Jenn Morgan
Jenn Morgan Danny Drake

We are like a fine-oiled machine, functioning fast. Our movements are fluid, like a seasoned pit crew who has a pit strategy down pat and can get the car on the road in under 10 seconds.

My husband and I work together as a team to get the baby and the ten-thousand baby essentials that we need to bring with us packed in the car and in transit to our destination. It is a good thing we work fast under pressure, because we are now on toddler time. If you know anything about toddler time, then you know that you can easily add a half hour to any designated event time arrival. So if we say we will be at your house for 9:30 a.m., you can bet we will show up no sooner than 10 a.m.

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Once we are at our destination, that is when our organized team starts to fall apart at the seams. Inevitably we forget essential baby item number 10,001 and find ourselves with no spoon to go with the food, or without the food to go with the spoon. We bring the cup, but forget the whole milk. We have the diaper bag ... sans diapers. Ever try to make a make-shift diaper out of a white cotton undershirt? Okay, neither have we, but I can tell you Isabella is tolerable, but not thrilled about being fashioned back into the dirty diaper. At this point the team turns on each other, and my husband and I play the game of "I thought you brought the _______." It is quite amusing, and amazing, how two people can be at the same place, at the same time and have two entirely different accounts of the recent events. Proving oneself right or wrong in this game will not make a sippy cup materialize, so thankfully one of the grandparents interjects and saves the day with a cup they kept on hand for such an occasion.

The grandparents, who have now caught on to our perpetual amnesia when it comes to the infant fundamentals, now keep supplies of baby items at their houses for when the Morgan tornado touches down in their neck of the woods. Toys, diapers, sippy cups, baby food, spoons and bowls can all be found at houses that have no babies as permanent residents. I have stated before that it takes a village to raise a baby, and this is just one more piece of evidence that backs my theory. Plus, it is a much preferable hypothesis than to think that I may actually be the village idiot that forgets everything.

We were invited to celebrate my friend's birthday today at a little beach on the lake. We had never been there before, but were told to "bring the items you would normally bring to the beach." Not frequent beach-goers, we translated this to mean "bring the baby and some sunscreen." En route, we realized we did not have beach chairs, toys for the baby, or even towels. Wow. All I can say is that at least we had the baby. Perhaps I could blame our forgetfulness on lack of sleep. In fact, lack of sleep is a pretty good universal excuse for just about any situation you find yourself in that requires a good solid explanation. Usually, experienced parents have been there before so you typically will receive an understanding and sympathetic head nod. No further explanation needed. But I digress, back to my "we forgot everything but the baby" story.

Thankfully, there is a lovely little store called "Target" that sells all the overlooked supplies you could imagine. With record speed, my husband and I race in and like contestants on a shopping spree, quickly grab towels, a chair, cooler and of course, a football. Yep, a football for my one year old. A football that is practically half the size of my child. Clearly this was my husband's contribution to the cart and obviously a necessity for the party.

As time goes by, and we attend more events and outings, I am sure my husband and I will get better at packing the appropriate provisions our toddler will need. Our pit crew will become even more efficient, but as with all things, there is always room for improvement. There are some things we won't forget to pack, like the baby ... or the football. But for everything else, there's Target.

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