As we (and by “we” I mean my Wife) prepared for Sidney’s arrival, various “necessary” supplies were discussed and acquired. In order to preserve marital bliss (and, quite frankly my sanity) my position on the matter was that given the extensive research my Wife was doing with regards to child rearing and the accoutrements “necessary” for same, I would defer to her on the topic and rubber stamp the vast majority of the decisions. I was comfortable with this because of the aforementioned extensive research, emphasis on extensive. She cross-referenced doctors’ advice, product claims, product reviews, advice posted by parent’s online, books filled with anecdotal evidence and even the occasional pick up the item and examine it. There was no question, she was informed. To her credit, she often tried to impart the information on to me, but there is only so much information on the gas-reducing properties of one bottle over another or the shape of pacifiers I can absorb before all I hear is white noise. There were only two instances where I disagreed with her findings, this is the story of one of them (the second one wont be too far behind).
One day my Wife announced that we needed to get me a diaper bag. To her credit, before I could get the “why?” out, she interjected that this was so because the diaper bag she had was much too frilly and dainty for me to be seen with (live with a lawyer long enough and you learn to anticipate counter-arguments). I agreed with her frilly/dainty postulate, but insisted that her conclusion was nevertheless flawed because I didn’t need a diaper bag; I could easily use a messenger bag (specifically, a way cool Timbuk2) as a diaper bag. The thing was big, water-proof and sufficiently un-frilly/dainty-free. Apparently, I was wrong because. That sentence was not truncated prematurely, by the way. “Because,” as far as I can tell, was the reason. Well, not exactly just “because”, there was some other stuff, but it might have become white noise at one point or another. The following is what I can remember.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, one should not argue with a pregnant woman about what is and is not needed for adequate child care in general. One should never argue with a pregnant woman that is armed to the teeth with statistical information and five-star Amazon.com product reviews. Yes, I realize statistics on which diaper bag is purchased more often over another, and what items are most often found in a diaper bag, does not establish anything beyond that certain people buy certain bags and put certain things in them (not to mention the ease with which any rating system can be skewed); this is, unfortunately, irrelevant. Here, instead, is what is relevant (according to my Wife):
1) A diaper bag has a designed slot for a changing pad. What is a changing pad you ask (because I did), well, it’s a pad that you can fold up/out and lay on a surface so you can change the child. Why not simply lay down a towel on the aforesaid surface, because a towel is easy to roll up and carry? Because a towel is not padded and cannot be easily wiped down, like a changing pad and if the towel gets pee or poo on it then you can’t use it again while you are out, and then you’re going to have to wash it when you get home and who has to do the laundry? not you certainly and finally why do you want your child to be uncomfortable and on a potentially dirty towel!? So … changing pad.
2) A diaper bag has slots for multiple diapers. But, why can’t the diapers just go inside the bag with the rest of the stuff you ask? Because, the diapers go on the baby and the other stuff might be dirty (yes, poop goes in diapers, but just let it go … trust me) or they might get mixed up and hard to find in the bag and why do you want your child in a contaminated hard to locate diaper?! So … diaper pockets.
3) A diaper bag will segregate the multiple sets of spare clothing and all the various cleaning, wiping and moisturizing products you need. By the way, in case you are under the impression that you don’t need to carry around 3 different types of wipes, 2 types of moisturizers and at least 4 sets of clothing because, I don’t know, humanity made it from cave to industrial revolution without any of them, and one set of each of these things is enough for our enlightened and civilized age … well, you’re wrong. Why are you wrong? Because don’t you love your child you savage?!
4) A diaper bag is a diaper bag, and that is a messenger bag. Have I mentioned that one does not argue with a pregnant woman on certain topics? Yeah. That.
5) A really cool diaper bag costs half of what a Timbuk2 bag costs. She had me here; these things are, in fact, reasonably priced. Sure, they may not be as durable as a messenger bag, but then again, all you’re carrying around is the changing pad, diapers, different wipes and moisturizers and the four sets of clothing, it’s not like any of … oh for crying out loud, this stuff makes it through white noise. I give up.
So … yeah … I own this really cool diaper bag.