Phragments from Phyllis: What to leave behind

  • Posted: 1/24/2013 2:13 PM
    6/1/2013 6:09 PM

Last weekend, I was reminded once again of George Carlin's old routine on taking a trip and having to decide what to take and what to leave behind.

Liz and Vince took their first overnight trip with baby Pearce, and began to make those decisions about what baby gear they absolutely had to have with them and what they could do without for three days. In this current era of specialized equipment for every aspect of a baby's life, deciding what you can live without is no mean task.

Vince was to be in Hilton Head so we decided we could meet in Columbia, and they could head to Charleston as I headed home. Vince had first hoped Liz and Pearce could go down with him to Hilton Head, but Liz pointed out several concerns with a 1-month-old. First, she would have had to get up around 3 a.m. in order to feed Pearce and then pack all of the attendant gear, dress, etc. so as to be on the road by 5 a.m. Then she was concerned about being in Hilton Head all day while Vince worked. Where would she go to feed Pearce several times during the day? Where would she put the baby when she needed to sleep? She doesn't know anyone there.

Thus the decision was made to meet in Columbia.

Then came the equipment issue. They decided to take the stroller and the NapNanny (the best place for Pearce to sleep), the Boppy (a must-have if you're nursing), a large supply of diapers and wipes. In my car we also brought the baby swing, all the stuff required for feeding - bottles, pump, containers for additional milk, cooler to put it in - along with the requisite changes of clothing, blankets, not to mention the bulky car seat.

Remember, last Thursday when we trekked forth, it was very cold and rainy, so we definitely needed the sleep-sack that fits over the car seat like a baby sleeping bag.

Of course, best laid plans are destined to be thwarted. We got to Columbia long before Vince. He had gotten tied up at the hospital in Hilton Head and didn't get away until 4:30 p.m. By that time, we were already headed to Columbia for our 6 p.m. rendezvous. Liz and I ended up eating in Columbia while we waited on Vince to arrive. And then of course, Pearce needed to eat, as well. So there we sat - in the Columbiana Mall parking lot - with Liz trying to feed her baby. Also in the category of the inevitable, a security vehicle for the mall was patrolling. He drove by our car at least twice, very slowly, as he apparently tried to assess our threat factor. I can't say how much he could see into our car, but I'm guessing after two passes, he realized we weren't much of a threat and drove on.

Soon after, we heard from Vince and were able to meet just below the airport.

The Bartges family then headed to Charleston. Apparently Pearce took pity on her parents and was very good throughout the weekend. They were staying with friends who don't have kids yet, so Liz worried about the baby crying and keeping everyone awake - since they all had to go to work Friday. But, never fear, our newest granddaughter charmed all her adopted aunts and uncles with her delightful ways.

Of course, they returned to Greenville, and it would seem that Pearce decided she could share her pent-up frustrations in the safety of her own home. Liz said Monday morning, the baby was Miss Grump. I figure she was going through withdrawal from four days without her YaYa.

But that has been remedied. I'm back in Greenville at the request of my daughter - I can't say she had to twist my arm.