pat Clifford joins me everywhere I go, stuck in my hideous pockets. Poor old Pat!
What else do you keep in your pockets? Let me know!